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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Mystery vs. mathematics

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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Mystery vs. mathematics

[b]Mystery vs. mathematics[/b]

1Co 2:1-16 ...[i] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery ... But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.[/i]

Wondering aloud ...

What ever became of mystery? The very essential and I am want to put it even guarded aspect of those things that belong to God alone. That which compel some of us to be at a constant prying into ...

A thought jumped up relating elsewhere in prayer the other day; Have we in far too many cases traversed mystery for a mathematical?

[i]Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

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.

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.[/i] Isa 55:6-11

This would beg and open up a thousand similar questions across many a topic. Predestination and that which is post destinated, the penchant of those who [i]think[/i] themselves to be 'prophets' or more accurately prognosticators, forecasters of what is up and around the bend. The [i]ease[/i] of believing as it squares up to formula and oft times even 'doctrine'. Something of a derivative, an aspect, an attribute of God put to formula and then backed by proof text.

[i]Led[/i] vs conclusions drawn from the puzzle minded nature that seems to be the bent towards 'solving' ... God.

What I fear most is that even the best of us can become unwittingly dupes of bringing the majesty and great mystery of God down to our human level. The very thing that would cause such an uproar over those in the broader reaches of Christendom do on a more constant and considerable surface level, we can do as a philosophical and theological Rubik's cube, if we could just get the last couple of blocks to line up ...

Look at what this has done even to our fellowship with one another in these parts. We often have 'combatants' and arguments that are produced by our [i]thinking[/i] and our supposed [i]knowing[/i] of so much because we have put down most everything to an approach by mathematics that we may not even be aware of. Look at some of the divisive attributes and cutting words, often Gods word the sword that is brandished, a weapon of our own to wield. A defending of the Lord Himself or a matter of opinion? Does He need the defending that we often think is our duty to do?

Other questions raised are towards how does the lack of mystery apply to faith, to trust ... childlike? In general are not children wide eyed and full of awe and mystery towards so much and rather than that spirit have we become stuffy, curmudgeon's adept at perhaps the arithmetic of scripture but are almost forced to add asides somewhere along the line ... [i]of course ____[/i], something of a catch all, an assumption that we haven't forgotten these things of a more simplistic and humbling nature.

[i]But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so [u]the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God[/u].[/i]

Would not be attempting to thwart anything nor do the same parsing of scripture by way of mention and perhaps that is part; I believe far too often we are not sure how we perceive that which is brought forth, are we making statement or drawing towards [i]have you considered[/i]? I must return to an old bit by our own Philologos here, that we lift up these matters of scripture to examine but must be sure to put them back where we found them. In other words, the whole counsel of Gods word. But again, is it not vast and bottomless? Is it not full of mystery and awe? Of things even 'unspeakable' and yet how often the compulsion to go on speaking anyway, go on speaking in [i]His stead[/i].

It is a general observation and is of a personal reflection often here to take in much from the variety of postings, a couple of recent examples;

[url=]Christ in you; event or process[/url]

[url=]Help please, does God only know some of the future?[/url]

There are others, the oft dredged up and forever resurrected and never to die battle of wits over two men of God and their particular takes, the long running equivalent of the Hatfield's and McCoy's ... Calvinism and Arminianism. One could think this to be the whole of Christianity itself I might imagine to an outside observer, has that ever occurred to anyone else, how detrimental, no particular ramifications from these things? But again, would relate it back to the theatrics of mathematics over against the mystery that is.

Am deriving much from here as usual. The aforementioned links only as fodder for contemplation and not as statement. Perhaps if anything it is to re-inject back into much this loss of the sense of mystery that seems to have been bartered out for the mechanical, the mathematical, the explanatory.

Recent days found myself in a bit of perplexity of my own choosing and being too soon for too much analytical introspection this close to after the fact ... Would just say that there is a casting back unto the natural that one can only know by absence of the Holy Spirit. Some day if the Lord wills may open this up more broadly. There is a great deal of mystery even in this and paradoxically it buttresses an inward argument over what we may become to comfortable with ... Bear with me. In various places I have taken notice of something that I do not often see spoken of;

Psa 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled; thou takest away their breath they die, and return to their dust. (RV)

That of the Lord hiding His face. We know of it from, for instance;

Isa 59:2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Due to sin. But I also find that this may be even in things 'arbitrary' and on purpose for His own reasonings and dealings; Job. Jesus left to being tempted by the devil, Peter being sifted as wheat, etc.

The 'reasons' are often for later purposes and would even go so far as to say that many of the dealings of the Lord are not disclosed to us at all. It is why I have become so much of an advocate for holding many things in abeyance. This even subtle mathematical approach has us bound up in producing [i]conclusions[/i] that we inadvertently box ourselves into. We have some sinister compulsion to have to have everything well laid out and finalized, hence the formulas, methods, production and along with that the disruptions, arguments, division, the waring of the saints.

Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, [u]but canst not tell[/u] whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

And we say ... ?

