Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power. Only in Jesus do all things make sense. Part of this is protological: He created all things. Part of this is ontological: He upholds all things. Part of this is eschatological: All things are being brought together in Him.
This means of necessity that everything and everyone is related to Jesus. There is no square inch of creation that does not bear His imprint, no sunset, no cityscape, no rolling wave, no thought, no logical construct, no line of reasoning that is sound or lovely apart from His sovereign brilliance, creativity, and imagination.
Therefore, truly all reasonable thought, all coherent understanding, all rational discourse, every brilliant discovery is founded upon the presence, authority, and control of King Jesus, to borrow John Frame’s way of organizing God’s relationship to this world.
This means that there is no neutrality in this world. Every thought, every action is done either in obedience to Christ or disobedience, either loyalty or treason to the crown. The Bible teaches that in our sin, we are naturally in rebellion against God and His Christ. Our natural instinct is treason, and therefore, we think and act in accordance to that. The facts on the ground which contradict this autonomous way of life therefore must be ignored, suppressed, and twisted to fit our worldview, to defend our treachery. Fundamentally, therefore, people presuppose their own deity or another, they presuppose that they are in control and must serve themselves or else they submit to another.
But people are complex, and this world is intricate and multifaceted. No finite, fallible creature is ever exhaustively consistent. We are inconsistent as believers or unbelievers, seekers or hardened rebels. Furthermore, it has pleased God to work in and through the complications of this world. He invented, designed, and created the world to be the setting of His story of glory. He hustled this world with treasure and only bothered to give the most basic instructions and directions. It’s His glory to hide stuff, and it’s the glory of His royal image bearers to set out on safari expeditions.
This means that while rational thought and intellectual consistency is a virtue, it is the goal of perfection for which we were created, for which human beings are redeemed from sin and death, and it is the final end to which we are striving. And, just to make the point unmistakably clear, the journey, the search, the safari is part of God’s design. We were not created to know all things immediately, to understand all things spontaneously, or to relate all things together perfectly, harmoniously at the moment of conversion. Sin distorts this, hampers us, entangles us, and tragically waylays us, but even after the Spirit captures us, there is still a struggle, and still treasure to be found, still investigation to occur, still truth to know. And in the meantime, our understanding is necessarily incomplete, the coherence of our worldview is still pocked with holes.
And this is the final point: Everything relates to Christ. Everything comes from Him, coheres in Him, and will ultimately be summed up in Him. But by the wisdom of God this doesn’t happen on some pure plain of existence. It has pleased God for it to occur in this world, through changing diapers and doing homework, taking out the garbage and making love, sinning, repenting, and starting over again, through trial and error, through inventions that fail and theorems that are rejected, through evangelistic triumphs and apologetic face plants, through halting sermons and simple sacraments. This struggle, this engagement with this world, this glory is where truth is worked out, where the beauty of God’s treasure is being hammered out. It is here that we learn things, here that we discover things, here that glory is dug out of the earth, where truth is teased out of the tangles, where goodness bursts out of the grave. The messiness is not a reason to despair, to doubt the search, to run from the fight — all of the messiness, this jungle of human experience is our invitation to the search, our invitation to the game, to the hunt: to argue, to study, to create, to try again, to love again, to dig deeper, to imagine what no eye has seen.