They Think Too Much

I told my wife the other day when she came home with questions about 2,000 years or more of theology, “You are going to think this is strange or ironic coming from me, but sometimes people think too much.”

The ancient Greeks noticed that sometimes we humans have a tendency to think we know more than we do. We act pompous or arrogant because we are smarter, wiser, more knowledgeable than others. They called this hubris. Then they wrote stories about men who had too much of themselves–and how they fell.

The ancient Hebrew people also noticed this. They wrote a proverb, “Pride goeth before a fall.”

We today are prone to take an assumption, maybe based on fact and maybe just myth or tradition or just made up, and then construct a philosophy or theology. Or we take the bait when someone else does that and “know” that we “know the truth.” Not all of us, of course, but far too many.

In the 13th Century, Thomas Aquinas, thought by many to be the Catholic Church’s greatest theologian, wrote a huge work of many volumes called the Summa Theologica. But for the last several years of his life he wrote or even spoke little.

After all that work and thinking, Aquinas said that the to know God in the highest form is to know God as the Unknown.

We can have the hubris of thinking we’ve uncovered the truth of what God is. Or, we can accept the mystery in humility that God is.

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