Joh 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, [b]what is that to thee[/b]? follow thou me.

"I am not telling you".

[i]Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might [u]know the things that are freely given to us[/u] of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.[/i] 1Co 2:12-16

There is a real generalization to much of this I am aware and am interspersing scripture as food for thought only.

There is no getting around the great dichotomy that of which is spiritual and that which is natural. [i]comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God[/i]. To my understanding this is everything. We are peculiar because we are now [i]truly[/i] spiritual people if the Holy Spirit has taken up residency. We are spiritual beings even if heathenish and far from God, it is [i]His[/i] breath that sustains ...

Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

[i]thou takest away their breath they die, and return to their dust[/i]

This may be all too simplistic but bring it forth to remembrance. I am concerned for those who have but a few years in the Lord under their belt so to speak and are maybe even of a high knowledge of the word, others who have some longevity and yet have gone astray from the characteristics, the character that ought to be shown forth and have gone ... mathematical.

What are we to say to ...

Love ... endures all things

How much of these things were telling of Jesus Himself

How much was kept, held in abeyance ...
From Him
From us


There is much to be found wanting from this. Certainly there are answers to spiritual questions. Absolutely there are absolutes. There those things known and those to be learned, I do believe that is a proper designation for a disciple, [i]a learner[/i]. It is just the stick in the craw that finds much being overthrown of mystery and wonder by that which is natural, that which is of pride, that which is of studied learning bereft of the Holy Spirit, the checks to the conscience, the holding of ones peace, the laying down of even natural talent and ability, opinion, comment. To listen inwardly to those "No"s, "Don't", "Wait", "Discard it", whatever it may be.

I cannot begin to tell how much of surprise and seemingly contradiction the Lord will allow for His own purposes. It creates an apprehension and an anticipation for and in any given moment. The great challenge it seems is to be simply led of the spirit and to desire that, preform to that.

Great is the mystery.

Mike Balog

 2007/9/8 13:29Profile

Joined: 2007/6/7
Posts: 429
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 Re: Mystery vs. mathematics

I am much too simple to properly respond to this post (and hestitated to respond at all) but had hoped that someone else would, as there seems to be much contained within it for fruitful discussion.

Knowing the mysteries of God….

In my Bible reading today I came across this verse – this is the knowledge I am pursuing:

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

I will never grasp the infinite mysteries of God, and will probably never comprehend as much as most of you, but if I can just know His love……..



 2007/9/8 17:20Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Mystery vs mathematics

I am much too simple to properly respond to this post (and hestitated to respond at all)

Hesitated to even post it originally, to respond again ... :-)

It's funny and interesting how after so much silence to suddenly turn "Chatty Kathy" in an instance. Guess I have had some things bottled up for awhile now.

Maybe if anything this clunky bit is just the equivalent of 'head notes'. I know my tendencies are often to try and speak to a number of different things simultaneously and the result can be pretty disjointed. Maybe I was hoping that it could be something that others might take and launch off of ... figure out what I am trying to say for me :-?

There is just something that seems to strip mine out that which is hidden, is above and beyond our limits, which belongs to God alone "My thoughts are not your thoughts" ... Is it that we want to know His thoughts as He knows them or as He is pleased to reveal them or conceal them?

I just keep finding that far too much is made of statement of God and even of His word to us that is ... 'fixed' into rigid forms and doctrines that leave out the mystery and wonder, awe, the seemingly contradictory, paradox. Think Chambers was masterful at drawing our attention to these seeming 'inconsistencies'. It comes right back to that great article;


Whereby a whole lot of our proper doxology and settled philosophy just gets thwarted in day to day and moment to moment living, if we are being led of the Spirit.

Should quit while I am behind .. ;-)

Mike Balog

 2007/9/8 18:40Profile

Joined: 2007/1/21
Posts: 528
Southern USA


Reply and Greetings to all

I think it would be helpful to remind ourselves that Christians ask and it is given unto us by the Holy Spirit that speaks to us about the things our Father has given to the Son of His Delight. God is revealed to those that know Christ, if we say we know through any other means we condem ourselves. There is no other conduit, there is no other way. All that God is, is available in Christ


 2007/9/9 9:24Profile

 Re: Mystery vs. mathematics

This reminds me of a true story told by Corrie ten Boom.

It happened during WWII when the Naziz took all the Jews away to concentration camps.

They brought a truck to a certain town where there was a man who was Jewish and also happened ot be rather feeble-minded (or having learning difficulties as we have to say these days).

"All you filthy Jews get in the truck!" screamed the officer.

The man took no notice, just sat there.

The officer came to him and bellowed, "I SAID, ALL YOU FILTHY JEWS GET IN THE TRUCK!"

Thye man looked up calmly, "I'm not a filthy Jew" he said, "Filthy Jews are the ones who got Jesus crucified. I love Jesus, I'm not a filthy Jew".

The officer was so stunned by the wisdom of his answer that he left the man alone!

in Him


 2007/9/9 18:35

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