Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Hard Work

Dave Bish writes about gaining wisdom:
I hear Andy Arscott - with decades behind him say that. And it hurts. It hurts to young activist people. (I might be nearly 34 and old in my student context but really I think I'm fairly young.) Young activists aka evangelicals. Yes us. I want it. I want it now. I want things to be black and white. Clear cut. And happening, now.

And it doesn't always work like that.

Yet as Paul writes to his protege Timothy (I'm riffing here on 2 Timothy 2) he doesn't indulge my urgency. He speaks to his spiritual son and calls for him to reflect on things and trust that the LORD will give him understanding.

You can't rush REFLECTION. Look in the mirror quickly, walk away and you forget what you look like.

As GK Beale observes Paul's letter is wisdom literature. It alludes to Proverbs. Father to son, entrusting yourself to the LORD that he may give the grace of understanding. There are images to chew on - with fairly obvious messages about endurance followed by reigning....but it'll take divine-understanding not just Tim-understanding to know things.
I think it is that last line where Dave finally begins to get the picture, but he still misses by a bit. He is right that the beginning of wisdom is in reliance on the divine. But understanding is not necessarily then end game - truth is, and that is something different.

The world is full of people seeking to better formulate the proclamation of "the gospel." That is to understand it better and better, and therefore be able to declare it better and better. But the fact of the matter is, we don;t need more understanding of the gospel, we need its truth to be more evident. I have heard awful declarations of the gospel from people whose lives made its truth so evident that the declaration did not matter.

Proverbs tells us that wisdom begins in fear of the Lord. Genuine fear of the Lord is about us and our lives, not merely perspective or thought. Truth is not merely an exercise in reason, it is an exercise in evidence. The most eloquent lawyer in the world cannot overcome a lack of evidence in front of a court. Real wisdom accumulates evidence. We are the evidence of Christ's truth.


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