1st Samuel Introduction: Roger Ebert and the Unknowable God

In Samuel, Chronicles

I’ve been a Roger Ebert “fan” for many years, and so I was struck by his recent comments about God in a great article that can be found here. Ebert said:

“To hope we can learn how the universe came about is admirable; one might as well call that hope by any name. Whatever one calls it, it’s by definition outside the reach not only of our knowledge, but of knowledge itself. I was asked at lunch today who or what I worshipped. The question was asked sincerely, and in the same spirit I responded that I worshipped whatever there might be outside knowledge. I worship the void. The mystery. And the ability of our human minds to perceive an unanswerable mystery.”

It’s sad that Christians are not known for having a unique perspective on this “unknowable mystery.” Jesus came primarily to make this mystery known: “Eternal life is to know God…” (John 17:3) and “No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is Himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has made him known.” (John 1:18

Our Bible study from last year ended with first Samuel. We reviewed some key material to orient the new students and then discussed Hophni and Phineas and then….Roger Ebert. I wish that I had the opportunity to tell Roger Ebert that God is not like the modern day Hophni and Phinehas’s of the world have made him out to be!

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