Tozer on the “Self Existent God”
I am not preaching this Sunday because I will be in Minneapolis at a conference. The great thing about having a week where I don’t preach is that I have a moment to catch my breath and get caught up on lot of work like staff evaluations, budget planning, writing reference letters, etc. But getting caught up also means I don’t have a lot of time to write, so I just copy down the writings from the week that I have read that have been meaningful to me. Here are some pericopes from The Knowledge of the Holy, which is the book the staff and I have been reading and discussing during our meetings on Tuesday. I hope that whoever takes the time to read this was as I challenged as I was.
The human mind, being created, has an understandable uneasiness about the Uncreated. We do not find it comfortable to allow for the presence of One who is wholly outside of the circle of our familiar knowledge. We tend to be disquieted by the thought of One who does not account to us for His being, who is responsible to no one, who is self-existent, self dependent and self-sufficient.
Philosophy and science have not always been friendly toward the idea of God, the reason being that they are dedicated to the task of accounting for things and are impatient with anything that refuses to give an account of itself. The philosopher and scientist will admit that there is much that they do not know; but that is quite another thing from admitting that there is something which they can never know, which indeed they have not technique for discovering. To admit that there is One who lies beyond us, who exists outside of all our categories, who will not be dismissed with a name, who will not appear before the bar of our reason, not submit to our curious inquiries: This requires a great deal of humility, more than most of us possess, so we save face by thinking God down to our level, or at least down to where we can manage Him. Yet how He eludes us! For He is everywhere while He is nowhere, for “where” has to do with matter and space, and God is independent of both. He is unaffected by time or motion, is wholly self-dependent and owes nothing to the worlds His hands have made.
Perhaps some sincere but puzzled Christian may at this juncture wish to inquire about the practicality of such concepts as I am trying to set forth here. “What bearing does this have on my life?” he or she may ask. “What possible meaning can the self-existence of God have for me and others like me in a world such as this and int times such as these?
To this I reply that, because we are the handiwork of God, it follows that all our problems and their solutions are theological. Some knowledge of what kind of God it is that operates the universe is indispensable to a sound philosophy of life and sane outlook on the world scene.