Mechanical Ignorance

At York’s National Rail Museum, one can walk beneath a steam locomotive. A special underground walkway allows visitors to inspect the otherwise unseen mechanics of the engine. Little of this can be seen above ground, as it is hidden by the painted metalwork with which we are more familiar. 


Here are found the locomotive’s brake cylinders, the bearing and axle box, the leaf spring and the blast pipe. I’ve tried looking these things up, but my lack of engineering knowledge and inclination render me a poor student of train technicalities. Yet I still admire the engineering without comprehension. Similarly, I cannot explain the principles of internal combustion, but I can still drive a car. Kindly readers may resolve to clarify these things to me after church on Sunday. Within approximately three seconds, the eyes will glaze, the mind cloud and my polite nods will take on a motorised style until such time as I can safely escape from you.

There is much about God and divinity I do not understand. The relationship between God’s sovereign choice and man’s responsibility, for instance. Or the enjoyment of perfect bliss in heaven knowing others are excluded in hell. These paradoxes within our soteriological economy (how salvation works) I do not fathom. Yet God calls us not to become academic theologians, experts or know-alls, but simple and sincere believers:

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. (Job 38:4)

The train works, the car works, the gospel works. That’s good enough for me.