With Heart and Mind

by Dale Beaver

I am grateful to those of you who have communicated to me the impact that this current subject matter is having upon you. I don’t know about you, but I am always challenged by a deeper personal study of theology. It is revitalizing spiritually to us all, but it is also sobering. I am always reminded of how we live in a world that is solely motivated by emotions. Pausing to truly think about and “know” God is almost exhausting in a world where we mostly feel our way through. How very little we engage our minds when it comes to the contemplation of God. Unable to know Him completely, we surrender the opportunity to know Him truly. This series is correcting that application, I pray.


This weekend we consider the omniscience of God—the knowledge of God. Does God know it all? And what does that mean for the human experience? 


In his book Systematic Theology, Louis Berkhof gives us some guidance on the extent of Divine Omniscience:


The knowledge of God is not only perfect in kind, but also in its inclusiveness. It is called omniscience, because it is all-comprehensive. In order to promote a proper estimate of it, we may particularize as follows: God knows Himself and in Himself all things that come from Him (internal knowledge). He knows all things as they actually come to pass, past, present, and future, and knows them in their real relations. He knows the hidden essence of things, to which the knowledge of man cannot penetrate. He sees not as man sees, who observes only the outward manifestations of life, but penetrates to the depths of the human heart. Moreover, He knows what is possible as well as what is actual; all things that might occur under certain circumstances are present to His mind. The omniscience of God is clearly taught in several passages of Scripture. He is perfect in knowledge, Job 37:16, looketh not on outward appearance but on the heart, I Sam. 16:7; I Chron. 28:9,17; Ps. 139:1-4; Jer. 17:10, observes the ways of men, Deut. 2:7; Job 23:10; 24:23; 31:4; Ps. 1:6; 119:168, knows the place of their habitation, Ps. 33:13, and the days of their life, Ps. 37:18. This doctrine of the knowledge of God must be maintained over against all pantheistic tendencies to represent God as the unconscious ground of the phenomenal world, and of those who, like Marcion, Socinus and all who believe in a finite God, ascribe to Him only a limited knowledge.