You Think You Know God?

“I could more easily contain Niagara Falls in a teacup than I can comprehend the wild, uncontainable love of God” (167).

Though I’d known about Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel for years, I never took the time to pick it up. Probably because I didn’t consider it Theology proper. But it’s better than any theology book I’ve read–I mean that. It’s brought joy and grief and wonder. Most texts treat God as a subject able to be, not conquered, but perhaps captured is the right word. Boxed in. Understood.

As someone with a Masters degree in knowing about God, I’m often tempted to think I know what I’m talking about. And then God guides me to what I read above. And He leads me this: “When you try to convince others that you understand what you are talking about, I [God] will tell you to shut up and fall flat on your face” (166).

In the way John Piper’s writing opened my eyes to the grandeur and majesty of God, Manning’s is opening my eyes to the love of God. Jesus loves me. On the cross Jesus could have said quite literally, “I’m dying to be with you. I’m really dying to be with you” (168). How can I think I’ve understood such love? To push it further, how can I claim to have received this love only to withhold it from those around me?

And that’s where I am now. Wondering how for so long I’ve been so unloving. The avalanche that is God’s love runs wild, untamed, beyond all bounds–but I’ve tamed it for sure. I calculate who is worthy of such love–usually based on what I’ve read in those other theology books.

1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not KNOW God, because God is love.

I know about God. But I’m not sure I know God.

I’m thankful He loves me enough to pursue me through the writing of a then recovering alcoholic. Now one who knows fully as he had been known his entire life.

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