Critical realism

By Dave Henning / July 3, 2015

“Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.”- 1 Corinthians 8:2

Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 12 of The Grave Robber with a discussion of a philosophical science concept known as critical realism.  Critical realism is defined as “the recognition that no matter how much we know, we don’t know everything there is to know.”  Researcher Rolf Smith reports that, while children ask 125 probing questions a day, adults ask only six.  At some point, most adults stop asking questions and start making assumptions.  That’s when our imagination dies.

Pastor Batterson adds that we’re too quick to explain what we don’t understand.  And at the top of that list is God.  But, as Mark observes:

“To know God is to enter the cloud of unknowing- the more you know, the more you know how much you don’t know.”

Mark states that while the words “I can’t” should never come out of our mouths, the words “I don’t know” should be spoken often and with humility:

“Half of faith is learning what we don’t know.  The other half is unlearning what we do know.  And the second half is far more difficult than the first half.”

We never know exactly how, when, or where God will show up.  However, we must be prepared to do something unprecedented, unorthodox, and unconventional.  That’s when miracles happen.

Today’s question: What assumptions have you made about life or God following your vocation loss?  Please share.

Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation, “Z marks the spot”

Tomorrow’s blog: “The drop in the bucket effect”

About the author

Dave Henning


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