the

Why would God make it so complex to understand Christianity?

here's a question for you why would God

make it so complex to understand

Christianity it's not actually my

phrasing on that there's a comment from

a couple videos back where somebody

whose name I can't put on the screen

because they put the f-bomb in it asks

exactly that I think that's a very fair

question given the context of the

conversation that was happening in the

comments section I think it might have

been asked as a pushback against

Christianity but I think that's a

question that a person of faith can

really reasonably ask as well and so I'm

gonna treat it like that's a question

asked in goodwill and kind of game that

out because if I'm to be truthful that's

something that is eating at me a little

bit both during the time in my life when

I was not a Christian or a person of any

belief in God and also during the much

larger percentage of my life when I've

been a person of faith hey-ya kind of

what gives you know I mean if it seems

like if there's a God who wants to be

known really well and he wants people to

worship Him and he's the point of

everything and he's reaching out and

going to all the effort anyway to get

into our space to to know us and to be

known I mean why would you make it easy

why wouldn't you eliminate this point of

contention that everybody's gonna see

stuff differently and argue I mean

doesn't that make God look bad doesn't

that make your followers look bad why

not instead set it up in such a way

where it's just very plainly laid out

and you've got one pretty long but

pretty doable list of descriptors of how

God is and then another list of what

people who follow God are supposed to do

and then you'd have one uniform standard

for how everybody who follows that God

would act and then it would make it much

simpler and it would eliminate these

kind of nagging doubts for people like

me and username that I'm not gonna say

on this channel so here's the deal um I

think the first fair response that

you've got to consider to the question

of

why did God make it so complex to

understand Christianity is the one that

maybe the commenter is driving at maybe

he's not and that's just there is no God

and the fact that it is so complex is

what points out that the whole thing is

a big giant sham and that this is

entirely the work of humans humans who

were using the notion of a God to jockey

for power throughout history and so as a

result they're all gonna format their

theology in ways that are beneficial to

their in-group and punishing to their

out-group and when you project that out

over several thousand years what you get

is all kinds of conflicting stuff and it

just gets impossible to sort through and

that's why it becomes so complex I don't

think that but I wondered that once and

so I think it's only fair to acknowledge

that good and honest people in their

process of faith or not faith might ask

that question and you look at the data

and give that answer but let me throw

out some considerations that assume

there is a God behind this and that's

where I land and that's kind of where my

brain is at and processing out the

question I suppose another reason or a

second reason that that the whole

Christian thing seems so complex and it

is the you know explanation as to why

God would make it that way would just be

that maybe some of us are miss reading

the complexity and it's not actually

that complex I tend to think it's pretty

complex there are a lot of questions to

wrestle through and it seems like an

infinite number of questions to wrestle

through but I know a lot of people good

people not simple people not rubes not

backward people but quality smart

thinking professional well-educated

people who seem to have to use the

religious term for it here some kind of

gift of faith and if there is a God on

the other side of the equation it looks

like from time to time he imparts to an

individual this ability to see stuff and

get stuff and believe stuff and have a

certainty and a clarity on it that that

I just think I'm not wired for I am a

person of faith

but I'm I'm wired to be a skeptic I like

tax questions and poke at things and I

know other religious people who aren't

like that and I don't think they're dumb

for it

I think it's possible that that is the

work of the supernatural

so in regard to the question if God

wants to be known why did he make it so

complex if there's really a god why is

Christianity so complex I suppose

solution number one is there is no God

and the whole thing's a sham and that's

why it's so complicated

I suppose solution number two though

would be maybe it's not as complex as we

think and some of us overthink it okay

I'm gonna be honest I don't think those

are the two best answers so let me

explore a third one

Christianity is a very ancient religion

and I suppose it's possible that the

writing of the Bible and the explanation

of theology was geared first and

foremost to the people at the moments in

history when it was being written and

being revealed I know as I try to work

my way through the Old Testament the New

Testament one of the things I really

have to labor to do is to put myself in

the shoes and the cultural setting in

the in the mindset of that original

audience if I don't bother to take that

extra step and studying the Bible seems

like I have a lot of things fly over my

head or I inflict modern questions or

contemporary social preferences on to

the text and I kind of missed the whole

point so it's also possible that the

reason it's so complex is because this

whole thing was designed to unfold over

time but most of the communication

happened a long time ago in other parts

of the world and what made a lot of

sense to people there maybe is a bit

more challenging and as different

cultures and different people throughout

time interpret that stuff differently we

arrive at different conclusions and as a

result it gets complex I guess that's my

off the top of my head option number

three here possibility number four is

