A Thanksgiving meal for the mind and soul
The Old Testament Biblical concept of education can and should be the church’s gift to a declining Western culture. Instead of merely mimicking our post-modern, post-Christian culture, we must reform according to the Word of God and once again focus on the concept of Wisdom. Consider this assessment of James Crenshaw on the education of ancient Hebrews.
“A fool is one that is morally corrupt rather than intellectually deficient underlies this distinction between knowledge and wisdom. A person could be both knowledgeable and foolish, but no one could be wise and foolish too. Wisdom consists of judicious use of information to enrich life. The mere gathering of information, however valuable, did not make a person wise, for the truly learned individual gave the teachings flesh and blood. Controlling the passions—anger, lust, envy, appetite—and mastering the tongue—avoiding gossip and slander, learning eloquence and timing—demanding far more discipline than merely accumulating facts and storing them in the brain.” (p.152) Crenshaw, James L. Education in Ancient Israel: Across the Deadening Silence. New York: Doubleday. 1998.
Why should we be surprised by the corruption on Wall Street, corporate headquarters, and our political leaders? Each passing day brings deeper revelations of corruption, greed and moral depravity. We should not be surprised, but rather outraged. Our culture and our educational systems have created technically proficient professionals, who are “men without chests” as C.S. Lewis puts it. Why should we expect them to act virtuous, when they are rewarded so bountifully for greed and corrupt practices? They are knowledgeable, but foolish.
The unfortunate aspect of all this, is that our post-modern churches are working hard, not to reform and bring virtue and wisdom, but rather to mimick a culture of corruption. We apply business theories of pragmatism and efficiency looking for results of numerical growth and more money, all for the excuse of the glory of God. Who is truly being glorified? We market the church, sell the gospel, and advertise the smiling faces of our pastors. Who is being glorified? We sacrifice truth and biblical virtue at the altar relevancy, mimicking political correctness. Who is being glorified?
Where is the gospel of Jesus Christ in all of this? Is the gospel a mere commodity to sell, competing with all other philosopies of the day?
It is time to reconsider Biblical truth, wisdom and contentment over the modern “christianized” hype of wealth, professionalism and foundationless “happiness”. Wisdom, based in Biblical truth, united with virtue and objective beauty can be the church’s gift to a dying culture once again.
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