Knowledge for Knowledge's Sake

My point yesterday leads me to discuss this.

However, I will try not to repeat anything that Sam wrote on this, but I'm sure I will. I have no original ideas. He's going through my favorite devotional book of all time, Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ. I keep a copy of it in my car at all times. I read it and was never the same. I think it is the first book that shook my comfortable American Christian beliefs and made them more radical. Most are just ripped off of historical church figures like my cats' names, Luther, August (who is awol), Calvin, Joanie, Wesley, and Francis. I want to use them as an educational tool to teach my children church history. Something that the modern American church seems to ignore. But I digress.

Lately, I could be accused of emphasizing knowledge too much. I have encouraged the church to teach all trainable laymen a working knowledge of Greek. I have encouraged sharing your beliefs in order that they may be refined. I believe strongly in the believers in the church having a knowledge of the Scriptures equal to or superior to the knowledge that people trained for the ministry have. (I'm not saying there aren't lay people out there who have attained this, but they seem to be few and far between.) The church needs to make educating the believers a priority.

Today, I want to make sure that we keep knowledge in perspective. If I had to choose a group of loving, ignorant believers or a group of educated, stale believers, I would choose to be part of the loving, ignorant believers any day of the week. The kicker is the fact that we don't have to choose. We can be loving and educated at the same time. They aren't at odds with one another. They actually seem to be two components of a life dedicated to following Christ.

Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:3-11:

"His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitul in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you."

I want to be a participant of the divine nature. I want to never stumble. I want to be in the eternal kingdom.

I read the Message and it uses the word "complement" instead of "support". After a little further research I found that the KJV uses the word "add," the NASB uses "supply," the NLT also used the word "add."

Here is a word study on the Greek word. It talks about why "add" is not the best translation of the word and gives a lot of great insights. I love word studies, especially when I don't have to do them.

I came up with this illustration (probably not original). Imagine a painting. The base paint is faith. A painting isn't beautiful with just one coat. Nobody is going to think that it's painter is a master. But add another color and another - add goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, and mutual affection, and you will start to catch people's eyes. They will begin to wonder what wonderful hand created such a beautiful painting. Top it all off with love, and it will be a masterpiece worthy only of the creator of the universe. We need to be glimpses to the world of God's intention for his creation. By clothing ourselves in all of those things, we are "participants of the divine nature," we join him in his work of redeeming the world.


My wife says that I'm the only one that hates pictures. I was at a wedding last weekend and the whole thing is the bride and groom posing for pictures. At the reception, it is moving from one pose to the next. I would love to go to a wedding that isn't pictures but worried about creating memories. No cameras allowed.

Watch out for potholes.