that it's part complex and part not calm

flex and there is a god behind it and

God designed it to be that way let me

see if I can do a better job of

explaining what I'm trying to say here I

think it's possible that the front end

of Christian faith isn't that tricky

there was a an evangelist an

african-american dude who came around to

our church a couple times when I was a

kid I really liked him his name was Sam

and I remember him doing this thing it's

one of the first memories from church he

held up his fingers and he spelled

Christ even like CH are I s T coming

home really isn't so tough and then I

think the point that he was making there

is hey everybody if you're thinking

about becoming a Christian you can just

do that if it seems like the whole

salvation thing isn't that hard if it

seems like it's as simple as you used to

acknowledge some other God as king of

everything or yourself as king of

everything but when you realize who God

is and who Jesus is and you acknowledge

him as king of everything that's kind of

what it is to enter into this this

Christian thing I think that's what he

was saying but then he went on to say

that what happens after that pretty

straightforward pretty easy to

understand beginning point of faith then

what happens next is kind of where the

fun is that there's this infinite list

of questions and this unbound by time

eternal opportunity to wrestle through

all of the important things in existence

and to understand more about the nature

of this infinite being God now I'm using

my own language that's not exactly how

he said it he said it in ways that were

meant to make sense to a kid like me but

I think you get what I'm driving at a

fourth possibility here is that the

reason Christianity seems so complex and

claims to have a God behind it might be

because there really is a God behind it

he makes the the entry point to faith

pretty accessible and pretty

straightforward but that is like the

tippy tip tip tip of the iceberg and

there's this infinite unending iceberg

extending under the surface forever that

really is the bulk of what the Christian

faith is about dwelling in that

exploring

fleshing that out figuring out where you

fit in that much bigger set of questions

so I suppose that's a possibility as

well I want to make sure I'm still

phrasing the question right so feel like

I'm screwing it up okay that username is

spectacular it's it's the f-bomb but

it's like the way you'd expect Liam

Neeson to say it when he's being really

really Irish with his accent I'm not

gonna do it but all you were doing it

right now why would God make it so

complex to understand Christianity okay

this is the one that I think is is my

best shot at trying to explain this when

you talk about theology when you talk

about religion of any kind when you talk

about Christianity what you're talking

about

is an interaction between two parties

right humans like you and me and God the

divine well we understand a lot about

humanity I'm gonna do a Venn diagram

I need circles let me use I'm gonna use

these coasters they're gonna work my

friend Bethany got these for me made

them for me even I don't know so I've

got these trout coasters let me get them

in focus okay

so let's say that this one over here is

the circle that represents the finite

people like you and me with limits and

people who get older and are gonna die

someday and can't know everything even

though we're limited I would put all of

our brains and processing power together

throughout the history of ever we

actually know quite a bit of stuff about

people and about our environment and the

physical world and everything else so it

feels like we can know some things about

us and the finite believe it or not I'm

also really optimistic that we can know

some things about the InFocus Matthew

the in finite that is the stuff of God I

think that we have the ability to reason

to some extent to the nature of an

unlimited ultimate being a being that

there's no higher no greater being that

can be imagined than such a being I

think that we can look at our

environment and deduce things about

whatever force made such an environment

and put such order into things I also

think that specific revelation and I

look I know that right now there are

people who are watching this or like wow

I think things are chaos I don't think

you can look at the natural world and

understand things about God I think

you're being way too optimistic Matt

about your ability to reason to things

about God and I don't trust your Bible

so I don't think it's particularly

reliable either you know what I'm glad

you're here we see this a little bit

differently that's all right the humor

my argument for a minute see if it makes

any sense if you grant these assumptions

so we know stuff about the finite I

think there are multiple ways through

reason through nature through the Bible

that we can know stuff about the

infinite deity God and when we deal with

these two questions separately it's hard

but it's not that hard it's not where

the really difficult complex stuff about

faith happens when it gets hard is when

you do this this is doable this is

doable but this little Venn diagram

shaded area in the middle that's where I

think it gets challenging there's a

natural friction that occurs when you

take something that operates within

boundaries the finite humans and you try

to mingle it with something that

operates with no boundaries

the infinite I mean just think about

taking something that if we just even

acknowledge one of our boundaries time

how do you mush together the story and

the mind of something bound by time with

the story and the mind of something

unbound by time it's one of those basic

defining parameters of our existence and

if you take that away and talk about the

divine whoa these are such different

entities and I think sometimes we like

to imagine a deity who's kind of just

like us and as the same limitation this

is us but it's like I kind of exalted

superhero version but I'm an atheist

toward that kind of deity I'm talking

