Esther Meek's Longing to Know Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Anything in the world even with proper knowledge can fail to work perfectly but that doesn't suggest that mankind cannot know the matter fully or understand it with confidence (Meek, 2003).

Knowing anything according to Meek, particularly knowing God is like knowing any ordinary person close to us; knowing God is like knowing someone trustworthy, having confidence in someone trustworthy. This is another primary theme prevalent throughout Meek's work. Meek claims throughout her work that human beings should aspire to know someone or something including God with confidence. She suggests that "there are aspects of human knowing that cannot be put into words, as you will see" (Meek, p. 43). But Meek also suggests that "this is as true about knowing auto mechanics as it is about knowing God" (Meek, 43; Pierson, 2005). One can only know their auto mechanic so well; a well know relationship with one's auto mechanic is as much based on faith and principle as actually knowing the individual will do a decent job.

Meek suggests that when it comes to God people don't need to be "mystical" but rather can "acknowledge and describe beyond words aspects" of God in a helpful an deconstructive way (Meek, p. 43; Pierson, 2005). Meek further postulates that any non-rational method of knowing to access God is "dangerous and damaging" (Meek, p. 43) further emphasizing the need for humans to take a rational approach to understanding and knowledge.

Meek focuses on the idea of understanding God as an auto mechanic in multiple portions of her book, in fact ending almost all of her chapters with a section that talks about knowing God and auto mechanics (Pierson, 2005). The point here is that the act of knowing one's auto mechanic from an epistemological perspective is exactly the same as understanding or the act of "knowing" and understanding God (Pierson, 2005). Both acts are rational and require rational thought processes and skills whereby people express beliefs rationally and with confidence. True belief according to Meek whether belief of the theoretical or mystical or of everyday occurrences is based on rational assumptions or the notion of 'rationality" (Pierson, 2005).


In her work Longing to Know and the Complexities of Knowing God Meek asserts that all there is to know about God and the world people can conclude rationally through confidence and skills acquisition. Meek suggests that through practice and refinement people can gain the confidence necessary to know all there is to know about God and other in a rational manner. It is non-rational thinking according to Meek that results in disillusionment and chaos, and is in essence the foundation for many contemporary or postmodern thought processes.

Meek asserts throughout her work that to know God is much like knowing ones auto mechanic. There are certain rational principles or confidence based assumptions one makes when selecting an automatic and placing their faith in them. Faith according to Meek is a very important principle. Meek states in her work that "we ought to be able to see by now that faith is a necessary ingredient of every single act of knowing, whether of auto mechanics or of God, whether in moments of recognition or in moments of resolve" (Meek, pp. 173-174; Pierson, 2005).

Meek asserts that mankind should submit themselves to the pattern they have shaped or recognized and chosen through confidence and learning (Meek, 2003). Doing so results in rational though processes that help making understand the world around him an his or her role in the world. To survive and in essence to thrive mankind must sustain themselves based on certain patterns they discern like the patterns one discerns from the magic eye. They must do so with confidence and assertion, which suggests a rational approach to living and which in essence sustains our very existence through rational thinking or though processes.

At best one may describe Meek as a Christian practicalist, who sees things the way they are and concludes that faith-based practices grounded in confidence and rational thinking are all that is necessary for mankind to understand God and the world around them.


Meek, Esther L. "Longing to Know and the Complexities of Knowing God." 31:3(2004-05): 29-

Phillips, S. (2005). "Review of Esther Meek's Longing to Know." Common Grounds Online,

Learning & Living in the Christian Story, Available:

Pierson, G.N. (2005). "Redeeming everyday experience: Reflections on biblical reality."…

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