Van Til reminds us that our life as creatures is full of mystery, both regarding God and the world he has created. I found this article a small reminder that it’s OK to say “I don’t know.”
Here is an excerpt. I’m not sure whether the scientist quoted is being intentionally ironic or is blinded by his own arrogance.
Peter G. Wolynes, a professor of chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, thinks he essentially solved the glass problem two decades ago based on ideas of what glass would look like if cooled infinitely slowly. “I think we have a very good constructive theory of that these days,” Dr. Wolynes said. “Many people tell me this is very contentious. I disagree violently with them.”
Little mysteries, like our fundamental ignorance concerning the nature of glass, are a reminder that our world is designed by an incomprehensible God. We can confidently proclaim “I don’t know” because he alone understands all things perfectly, and that perfect knowledge grounds and secures our imperfect knowledge. So here is a quote from Van Til:
It is exceedingly dangerous to confuse the orthodox concept of the incomprehensibility of God with the ultimate mysteriousness of the universe as held by modern thought. Modern thought in general, and modern logic in particular, holds . . . that God is, at most, an aspect of Reality as a whole. Hence, God is himself surrounded by darkness or mystery, just as man is surrounded by darkness or mystery. In other words, modern thought believes in an ultimate irrationalism, while Christianity believes in an ultimate rationality. It is difficult to think of two types of thought that are more radically opposed to one another. It is the most fundamental antithesis conceivable in the field of knowledge. . . . The very foundation of all Christian theology is removed if the concept of the ultimate rationality of God be given up.(Introduction to Systematic Theology: Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1995, p. 13).