I have been listening to an RTS course on early Church History. As the emergence of orthodox belief was being discussed, I began to imagine that Biblical Orthodoxy is something like an island rising from the midst of a murky ocean. This ocean represents all merely human thought. Within the dark waters lie the swirling deceptions of fallen humanity's vain philosophies. On every side, Biblical Orthodoxy is surrounded by a sea of errors, heresies, and falsehoods. False faith and false religion cast up their foam on its stony shores. The water is of varying depths, and in some places it is even quite shallow, as mankind has found some aspects of truth through the agency of creation and conscience, along with empirical study and the residual light of reason. Still, the loftiest plateaus of fallen humanity's thought are all below the water line. Only on the island of Biblical Orthodoxy is there saving, soul-altering truth. This island of safety is in plain sight, though none ever come to it unless they have been led. At the center of the island is the fiery volcanic Source of all reality. Truth arises red hot, glowing and untouchable; all-consuming! Like flowing lava, Truth is the outflow of God's self-revelation. As the Truth has interacted with man's watery philosophies, it has shown itself to be solid, unyielding, immovable and unconquerable. The closer we come to its source, the more lucid and dangerous and untouchable and captivating we find it to be. Though we may dive to the utter depths of human philosophy, we find the molten fountain of divine mystery completely impenetrable. We cannot reach down to its deep Source. We cannot explore its hidden recesses.
Thus we find God's Truth in God's Word, like solid lava: firm, reliable, unmoving and open to investigation. And at the very same time we find the God of Truth unsearchably deep and incomprehensible, self-revealing yet uncontainable, bright with mercy yet untouchable. He overflows with flaming streams of glory even as He lays down the enduring bedrock of Truth.
The paradoxes of molten magma show mere seawater to be a common and unimposing thing. Remember this the next time you are bowled over by a thunderous wave at the seashore. And be glad it was not a fierce blast of liquified stone that swept over.