KNOWLEDGE = a range of data or facts (the database) and the process of collecting and storing those facts leads to ….
INTELLIGENCE = practical and good use of KNOWLEDGE (the software) which leads to …
WISDOM = the INTELLIGENT use of KNOWLEDGE at the best time, in the most appropriate place and in the most compassionate way to benefit the most people. (running the software against the database) which in turn leads to seeking more KNOWLEDGE.
“Wondering” is a word connoting at least three things:
Standing in disbelief
Standing in the question itself
Standing in awe before something
Try letting all three “standings” remain open inside of you.” [R Rohr]
“The truth or falsity of propositions that are entertained with suspended judgement is immutable. What changes rom time to time is the correctness of our judgements about the truth of propositions. When we affirm a proposition that, as entertained, is true, our judgement is correct. It is our judgements that are corrigible and amendable as our knowledge grows and improves.” [Mortime J Adler]
“… one of the more beguiling errors of our times is that a highly developed
intellect is an antidote for social and personal ills.” [C S Lewis]
In Plato’s “Phaedrus” there is a story about Thamus, the king of a great city of Upper Egypt and the introduction of “writing” as a new technology. What follows is a description of how that technology ineluctably eventually works for the benefit and improvement of technology itself, not for the lives of those who believe, that because they use it first, they control it. Few legends are more instructive than this story, as Socrates as he tells it to his friend Phaedrus. It unfolds in the following way: Thamus once entertained the god Theuth, who was the inventor of many things, including number, calculation, geometry, astronomy, and writing. Theuth exhibited his inventions to King Thamus, claiming that they should be made widely known and available to Egyptians. Socrates continues:
“All right. The story I heard* is set in Naucratis in Egypt, where there was one of the ancient gods of Egypt–– the one to whom the bird they call the ‘ibis’ is sacred, whose
name is Theuth. This deity was the inventor of number, d arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy, of games involving draughts and dice––and especially of writing.
The story goes that Thamous expressed himself at length to Theuth about each of the
branches of expertise, both for and against them. It would take a long time to go through all Thamous’ views, but when it was the turn of writing, Theuth said, ‘Your highness, this science will increase the intelligence of the people of Egypt and improve their memories. For this invention is a potion for memory and intelligence.’ But Thamous replied, ‘You are most ingenious, Theuth. But one person has the ability to bring branches of expertise into existence, another to assess the extent to which they will harm or benefit those who use them. The loyalty you feel to writing, as its originator, has just led you to tell me the opposite of its true effect. It will atrophy people’s memories.* Trust in writing will make them remember things by relying on marks made by others, from outside themselves, not on their own inner resources,* and so writing will make the things they have learnt disappear from their minds. Your invention is a potion for jogging the memory, not for remembering. You provide your students with the appearance of intelligence, not real intelligence. Because your students will be widely read, though without any contact with a teacher, they will seem to be men of wide knowledge, when they will usually be ignorant. And this spurious appearance of intelligence will make them difficult company.’ [Phaedrus by Plato] … an illusion of wisdom.
“If Christ was simply a human character, he really was a highly complex and contradictory human character. For he combined exactly the two things that lie at the two extremes of human variation. He was exactly what the man with a delusion never is; he was wise; he was a good judge. What he said was always unexpected; but it was always unexpectedly magnanimous and often unexpectedly moderate.” [G K Chesterton]
“If you give up Christian faith, you pull the right to Christian morality out from under your feet.” [Friedrich Nietzsche] … and when you’ve done that, “This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast – Man’s laws, not God’s – and if you cut them down – and you’re just the man to do it –d’youreally think youcould stand upright in the winds that would blow then? “[Robert Bolt]
Does God command certain things because the things are “right”, or, are certain things “right” because God commanded them?
