It’s perhaps foolish to present three posts on the same subject within eight days, but so far I’ve been unable to deliver the baby. Last Monday: “An omniscient God is not impressed with the size of our intellect” Thursday: “What if our approach to following Jesus is fueled by the world’s idea of wisdom?” And today I wonder still whether we have chosen a worldly method to pursue the King of Heaven.
The spirit of this age respects knowledge. It’s a given. Knowledge trumps ignorance. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is self-authenticating. When we bring the spirit of this age to our study of Scripture we emphasize the texts which serve the value of knowledge. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge . . .” How many books have opened with Hosea 4:6 as a call to study?
We have loved knowledge since the Garden of Eden. Perhaps we have loved knowledge more than we have loved our Creator. In our day the western church presents a view of discipleship based upon ever-increasing knowledge, and Christianity becomes a subject to be mastered. As a result those who are smartest become the best disciples. The spirit of this present age tells us knowledge is good because it is knowledge. But what if the smartest among us know nothing of love?
Yet woven into the fabric of the Biblical witness is the still small voice of relationship. It warns of the dangers of knowledge. “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” comes the whisper. Later on the voice grows: "Where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” We discover the voice coming from Paul’s prayer closet interceding on our behalf, “I pray that you . . . may have power . . . to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Perhaps we can learn from Paul--one of the greatest minds in history--that knowledge can never drive us to love.
Will you join me? I’ll continue meditating as the week goes on: what if true knowledge grows from love, and what if apart from love knowledge cannot be true?