about the kind that is transcendent well

when you take the finite and the

infinite and you mush them together the

friction starts to happen and I think it

must happen you think about the really

hard questions that have boggled the

minds of the best philosophers and

theologians for all of time that

the toughest questions that maybe even

cause people to choose not to believe in

God that maybe the tough questions that

have caused you if that's where you land

to not believe in God all of those

hardest questions are the overlap

questions they're the they're the shaded

area questions so you get here and we

ask the question how do we resolve God's

sovereignty and unlimitedness with human

freedom

that's a shaded area question that's the

finite bumping up against the infinite

and it's hard how does God become man

how does the infinite take on flesh and

be born and die in the physical world

that's a shaded area question and it's

really hard to understand why does the

God of the Old Testament seem to be okay

with him judging people and even smiting

or killing people when he tells us not

to judge and not to smite well again

we're getting into this shaded area kind

of stuff and so maybe I'm getting in the

weeds a little bit here so what happens

when you just run it live I think an

answer to the question which once again

is why would God make it so complex to

understand Christianity I'm not sure

that was God being a jerk or trying to

make it difficult to see what we would

do or to test us somehow and I don't I

don't think I don't think God had set

things up so that you have to be a

certain degree of fancy intellectual or

super-smart

philosophy type in order to know God or

have a relationship with God I think

instead that complexity is a beautiful

natural necessary byproduct of the

divine the boundless stepping in to the

realm of the finite the bounded and

trying to do something about our

situation and further if if we imagine

or invent a God where these frictions

don't exist because we don't want it to

be complicated or confusing the way

we're going to arrive at that is by

stripping this

in our mind of his authority and power

and other nasai in our brains and where

we don't feel such complexity and don't

feel kind of overwhelmed and intimidated

and coming at these questions but in

doing so we've created a god do isn't

powerful enough to do anything about the

human condition and if that's the case

why have a religion at all why worship

any God at all at that point I think

it's just an exercise in futility and

silliness now I would take it even a

step further not only do I think the

complexity is necessary not only do we

think that I would be skeptical of any

version of religion that didn't have

those necessary complex questions where

the overlap stuff happens between the

finite and the endplate but I'll take it

further and say that I like it at first

I didn't like it

I think I'm somebody who can be

intimidated by things on the front end a

little bit and when I'm a little bit

intimidated by things one of my

knee-jerk reactions is just say this

whole thing is stupid and dumb I lived

in Las Vegas for a while then maybe

there are things about Las Vegas that

are stupid and dumb but when I first

moved there there were a lot of people

my friends associates who really liked

it and they're like no there's a lot of

neat things about this town but because

it was so big and so bright and so

overwhelming for me

my initial knee-jerk reaction was to be

dismissive of it like eyes so that he

let me offer a really clever critique of

why this is dumb but the more I got to

know the town the more I got to see

things about it that were redemptive and

good and even the broken things about it

I came to appreciate for what they were

and and I think we worked the same way

with ideas sometimes the complexity

initially scares us off is almost gross

but when we're around something for a

little while and we start to understand

why there's complexity then the

complexity becomes appealing and

beautiful and inviting and an adventure

and something that you want to tear into

and that you want to sidle up alongside

because the complexity is bigger than

you and even though we don't like it at

first generally speaking we do like

things the

bigger than us it's lonely imagining

that we're the biggest most important

thing so for me not only am i at peace

with that complexity as a necessary

byproduct of the intersection between

the infinite and the finite I've come to

really love it I like the way it it

frames my opinion of myself I like the

way every time I start to think I'm

important or cool or smart or had things

figured out the reality of that

complexity just smacks me back down to I

think a more realistic place for me to

continue to exist as a thinker and as a

person who has relationships and engages

with things in the world so commenter

whose name I continued to refuse to say

I think you've asked a great question

and I'm really grateful that you asked

it and I guess I've said this in the

past few videos but I'll say it one more

time I would encourage you is that too

strong a word I would invite you to

consider leaving some things in the

question box instead of trying to get

everything in the answer box right now

and exploring some of this complexity

and seeing if there might be some merit

to it and something really inviting and

appealing about it

feel like if maybe talked a little bit

too much about all of this stuff but I

just kind of want to do a quick video

where I just turn it on don't edit it

and game it out with you so very excited

as always to hear what you think about

it I like the comment section on this

channel and I really do try to go

through everything even if I don't have

the ability or time to respond to all of

it you make me think and I'm grateful

for that

so today right yep thanks for hanging

out I've got some more completely

different than this stuff coming down

the pike so I'll get back to editing

that right now all right

we'll catch you soon