On the one hand, we have Paul telling us how unfathomable and unsearchable are the ways of God (Rom 11:33), and on the other, he prays that believers will grow in their understanding, and that they will be receptive to the breadth, length, height, and depth of His incredible love (Eph 3:14-19). In another context, we have Jesus telling the disciples plainly about His impending death and resurrection, yet they were not understanding what He was saying (Lk 18:31-34). Later, Jesus challenged other disciples with the reality that His death and resurrection had been revealed with clarity in earlier Scriptures (Lk 24:24-27). Those things that the disciples had not understood about Him had not been understood because of our characteristic foolishness and slowness of heart to believe the word of God, and Jesus called them on it. Further, we are told that God's ways and thoughts are so much higher and beyond our own (Is 55:8-9), but in that same context we are told about the effectiveness and sufficiency of His word (Is 55:10-11). This tells us much about where we should search for truth.
In short, if eternal life is ultimately to know God (Jn 17:3), and we have that life right now (Jn 6:47), then our quest to learn and to know Him does not begin at heaven's gate. It begins the moment we believe. At our new birth we begin a journey of learning and discovery – an adventure in which we can fathom any unfathomable things which His word has revealed. Our knowledge can extend as far as He has communicated, and we need not be lost in speculations and uncertainty when we can instead stand firmly and confidently in the truth He has given us.
So, the game is afoot. Our grand adventure is to learn all we can of God from the eternal truth He has revealed. In our zeal for learning of Him, we must exercise caution only in not going beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6). We are given the creation to examine, and in it we discover many questions we ought to ask. Some answers lie within the creation itself. But many of the questions find their answers only in Scripture. So we must examine both the creation and His word tirelessly and humbly, eagerly receiving what we can know of our Lord, in His design. Our loving Father perhaps plays a bit of hide and seek with us, telling us we can find something of Him in creation (Rom 1:20), and that we should search diligently to find more of Him in His word (2 Tim 2:15, Jn 5:39). He has given of Himself freely and revealed Himself in such a way as to be understood. Of course, we have no means of knowing Him beyond the limits of His revelation, so we must be cautious about speculations that cannot lead to certainty. We cannot know what we cannot know. But we can know what He has designed for us to know. Where the line is between the two is not our concern. Let us simply question and examine until the limits are exhausted. The game is afoot. Let's play it well! The prize is a greater and more certain knowledge of the One who loves us and knows us more than we could ever imagine.
—Dr. Christopher Cone, Th.D, Ph.D, Ph.D, serves as President of Calvary University and as Research Professor of Bible and Theology. He has formerly served in executive and faculty roles at Southern California Seminary as Chief Academic Officer and Research Professor of Bible and Theology, and at Tyndale Theological Seminary as President and Professor of Bible and Theology. He has served in several pastoral roles and has also held teaching positions at the University of North Texas, North Central Texas College, and Southern Bible Institute. He is the author and general editor of more than a dozen books, and his articles are published at http://www.drcone.com. Christopher lives in the Kansas City area with his wife Cathy, and their two daughters, Christiana, and Cara Grace.