“God did not give away ownership of the earth, but He did assign the stewardship, management, authority and responsibility of governing it to humanity, “keep it”(shamar), guard and protect it. … [N T Wright]
“represent” means to “present again” or “to exhibit” the image and counterpart of; to act and speak with the authority on behalf of; or to be a substitute or agent for … Genesis 1:27 tells us humans that when one man looks at another he should do a double-take, and think to himself, “for a moment there I thought that was God Himself I was talking to and talking to me” [D Sheets]
There are 52 Old Testament chapters which reveal features and characteristics of “The Temple of God”, there are also 7 scriptures in the New Testament that tell us to look at those features for revelation of our own human architecture, there are 456 scriptures using the word “spirit” and 432 scriptures using the word “soul” in the KJV of the Bible that indicate – “The remarkable fact is that a man, as long as he regarded himself as a creature, interpreted his existence in the image of God, his Creator; but as soon as he started considering himself as a creator, began to interpret his existence merely in the image of his own creation.” [Dr Viktor E Frankl]
“This means that the mistake must be at the root, at the very basis of human thinking in the past centuries. I refer to the prevailing Western view of the world which was first born during the Renaissance and found its political expression from the period of the Enlightenment. It became the basis for government and social science and could be defined as rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the proclaimed and enforced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of everything that exists” [Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, A World Split Apart]
“For something to qualify as news, there has to be:-
(1) anannouncement of an event that has happened;
(2) a larger context, a backstory,within which this makes sense;
(3) a sudden unveiling of the new future that lies ahead; and
(4) a transformation of the present moment, sitting between the event that has happened and the further event that therefore will happen. That is how news works.” [N T Wright]
The poltical battle for a culture is always and inescapably a battle between rival religions. Underneath and behind the mental and religious ideas lies the eternal spiritual war. What is termed “religious wars” really constitutes “spiritual wars fought on religious battlegrounds.” The battle for a religion is always and inescapably a battle between the spiritual forces of “good” and “evil”.
“It seems to be in our nature to focus on how we were wrong over the fact that we are now smarter (as if we cant be works in progress), and we often attach our egos to what we believe. A view is just how you see something. It doesn’t have to define you, and trying to detach from it to gain understanding can be a very good thing.” [Kal Turnbull]
“There is no half-way house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and asked him ‘Are you the son of Bramah?’ he would have said, ‘My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.’ If you had gone to Socrates and asked, ‘Are you
Zeus?’ he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked,
‘Are you Allah?’ he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If
you had asked Confucius, ‘Are you Heaven?’, I think he would have probably replied, ‘Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.’ The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from
that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man.” [C S Lewis]
“If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make no difference what you have chosen instead.” [Thomas More] … “Does it matter to a man dying in a desert by which choice of route he missed the only well ?” [C S Lewis]
The teaching is a negative signal (Mercy – not giving me what I do deserve), alongside a positive signal (Grace – giving me what I don’t deserve), both components of “Love” (an overcoming of separation and desiring the best for), constructively guiding me along a “narrow road” and strengthening my grasp of disciplines (see 2Peter 1:3-5 for a list) required for learning a technique or methodology (a Way to walk on the Way) that , if applied correctly, may assist, (note, assist not ensure), in producing the required result – a Family resemblence. This can also be referred to as “discipleship to Jesus or seeking first the Kingdom of God”.
“Jesus did three things in His own ministry:-
- proclaim the availability of the Kingdom of God to everyone regardless
- teach what life in the Kingdom of God is like
- manifest the presence of the Kingdom of God in events that could not be explained in a natural way.” … The message is not that the Kingdom of God is near but not here yet, it is not that the Kingdom of God is about to come, but it hasn’t come yet. The message is that the Kingdom of God has come to uou, it is now available to anyone who will identfy them self with Christ and become His disciple.” [D Willard – Life in Chrst’s Presence]
The Kingdom of God is like a “Beam of Light in a dark toolshed”.
“I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it. Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, ninety-odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences.” [C S Lewis] In the toolshed, justification is seeing or looking at the beam of light, sanctification is moving into it, so when you are standing in the beam of light (in the Kingdom of God) and looking along the beam of light (from inside the Kingdom of God) you see everything the beam of light exposes, as well as the Source of the light, and you take the light for granted.
Light is not something you see; it’s something you see by.
When you are afraid of God you fear nothing else, when you are not afraid of God you fear everything else.
The intellectualism of the Bible, some of which C S Lewis so aptly discerned and discussed, has yet to be studied to the degree that it deserves. Consider two items:
1) If the Bible is the product of inspiration by an omniscient being, then it follows that it must reflect a wisdom commensurate with such a source.
2) Biblical truths are two-poled and apparently contradictory. They are either meant to teach us something during the reconciliation process or not meant to be reconciled.
