A KNOW-IT-ALL KNOWS NOTHING

Permit me to paraphrase the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 8:1-2: “A little bit of knowledge can puff a man up with pride. Therefore, a know-it-all really knows very little at all.”

Albert Einstein spent a lifetime pondering the mysteries of the universe, only to conclude in the end that he knew very little in comparison to all that remained to be learned. Likewise, Sir Isaac Newton, the father of modern-science, once said of himself, “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

In contrast to the Einsteins and Newtons of our world, many a man armed with nothing more than a basic understanding of astronomy and physics struts about all puffed up with pride and adorned in absolute opinions. Isn’t it interesting that those who know a little become so proud of themselves that they think they know it all, while those who actually know the most, the Einsteins and Newtons, are humbled by how little they know.

It is only those less acquainted with God who dare to reduce Him to a handleable size. Having memorized a few select verses and having acquired a basic understanding of theology they attempt to stuff the Almighty into their hip pocket. Afterward, having foolishly convinced themselves that they have fully figured out the infinite God with their finite minds, they proceed to comprehensively define the incomprehensible God to others. 

On the other hand, those most intimate with God our keenly aware of their finite inability to grasp the infinite. Rather than pridefully pursuing more knowledge of God’s person, they are content to reside in His presence in humble adoration. The more they come to know Him experientially, the more they realize their theological deficiency. Still, this is no drawback to their faith, but a buttress to it, convincing them of the bigness of God! After all, a God you can understand is no bigger than you.

According to the renowned naturalist, William Beebe, President Teddy Roosevelt always took overnight visitors to the White House through an astronomical rite. He would walk them out on the White House lawn and point up into the nighttime sky at a small light-mist beyond the lower left-hand corner of the Great Square of Pegasus. Then, the president would say: “That is the Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun. Now, I think we are small enough. Let’s go to bed.”

One thought on “A KNOW-IT-ALL KNOWS NOTHING”

  1. Awesome truth Pastor Don! When preaching at EMDC I have used this same understanding (minus Einstein and Newton until the next time) to help our ministry understand that cults try to fit their god into a little box, but our knowledge of God comes from the Bible- and it describes Him as infinite. We cannot hope to explain and/or understand Him. How can finite ever hope to comprehend the infinite?

Comments are closed.