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“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me … Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.”

Isaac Asimov was a busy man. Educated as a biochemist, he taught at Boston University and eventually authored or edited over 500 books. It is a tad ironic that a prolific author, primarily remembered for producing a treasured trove of science-fiction, mystery, and fantasy, flatly rejected that greatest of mysteries, God. Asimov once said, “I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.” Similarly, the renowned mathematician and logician Bertrand Russell had little patience with the mystery of God. He wrote, “The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt … they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.” 

Both individuals possessed exceptionally keen minds and offered significant contributions to the world, yet with every gift comes a liability. In this case, a mind may have a tremendous capacity to process and store an inordinate amount of knowledge, but even that mind remains finite, vulnerable to bias, capable of error, and falls far short of omniscience. 

While easily impressed, even intimidated, by their intellect, and certainly in no position to judge, I am saddened when anyone closes the door to the great mystery that will always exceed the scope of human intellect. The Lord says to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Just because something lies beyond our limited capacity to perceive, does not necessarily exclude the possibility it is real. The Anglican author Samuel Wells observes, “truth can only begin with taking in the enormity of that banquet of which you are the very tiniest ingredient.” Intellectual arrogance is self-limiting and self-defeating. Whether you are the greatest mind of the age or just the family know-it-all, it is less important to be right and more important to be modest. For it is only when we view the world with wonder that we learn and grow. “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” Soren Kierkegaard said, “Every mental act is composed of doubt and belief, but it is belief that is the positive, it is belief that sustains thought and holds the world together.”

Grace and Peace,



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