Pseudo-wisdom (Part 1)

On an introduction of biblical apologetics, that is as we saw in the last post, the reasoning that is under the presupposition that Christ is Holy (1 Peter 3:15), that all the treasures of  wisdom and knowledge are deposited in in Him (Col 2:3), and that we are either for Him or against Him (this includes our reasoning) {Matthew 12:30} . And having in mind the nature of His Word:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)

knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

We need to be able to recognize how not to think and do apologetics. We must recognize the distinction between Godly wisdom/knowledge  (or what James calls the wisdom from above {James 3:17}), and Worldly wisdom/knowledge, which according to the Apostle Paul, is founded on worldly principles (Col 2:8), that it is wisdom/knowledge that is falsely so called (1 Tim 6:20), because it is exalted against the knowledge of God (2 Cor 10:5). James calls this worldly knowledge/wisdom earthly, unspiritual, and demonic (James 3:15).

The reason we need to make this distinction is because the scripture contrasts this kind of Wisdom and Knowledge against each other. This is why we need to recognize where we are standing when we go into everyday life, much less apologetics. We are to oppose this “Pseudowisdom” or “Wisdom falsely so called”  by taking every thought captive to the knowledge and wisdom revealed to us by Christ in the Scriptures.

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, (2 Cor 10:5)

Pastor and Theologian Cornelius Van Til called this “Thinking God’s thoughts after Him”. That is, thinking according to that which has been revealed to us by God in the Scriptures, “which are for us, and our children forever”

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

This is not something we can do on our own. This is something that relies on our being born again by the Holy Spirit, which every Christian has the gift of (John 14:16-18). Those of us who belong to Christ, and have been united with Him are now being sanctified in the truth (John 17:16,19). This all happens as a result of God’s grace and mercy (1 Peter 1:3).

This is contrasted against those who have not been born again, in which we all once walked, and in what unbelievers now walk, that is, according to the prince of this world, the Satan  (Ephesians 2:2) If it were not for God our desire would simply be following the desires of our corrupt flesh and mind (Ephesians 2:3). The modus operandi of non-believers (the unregenerate) are to carry out the will of their father the devil, just as Jesus pointed out:

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

This kind of language is very strong, and can be absolutely horrifying. But we must realize what we are up against. Clearly, The apostles and Jesus used this kind of language about nonbelievers, and to gaurd against  these false teachers who would show up in the Church like ravenous wolves to stir up the sheep. (John 10:1; Matthew 7:15)

This is not to say that everyone who starts teaching false things should be marked as unbelievers. The case was for Peter who fell into false teaching for a time, but was restored after he was Rebuked by Paul (Galatians 2:11-15). None of us are above fault, and we all are very capable of falling into false teaching, but ultimately, it is God  who will keep us until the day of Christ Jesus ( Phil 1:6; Col 1:8), those of us who have been given His grace, through faith, which isn’t from ourselves, but a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8) and it is our salvation which is being guarded through God’s power (1 Peter 1:5).

More on this in Part 2

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Pseudo-wisdom (Part 1)”

  1. I think there is a great deal of confusion about Biblical attacks on “worldly” wisdom, because in the contemporary period, knowledge and wisdom are often understood to be more or less synonymous with just understanding the world as it really is, or trying to figure it out. Knowledge and wisdom in this sense seems perfectly consistent with what the Biblical writers wanted for themselves and others. It seems much more plausible to me that the wisdom and knowledge of the “world,” in the Biblical text, has a lot more to do with values and expectations, e.g. worldly wisdom might say that loving one’s enemies is foolish. But is there any reason to think the New Testament authors were opposed to, say, having grounds for one’s religious belief? I think this is quite implausible, and a fairly anachronistic way to read the text.

  2. Resequitur Says:

    You said:

    “I think there is a great deal of confusion about Biblical attacks on “worldly” wisdom, because in the contemporary period, knowledge and wisdom are often understood to be more or less synonymous with just understanding the world as it really is, or trying to figure it out. ”

    Res says:
    Yes, but the question that arises, is by what authority are we trying to understand the world as it really is?

    Sure there are many ways men go about understanding these things, all of which, I believe, are tools of reasoning and predication given to us as His creatures to know the creation that the Triune God of Scriptures made.

    The problem arises is when we try to reason upon our own terms and after our own traditions, that run contrary to reality. Which is that the Triune God of the Scriptures made the universe, and all things are created by Him. It is in Him that we live and move and have our very being.

    As Creator He has revealed Himself to us, in terms of creating the world around us, you and I, and in terms of a covenant, which was broken by Adam according to Scriptures. And it is for this very reason we are in enmity with Him, and must reason according to His terms in the Scripture, in order to understand anything intelligibly at all. Otherwise we remain an enemy of His Holiness, as we’ve spurned Him. And His judgment is manifest in us not bowing the knee to Him, but instead exchanging the truth of the world He has revealed, for the lie that we can reason on our own terms.

    You also said:

    “It seems much more plausible to me that the wisdom and knowledge of the “world,” in the Biblical text, has a lot more to do with values and expectations, e.g. worldly wisdom might say that loving one’s enemies is foolish. ”

    Res answers:

    No, the reasoning of the world is that kind of reasoning which tries to disconnect itself from the purpose for which it was made. The purpose for reason in this case is to glorify God, and to acknowledge Him in all of it’s use by the person using it. But due to sin, reasoning becomes a moral issue. Meaning, that the man that doesn’t Love God with all his mind like He commanded (Matthew 22:37) not only is this man sinning, but he is also not going to be able to reason intelligibly. He will know things, but he will not be able to know thing as they really are. Because it is just like I’ve explained in this blog post.

    You said further:

    “But is there any reason to think the New Testament authors were opposed to, say, having grounds for one’s religious belief? I think this is quite implausible, and a fairly anachronistic way to read the text.”

    And I’m not quite sure about what you are saying here. I may be wrong, and feel free to correct me, but it seems to me that you are saying that you have no reason to believe that The Apostles were opposed to anyone with a so called “basis of belief” that was contrary to Christianity, and are accusing me of reading the text in an anachronistic manner. Now if this is what you are indeed saying, I would tell you to read Acts 17. Read the whole chapters of what I quoted. Read Romans 1, which tells us that all men are left ἀναπολόγητος (Anapologetos) which literally means inexcusable or without excuse.

    Thank you very much for your comments, I wasn’t expecting any, as this is more for teaching and discussion. If you would like to discuss this we can more on the Choosinghats site room. which can be found here:

    http://www.wsirc.com/?username=CHFB_******&server=knox.genevairc.net%3A6667&channel=%23choosinghats&autojoin=true&color=%23C0C0C0&dark=false

    Come in pick a nick and look for “Resby”.

  3. Nice article bro :-). I’m a reformed Christian and very new to this blogging thing. Could you message me or follow me and help me out if you could be so gracious.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: