Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love”

In his book, Crazy Loveauthor and pastor Francis Chan writes at pages 31-32:

“Not being able to fully understand God is frustrating, but it is ridiculous for us to think we have the right to limit God to something we are capable of comprehending. What a stunted, insignificant god that would be! If my mind is the size of a soda can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop into my little can. God is so much bigger, so far beyond our time-encased, air/food/sleep-dependent lives.”
This is all fine and dandy, and I fully agree. But does the same argument not therefore rationally extend to an argument that understanding and relating to God cannot be fully captured by one book (the Bible), and by one tradition (Christianity)? By saying that one tradition and one tome fully captures all that God is and thus provides a solitary way to relate to God, we clearly declare that ALL of God can thus be known. This is the big problem I have with Christianity as I have experienced it.

The frustrating thing about books like Chan’s is that they use the Bible itself to justify or validate its own representations. This is the literary equivalent of using a word to define itself. For me to be able to understand and appreciate the arguments presented by the Bible, a book that has transmogrified through millennia from original fragmented texts in ancient tongues (after thousands of years of unwritten oral tradition), those arguments must be independently verifiable either by process of logic or by independent resource testimony. And many authors like Chan focus on soft issues that have to be “experienced” like worship andadoration, and disregard more challenging issues like understanding.

I don’t mean to be glib. But Chan’s argument that essentially goes, “Who do you think you are that you should try and understand?” seems to attempt to bury intellectualism under a pile of mystical charism. I don’t pretend to think that God can be fully understood or processed by our frail human limitations. To the contrary, I think that what God is is far broader than what we can think, imagine, relate to, or encapsulate within one human tradition.
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