A common reaction to many biblical doctrines is that they are not logical and thus need to be modified or otherwise rejected. One doctrine that is often dismissed in that way is the teaching that God grants eternal life freely to people without basing that on any merit on the people involved. That just doesn’t make any sense to human reason.
But not only is that what the Bible teaches, it also acknowledges that we won’t be able to understand it logically. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Significantly the Lord says that in the context of his abundantly pardoning us. Talk about a wide gap. God’s thoughts are so far beyond us that it is like the distance between heaven and earth. Obviously, they are not bound by the limitations of human logic.
Paul says the same thing in his letter to the Romans. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out” (Romans 11:33). Notice the word “unsearchable”. His judgments and his ways are again far beyond the puny limitations of human logic. They just don’t make sense to us.
In his love, he gave us a glimpse of his wonderful ways in the Bible. Even those glimpses, such as the one he gives us when he tells us that he gives people eternal life freely, are so marvelous that they boggle our minds. But here’s the important point. Even though we can’t fathom them, we can believe them. We can believe them, not because we understand them, but because he has revealed them to us. In fact, we could go even a step further. If we describe those high truths in such a way that make sense to us, then we have corrupted them. That explanation can’t be right because the fact is that they are way beyond us. They are unsearchable. Period. As one of my college professors use to say: “You are beginning to understand when you understand that you can’t understand.”
That is why when people respond to biblical teaching with a logical argument I don’t even bother responding. They are using something that doesn’t apply. We can’t fit God’s great thoughts into our little minds. The argument that it doesn’t make sense is an invalid argument from the get go.
Yes, I know that the teaching that God is one being but three separate and distinct persons doesn’t make sense. 1+1+1=1 is not the math I learned. But, when it comes to the nature of God that is what he has revealed. Therefore I believe it. More than that. I rejoice in it. Because that is just another indicator of how truly awesome God is – how he is vastly superior to me. So much so that I can’t understand him.
The flip side of that equation is also important. When people reject biblical truths because they aren’t logical, they have placed human reason above divine revelation thus making reason and logic a god. Making logic the standard for accepting truth is just as much an act of idolatry as the worshipping of Baal in the Old Testament. It is an affront to the Lord and something he hates.