Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Knowledge

Our culture tends to absolutize knowledge in the category of God. There is a certain seeming validity to this.

Lack of knowledge is often used to oppress and certainly knowledge overall is good. Of course if we move past generalities then the question is less clear.

And we should always move past the general. An overarching picture is of interest but moving deeper in thinking is helpful.

Some knowledge is clearly good to have, some is neutral, some knowledge bad, and some it is unclear. Let me explain neutral and bad knowledge since western cultures have absolutized knowledge.

Bad knowledge is knowledge which is harmful to have. It usually is useless in and of itself and simply a danger to one's heart. You see this most clearly in gossip which is information which is at best useless but has the potential for great harm.

Certain knowledge about others where we have no intent to help with the issues are dangerous to ourselves. You see as Christians we are called to help others.

This is the dangerous state people enter into when they wish to know the problems of others but have no time or interest in helping if it is possible. And this is why the bible condemns gossip. It is a spreading of knowledge which even if true can only be of harm to oneself and relationships.

Neutral knowledge is often simply useless. It seems to have no bearing on anything. A lot of time is spent by many people on wracking up useless knowledge.

I suppose if they enjoy the pursuit of collecting knowledge on topics or trivia as recreation the pursuit has meaning. But many forms of knowledge are simply useless.

Neutral knowledge has a danger if one becomes proud of the useless knowledge. You will see many young pastoral candidates struggle here.

They cannot differentiate between what knowledge is important and what knowledge not. Sometimes they feel proud as they repeat facts which may have no apparent use or are above the comprehension of all listening.

Knowledge is of course a gift from God but as all gifts it is easily twisted by sin. And the point for Christians is to use discernment and not accept simple answers. To think and exercise wisdom in the world.
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