The Mind of God
Wikipedia defines the mind as “a set of cognitive faculties including consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment, and memory.” It is what gives humans the faculty of reasoning and thinking. It allows us to have the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation. It “is responsible for processing feelings and emotions.” It leads to our attitudes and actions. It is, in large part, what makes us who we are. As René Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.”
Books and doctoral theses have been written about the human mind, yet “there is no universally agreed” upon definition of what a mind actually is and “what its distinguishing properties are.” Fields as diverse as philosophy, psychology, cognitive science and religion have all searched for the properties and processes of the mind, where it is located in the human anatomy, and how it works. It appears clear, however, that the personality resides in the mind, or as we Christians might say, that is where our characters are found.
With all the mystery that still surrounds the human mind, how can we possibly think we can learn to know anything about the mind of God? It is true that we are created in the image of God, but to compare the finite with the infinite is impossible. The only way we can hope to know anything about the mind of God is if He has revealed that information to us. I believe the Bible, the Word of God, is God’s revelation of His mind to us. As our key text for this week says:
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3 ESV)
As this text indicates, the clearest revelation we have of God and His mind, or His character, is found in Christ. As Ellen G. White said in 1890:
“Christ came to represent the Father. We behold in him the image of the invisible God. He clothed His divinity with humanity, and came to the world that the erroneous ideas Satan had been the means of creating in the minds of men, in regard to the character of God, might be removed…. We are called upon to behold the Lord our Father in the person of his Son…. Through Christ we may comprehend something of him who is glorious in holiness. (Signs of the Times, January 20, 1890)
The object of this series is to learn more of the mind of God by looking at what He has revealed about Himself “at many times and in many ways” through “our fathers by the prophets” and by His Son. This revelation covered centuries, and began, for us humans, with our creation. As we look at creation, and the other ways God has revealed Himself, the first question that I believe has to be answered if we want to understand God’s mind is, “What was He thinking?”