I need to confess something.

My mind is a complex mess of abstraction.

I believe God made me this way. I was shaped in my mother’s womb to a design foreknown before the foundation of the earth had been laid. I conceptualize with abstract processes, and I’m comfortable with that. God has a good purpose in my peculiarities.

However, those that know me best would attest to the fact that my language and conversation is deeply shaped by a quest for definition and preciseness. This isn’t simply the sole opinion of outsiders – as I look into the mirror, I too see this trait.

How do the two co-exist?

I’m not sure.

But I know why they must co-exist.

Abstraction and precision must be unlikely room-mates for one foundational reason – for me to know my God. From this one foundational reason, springs a thousand others that drive me to live in the tension of my own existence.

An abstract view of God may leave room for the inexpressible realities of His glories, but is deficient in seeing, defining and expressing His revealed qualities as are given through His own Word.

The quest to precisely define all of God may help us in seeing and savouring His particular glories, but is deficient for the ability to bask in the wonder and majesty of His holiness – that unique and awesome ‘otherness‘ of God.

My default is abstraction. By God’s grace, He has caused me to learn, and hunger for, precision and definition. Without this hunger, I would slip into a deficient relationship with an abstract, smudged vision of God.

What’s your default position in how you view and relate to God?


Precision and definition?

For further reading and consideration, follow the link over to Desiring God and read through John Piper’s reflections on this important topic.

Live for the Particular Glories of Jesus, Not a Smudge – Desiring God.


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