Back when I knew it all...

I heard a funny song when I was channel-surfing on my radio yesterday on the way home. It's a country song called "Back When I Knew It All" by Montgomery Gentry. I don't particularly care for the song, but the words are funny because I can relate.

I remember the day I set foot on the campus of Dallas Theological Seminary. I knew so much about the Bible those days. I could argue all the hard passages, and teach with great authority. I had lots of answers, but without much substance back when I knew it all.

Seminary has a way of blowing a few of your categories. Sometimes that's hard on guys. You hear stories about guys walking away from the faith, or turning completely inward when they realize the Bible doesn't fit together in nice little categories like they thought. Although He is completely faithful to do what He said, God doesn't behave according to a system, which really messes up some seminarians who need God to fit into their box.

I came away from seminary with the opposite effect. Though I've still got a long way to go, I think it made me a much more humble teacher. There are some things I know for sure and will speak about dogmatically, but that list is a lot smaller than back when I knew it all.

When you're talking about an infinite God and His Word, there's a very real sense that the more you know, the more you know you don't understand. There is some tension in Scripture, and that's a neat thing. It can drive you batty, or it can remind you that you serve a God who is bigger than your systems, theories, and presuppositions, and drive you to worship.

I feel like I know a lot less, but my God is a lot bigger now that I don't know it all. I think that's a good trade.