Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes. — 1 Corinthians 8:2-3
Doctoral candidate Mary Lou Bunting was one of the Dean’s teaching assistants at Boston University’s School of Theology back in my glory-filled seminary days. As first year master’s students at the prestigious school, we had much to do in our intro theology class. This included creating and defending our own theology. This joy continues to define me to this day.
I am not alone. You are also creating and defending your own theology. Like every BU student, you are figuring out who God is and how God is. And the truth is this. We honestly don’t know very much—yet.
In explaining and defending her conception of God, Bunting created what she calls Reverent Agnosticism. Here she owns the obvious. She admits not knowing everything.
What makes Bunting’s theology compelling is that even in the unknown—that is agnosticism—she frames her thinking with reverence. Her questions are not detached. They are attached to God.
Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians, impacts Bunting and all of us. The greatest contributor to the New Testament is “chill” on us not knowing all the answers but is clear that those who love God are recognized by God. In other words, we are known by God not through our heads (knowledge) but in our hearts (love).
Know God. How? Love God.
PRAYER: God of the ever-expanding universe, even biblical scholars and theologians run into the phrase, “I don’t know.” Help us all see that this is not an end but an opportunity to reverently see, experience and love You more. Amen.
This 2016 photo is one my greatest treasures because it captures me and one of my greatest teachers, Dr. Robert Neville. Neville was Dean of Boston University’s School of Theology when I was a master’s student (2001-2003). Neville remains an inspiration because, like his colleagues (and Bunting whom I mention), he still teaches me to lean into (and love) my questions.