Our species (Homo Ignoramus) likes to think that it can understand all things just by categorizing them and then hanging neat little tags around their necks. Our principle strength is nomenclature. Understanding the named thing is a horse of a different color. The conventional wisdom seems to suggest that the shorter the word, the broader our understanding of it. Time? Space? Matter? Check. Check. Check. Of course we know all of their intricate details and out-workings! We defined them didn’t we?! In reality the scientist in his laboratory knows only a fraction more than the child in his sandbox about the complexities of our material world.

The same sort of presumptuous arrogance pervades theological discourse. We love to name things! From doctrines and decrees to councils and creeds, we are first-rate title-slingers. If we name it then we must know it! Sadly though, we have almost defined ourselves to death.

We have come to a place where we have lost the ability to wonder at the sheer incomprehensibility of our great God. We hardly ever just sit with our mouth agape reveling in the mysterium tremendum. This is a sort of poverty. It is the saddest kind of poverty because we have the treasure in our hands and don’t even know it. We are shooting marbles with diamonds. We have named them after all.

P.S. It’s the short words that we usually don’t understand.


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