The Art of the Unknown

As a PhD student looking at a career doing research in one manner or another, the unknown is something that I seem to constantly compete against, trying to reduce what is unknown. However, there is this interesting paradox in research, the more you know and uncover the unknown, the unknown seems to become vaster in a never-ending network. As I have gone further in my schooling, this has become a little how I view scripture and God, the more we learn, the more we realize that we don’t have the full picture.

What I have had to learn is that is okay.

When I was learning about Muslim and Christian relations and how their theologies interact, Carl Madearis loaned me a book about a Christian living in an Arab country during the Arab Spring. The author talked about he has the belief that if God wanted to create scripture that was a crystal-clear set of rules that he failed miserably, but he doesn’t believe God is imperfect so this must have not been his intention. I have grown more attatched to this belief as time has gone on, as humans are naturally created with curiosity which has driven us to great discover (for better or worse). I believe we learn best from having a general set of guidelines and life lessons (which is a good way to look at the Bible I feel) but having that unknown for us to conquer. Learning how to apply, adapt, and interpret how the existing knowledge applies to the unknown or do we need to rethink something.

Old problems take new form, new problems can use existing knowledge, and sometimes new knowledge must be synthesized from the old. Whatever unknown we are facing in our lives will become known, and it doesn’t feel good to hear but there will be more unknown after that as well. Using the community and tools that we have learned from Christ will drive through those though and give us knowledge to pass on to others who have their unknown, thus spreading the love and knowledge of Jesus.

Sam Jacobs

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