“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. ” Donald Rumsfield (Secretary of Defence, 2002)
Rumsfield was borrowing ideas used frequently by NASA and some psychologists. “Known Knowns” also make good theology.
One of the major themes of 1 John 5, is to “know:”
- 1 Jn. 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.
- 1 Jn. 5:15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
- Jn. 5:18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him.
- Jn. 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
- Jn. 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
The Meaning of to Know in the New Testament
Ten Things We Know (I John 5: 14-21)
- We have this confidence in Him
- If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
- And if we know that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask,
we know that what we have asked him for is ours.
- If anyone sees his brother sinning if the sin is not deadly,
he should pray to God and He will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly.
- There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray.
All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.
- We know that anyone begotten by God does not sin;
- The one begotten by God he protects and the Evil One cannot touch him.
- We know that we belong to God,
- The whole world is under the power of the Evil One.
- Know that the Son of God has come and has given us discernment to know the one who is true. And we are in the one who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
In Christian theology, the mysteries and unknowns occasionally feel as though they outweigh what we don’t know.
The good news is we KNOW that we KNOW. No need to be surprised!