Rationalism considered itself sure of God’s existence and attached but little value to knowledge of his being. It is as if people had lost all sense of the majesty and grandeur of God. Disregarding all called metaphysical questions, people rushed on to do the will of God in order to do to know and to do it.—(Herman Bavinck Reformed Dogmatics, Vol 2, p 41)
Rationalism give little value to God’s being, they only want God’s will and ethics. That is the downfall of religions without God. The downfall of all pantheism, atheism, liberal theology, because you get to know the will of God, the ethics, but not knowing the God himself. Denying the transcendent God in all these, we will find ourselves floating in an ocean of lostness, and total despair.
This is incredibly similar to why many evangelical Christians preachers’ pastors dived right into the applications of doing the will of God, without understanding first the metaphysical questions of who God is, and what He does, and His calling for us.
Jesus says, no one can come to me except those whom my father called him or her. He also said that our greatest command is to love the Lord with all our hearts and minds.
Mark 12: 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”
How can we rush into doing something for God, without knowing him better first? How can we love him if we don’t know him enough? We can only love him to the extent we know him. And yet, we are inundated with sermons calling us straight to serve God, be bold, have faith in God, etc. etc., without going deep into God first and foremost.
Paul says I pray that you may know him and the love of Christ:
Eph 3: 14 For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, 15 from whom [m]every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner [n]self, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the [o]saints what is the width and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.
Paul prayed with his knees bent, asking that God may grant us strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit that we may be rooted in Christ’s love, and be able to comprehend the width, length, and height and depth of the love of Christ for us!! Which surpasses all understandings.
Paul wants us to know Christ, the love of Christ!
Knowing precedes doing. I believe that! Charismatics church upbringings in me, has caused me to be exposed to all these, but never the depth of the ontology and being of the Trinitarian God, until I am exposed to great reformed preaching’s and now in the seminary. I feel many are short-changed. They rushed into applications of sermons, without knowing the reasons of that application, the motivations. Example: We should go to church planting. Why? Because of Matt 28 the Great Commission. But why the Great commission? Because of whom Jesus is, and what he has done for us. All these…
It’s like we jumped into engineering without understanding the physics of it all.