In the course of two ecstatic hours, the philosopher Blaise Pascal, experienced a revelation, an encounter in faith.  He then wrote these words: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob – not the God of philosophers and scholars.   He carried those words with him, sewn in the lining of his doublet, until his death.

This represented a great change in his way of thinking of God.  He turned from the God of philosophers, the God of reason, to the God of Abraham, the God of faith.  Overwhelmed by faith, Pascal no longer knew what to do with the God of the philosophers i.e. with the God who occupies a definite position in a definite system of thought.  He realized the God of Abraham, the God of faith, cannot be captured in system of thought.  God is beyond each and every one of those systems by virtue of his incomprehensible nature.

While reason has great value, it cannot reveal the nature of God.  Employing reason alone as   a means of encountering God is like proving you have a friend whom you will never get to meet. Neither the abstractions of the philosopher nor the anthropomorphisms of simple piety can adequately represent God.  Because of our human way of knowing we employ both to come    to some knowledge of God but singly or together, they remain inadequate.  In a sense God is  an iconoclast, smashing any humanly constructed image of him we might create.

Encountering God in faith is much more a matter of experience than of thinking.  It is not some-thing subject to empirical proof, proof in the scientific sense.  That is why faith cannot really be explained.  Can you explain how chocolate ice cream tastes to someone who has never tasted it?  Can you explain the color and the beauty of a golden autumn day to someone who has been born blind?

To put it simply you cannot understand God.  When it comes to God understanding is not the goal.  The goal is to encounter God in faith and to accept and return his love. The book of Revelation (3: 20) offers an illustration of what encountering God involves. “Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share a meal at that person’s side.”  God takes the initiative but doesn’t force his way in.  He stands and waits to be invited in.