“If we understand suffering to be – whenever we are not in control, then we see why some form of suffering is absolutely necessary to teach us how to live beyond the illusion of control and to give that control back to God, and to the flow of Reality” [Bonhoeffer]
God is both Real and Creator of Reality, and all that is in conflict with Reality is necessarily in conflict with Him, too.
Discipleship to Jesus Christ, or “seeking first the Kingdom of God” is the obedient experiencing of a unity of faith, Grace and personal effort which renews the mind and prepares it for receiving a Truth from Sources beyond its control or knowledge that relate us individually and personally to objective and absolute facts and ideas of eternal value, quality and meaning, which it was not possible for isolated or independent minds to grasp.
There is no substitute for – “Time spent with Jesus (devotional Spiritual disciplines) provides and produces a renewal of intelligence and a new way of thinking. This means a transformation of my way of understanding and interpreting, my method and choice of what and actually bringing reality, images and ideas before my mind to think about, my very processes of argument, reasoning(Truth) and imagination(Meaning), my philosophizing and behaviour into Christ’s understanding of my neighbour and my world. I can no longer grasp my world, my “self” and my neighbour in the same way, nor see them in the same light. Every individual disciple of Christ needs to find out the reality and meaning of this metamorphosis in his own personal life. [Jaques Ellul]”
“Unbelief has real consequences in the same way that belief has. You must assume moral responsibility for your belief and your unbelief because both have an enormous impact on the reality of your life. You will be held responsible for your beliefs and you will, equally, be held responsible for your unbelief’s by reality. Belief and unbelief is the bridge between reason and action, you should act, not only on your beliefs but also on your unbelief’s. A healthy skeptic always, in a rational and reasonable way, confirms the substance of his beliefs and his unbelief’s. Rational and reasonable include proven premises with proven results with which true life can be lived. …One of the hardest things to do is to be skeptical about the things in most need of skepticism.” [D Willard]
Paul in Hebrews 2:5-9 – For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified saying, “What is man, that thou are mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crowned him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under His fee. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But we see not yet all things put under Him. But we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace should taste death for every man.
… and John in Revelation 5:6-14 – And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.
.. both think that Jesus is already in charge of the world. [N T Wright p16]
“Beyond the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees does not mean “more of the same, or the same only more intensely, as the Scribes and Pharisees”, it means something different, something deeper something that you can live in reality with, something from and with God. Performance has nothing to do with it, it is all about humbly learning to relate moment by moment to Christ. Do not begin at the question “What do I do and what do I not do?” You can not do what Christ did, you can only “learn” to do what Christ tells you to do, that is Discipleship. if you do begin with what you do and do not do, you will be starting from a condition which leads to “earning” or which leads to legalism and which can not lead to spiritual formation. The motive for “seeking” must be to find Christ first, and then Christ’s will for my life because Christ first loved me and He want’s what is best for me and who I am. What you do and what you don’t do will come as a result of the search; it is not a motive or qualification you satisfy before hand. Failure in our terms is unavoidable. Success in our terms does not depend on you or what you can or can’t do. Success includes failure in our terms. If I concentrate diligently (prayer, study, obedience, the disciplines) on Christ, and seeking Christ, He will do the rest when, where and how He wants it done. “Do not try to do what I tell you to do, try to let Me do it for you. First you will only succeed with the little things but as you learn so I will do greater and greater things in you..” [Jesus]” [Dallas Willard]
The impregnable safety of ‘justification’ and ‘sanctification’ is Jesus Christ Himself, the Person, and what He has done. I am not saved by believing, I only realize that I am saved by believing. It is not my repentance that saves me, my repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Jesus Christ. The danger is to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause. I am put right with God because Jesus died, before anything, Jesus died. And when I turn towards God in repentance and accept what Christ has done, I can instantly be in right relationship with God. This position (“in Christ”) requires me to be responsible and act in obedience to the knowledge that I have been given. The knowledge is personal experience of communion or spiritual relating to Jesus Christ, not head-knowledge.
