In The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer says, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” If that is true, what you think about God is also the most important part of your worldview.

I’Ching Thomas shared with our church last week that a worldview is comprised of seven basic elements:

  1. Belief about God.
  2. Belief about the origins of man.
  3. Belief about the afterlife.
  4. Belief about how knowledge is acquired.
  5. Belief about morality.
  6. Belief about what is wrong with mankind.
  7. Belief about the solution for mankind.

“Not everyone is ‘religious,’ ” I’Ching explained, “but everyone has a worldview.” Everyone has an idea about these seven elements of life. I will take the next seven weeks and write about these seven elements. I will attempt to build on what we learned from I’ching Thomas and LT Jeyachandran at our “Developing a Biblical Worldview” mini-conference on Wednesday, March 17th, at IBC.

Today I will begin with your worldview about God.

When you hear the word “God,” what comes into your mind?  A.W. Tozer made a profound statement concerning your thoughts about God. He said it is the most important thing about you.  What do you think about God? No….what do you really think about God? When you are asked to tell what you think about God I suspect typical answers eagerly shuffle to the front of your mind – each suggesting they are the most correct answer. Which would you utter first, “sovereign, creator, redeemer, love, just…” or something along those lines? You would have answered the question incorrectly. Why? Not because God is not those things. But because when you think about God, those things do not come into your mind. The question gives you the benefit of the doubt that you actually think about God. Some of you may not think so much about God in the first place.

You might not even know what you really think about God. You may only think about God as you have been told to think about Him. Tozer says, “Our real idea of God may lie buried under the rubbish of conventional religious notions and may require an intelligent and vigorous search before it is finally unearthed and exposed for what it is” (The Knowledge of the Holy, 4). In other words, when asked, “What comes into your mind when you think about God,” you might lie out of religious instinct. You fill the silence with mundane memorization because you think it will both fill the void of silence and flatter God. It may do the former, but it will not do the latter.

How do we think rightly about God then? Surmise it to say that right thoughts about God must originate from Him. In Psalm 50:21 God says of the wicked man, “You thought that I was one like yourself.” The easiest and most wicked mistake to make is to think about God like we think about ourselves. This verse, Psalm 50:21, contains great insights to the problem of thinking about God that way. The ESV Study Bible helps us understand the extent of the problem by noting that “you thought that I was one like yourself” could accurately be translated as “you thought that [the] I [AM] was one like yourself”. Let that echo for a while.

We humans really lack creativity. Seriously, look at the gods of the world…they look like us! Some of them are fat and some have extra arms. But they are like us or even worse, like animals. While Moses was on the mountain with God, Aaron built an idol. It was a calf. “Ooohh real creative Aaron!” Romans 1:23 says the unrighteous men “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

We need God’s help to think about Him rightly.

An aspiring young theologian named Derek Beselt, a 16 year old student at HKIS, asked me a great question this week. He asked, “Why is it possible that humanity can use words capable of describing humans to describe God eh (‘eh’ is Canadian for ‘huh’)?” One of the answers I gave is that God uses words, namely the Word, to describe Himself. Derek is thinking correctly by asking this question because he knows that God, the I AM, is beyond words. Still, God describes Himself to mankind in the words of an epic narrative (the Bible) so we can know Him and think rightly about Him.

I will ask you a question and then you reflect in your mind for a few seconds before you continue.

The question is – what comes into your mind when you think about God?

Now, I will ask you another question. Were your thoughts about God your thoughts? Or was your mind swamped with religious rhetoric? Was it blank? Confused? Before you can judge whether your thoughts about God are right, you may need to search below a “rubble of religious notions,” as Tozer said it, to see what your thoughts about God are.

Not everyone is religious. But everyone thinks about God. Are your thoughts right?

For His Glory,
Nathan
nathan@ibc.org.hk
www.ibc.org.hk

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