Knowledge beyond Science

We'll never know it all. But we can all know Him Who does.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part...

  - 1 Corinthians 13.9

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 prohesy in part...

  - Anonymous, Liber de Ordine Creaturarum (Irish, 7th century)

It is the business of science to know. To what lengths scientists will go in order to know some infinitessimally small fact is well demonstrated by the recent isolation of the Higgs boson, a sub-atomic particle which is supposed to give mass to other particles, and, for this reason, was dubbed "the God particle" by certain wags.

Finding the Higgs has taken four decades, billions of dollars, and some of the largest and most sophisticated scientific instruments the world has ever seen. The CERN particle accelerator extends underneath Switzerland and Italy and does its work at great speeds, in some cases, perhaps, faster even than the speed of light.

Why all this investment? To know. Scientists want to know what the cosmos is made of, how it works, and what we can do with it. The discovery of the Higgs boson is just the most recent achievement of scientific knowing.

But knowing the Higgs creates many new questions and leaves many others still unanswered. We still don't know what dark matter is, and whatever it is that makes the Higgs boson do its work is still a mystery.

At some point, like the anonymous author of the Liber, musing on the current state of knowledge of the seas, we're just going to have to yield to ignorance. We'll never know it all. But we can all know Him Who does.

The pursuit of knowledge is a good thing. But it is best done when the knowledge of God, which goes beyond all science and knowledge, is the ultimate end we seek. God is making Himself known in all the facts and details and displays of everything about every day of our lives. We can't understand it all, but, knowing the One Who does, we can allow everyday situations to lead us to lift our thoughts to God in thanks and praise for His steadfast love and faithfulness.

We may only know in part, but it's enough to give praise to the Lord.

And it's also enough to proclaim to His excellencies to someone else. What we know of God from His Word and world, let us explain to others, that they might come to know Him, too.

T. M. Moore, Principal

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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Judgment

Next in order of the works of God is judgment.

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