There is the “Faith OF Jesus Christ” –“There is no salvation possible to us unless Jesus died on Calvary’s cross. Now the death of the Lord Jesus is absolutely unique. It is substitutionary. There is no death like Jesus’ death – this must stand as absolute in our thinking. His substitutionary death in space and time in history on the cross had infinite value because of who He is as God. Thus nothing need be added to the substitutionary value of His death, nor can anything be added. He died once for all.” [Francis Schaeffer] Then there is your “Faith IN Jesus Christ” which must always be personal because unless your faith is IN the “Faith OF Jesus Christ” personally , then God will be nothing to you. Your personal “interpretation”, and mine of the “interpretation by people more well read, closer to the apostolic tradition and definitely holier than you and me” may be right or wrong, but,. “If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God, it will make no difference what you have chosen instead.” [Thomas More] … “Does it matter to a man dying in a desert by which choice of route he missed the only well ?” [C S Lewis]Religion is the imitation of sanctification being attempted prior to justification.
As mentioned previously, – “There is no salvation possible to us unless Jesus died on Calvary’s cross. Now the death of the Lord Jesus is absolutely unique. It is substitutionary. There is no death like Jesus’ death – this must stand as absolute in our thinking. His substitutionary death in space and time in history on the cross had infinite value because of who He is as God. Thus nothing need be added to the substitutionary value of His death, nor can anything be added. He died once for all.” [Francis Schaeffer – True Spirituality page 36-37] – this is the “faith OF Christ“.The difference between faith “IN” Jesus Christ and the faith “OF” Jesus Christ …
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”[Galations 2:16-20 only in the KJV not in the NIV]
C S Lewis, in one of his essays, describes two faiths – FAITH A which leads to FAITH B, both are FAITH, but without FAITH A it is impossible to move to FAITH B. (the disciples journey of sanctification) and says “As soon as we have Faith- A in the existence of God, we are instructed to ask from God Himself the gift of Faith-B.” [Is Theism Important?]
I believe the reason for this is because SIN B has moved us into SIN A and nobody in the condition of SIN A can be aware of either their personal SIN A or SIN B without FAITH B.
FAITH A – personal faith IN FAITH B – faith of Jesus Christ
FAITH B – the faith OF Jesus Christ (the only means of overcoming SIN A and/or SIN B)
SIN A – personal sin
SIN B – collective sin (the FLESH, the WORLD and the DEVIL)
The substance of faith is Jesus Christ Himself. The Person is the power in “faith”.
We do not have faith in Jesus Christ crucified, we have faith in Jesus Christ.
” … he does emphatically believe that man can be convinced by argument; for Revelation. Free will, or moral responsibility of a man is the sublime and perilous liberty that dangles a man between heaven and hell, it is a distinction, not division, between man and God which is the “drama of the soul” a man can distinguish between him “self” and God without dividing himself from God, which in a certain aspect, is the greatest distinction of all.” [G K Chesterton St Thomas p321]
We do not have faith in the Bible, the Gospel or in faith itself; we have faith in Jesus Christ the man, the person. The “treasure in the earthen vessel” is “the relationship with Jesus” which is the gift of “faith”. “God’s Kingdom is His Son in our lives moment by moment and us – ”Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God”. [Eph5:21] Faith is the gift or the result of ongoing interactive, experiential relationship to Jesus Christ. Jesus, Himself is the vision. Visualization — is a right brain activity—it is also a vital characteristic of our “will” leading us, another right brain activity.
CO-INHERENCE – SUBSTITUTION – EXCHANGE – Jesus takes my burden, so I can take someone else’s. [Charles Williams]
Beautiful – have someone take your burden and be free, and choose to take someone else’s burden.
Our predicament is further complicated by the fact that, before we are “IN Christ” we cannot perfect ourselves or even obtain “perfect joy” without “the Grace of God, and He expects some cooperation on our part to:-
1. consent to His supernatural grace, and
2. to put forth effort to perfect the natural abilities He has graced us with
… to deliberately choose His virtues and avoid the vices. Once we have moved “INTO Christ“, where we automatically choose what He wants us to choose (virtues and vices), and because He will provide the strength and power to bring us through the vices He uses to “disciple” us to make improved educated choices, (we cannot make virtues out of the vices, only He can). In other words before we choose to move “INTO Christ“, and the vices pervert and distract us, it is “reward and punishment for sin”, Once we are choosing His virtues intending to move “INTO Christ “it becomes (in His hands) a caring “discipline” for our wisdom, where our weakness becomes His strength.