Resting on the Promises
It seems astonishing to the layperson that anybody would go to the extremes René Descartes went to simply to discover that he existed. What could be more self-evident to a conscious being than one’s own self-consciousness?
But Descartes was not on a fool’s errand. In a world of sophisticated skepticism, he sought certainty for something that could serve as a foundation for much, much more. He moved from the certitude of self-consciousness to the certitude of the existence of God, no small matter for the doubt-ridden believer. Descartes and others like him understood that to prove the existence of God is prior to affirming the trustworthiness of Scripture and the birth and work of the person of Christ.
The most important certainty we can ever have is the foundational certainty of the existence of God. It was this matter that prompted Jonathan Edwards to declare, “Nothing is more certain than that there must be an unmade and unlimited being”
On this bedrock of certainty rest the promises of that unmade, unlimited Being. On these promises we rest our faith. Doubting served Descartes well, but Edwards knew that, ultimately, it is dubious to doubt the indubitable.
Echo the father of the epileptic boy’s cry: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”
Passages for Further Study