But in this and many similar matters nothing else is granted to our knowledge except to proclaim the power and greatness of the Creator who has disposed everything in number, weight and measure, and in the mean time to say with the illustrious teacher of the nations: we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when what is perfect comes, then I will know just as I am known.
- Anonymous, Liber de Ordine Creaturarum (Irish, 7th century)
Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
- Ecclesiastes 3.11
Having banished God from the cosmos, certain members of the secular scientific community must, of course, assume His place. They must provide explanations for all things, reduce all mysteries to formulas and statistics, enthrone the god of evolution over every aspect of human life and interest, and insist that only the practitioners of reason and science should be allowed to rule on matters of ethics and public policy.
And really, aren't we all a bit like that? Don't we all have a difficult time admitting that we don't know everything we pretend to know? And don't we sometimes overstate our views and opinions, and want others to think more highly of us than is justified? We all have a measure of the hubris of the secular scientist in us because, like him, we're all sinners.
We have a hard time living within limits. Our anonymous scholar has just finished a section on the tides and their relationship to the phases of the moon. At the end of his brief but learned discussion he confesses, "we are forced to admit we do not know half the working of the sea." Then comes our quote.
How refreshing such humility would be from the members of the scientific community! We don't know, we just don't know, but we look to God and rest our confidence in Him, Whose power and greatness and goodness are above all and over all and through all.
Try getting that into your fourth-grader's public school curriculum.
But we should seek such an attitude to pervade our own lives. We don't know everything, should not care to impress others, and don't help the cause of Christ by bluster and fervent defense of our views, no matter how ill-informed they may be.
Jesus came humbly among us. Let us go humbly into the world. Let the world pontificate with pride and certainty about everything under the sun. We live under the heavens, and we follow a path of humility, selflessness, and service in love.
And when we don't understand, or can't figure it out, or feel ourselves about to be embarrassed or put down, we look to Him Who made, sustains, and blesses us as we walk humbly with our God.
Humility, not hubris, is the calling-card of the Christian.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
The Scriptorium - Patrick was a humble man, which we see right away in his Confession. Here's a new column exploring the surviving literature from the Celtic Revival, beginning with Patrick.
ReVision - So, should human beings endeavor to become something more than human?
The Pastors' Fellowship - Pastors, join us online for a free discussion on "Dealing with Temptation." Visit the website for details or contact me by email.