Certainty provides comfort. And, some types of Wisdom seem to provide certainty. But, do they really?
“Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”. (I Corinthians 3:18-19, NIV)
Paul is saying that having conventional wisdom may be an obstacle to having true wisdom. One of the great paradoxes of intellectual life is that Christianity can seem like intellectual suicide, accepting by faith things that fall outside of normal, observable criteria. But here are a couple of things for you to think about:
First, ALL intellectual positions about certain things require leaps of faith, whether scientific or faith-based. As soon as you move from certainty to assumption, you enter the realm of faith. It’s fascinating to me how many people seem willing to die on a scientific hill, when they have no more actual certainty of the wisdom of their position than I do of mine. Let me challenge you a bit and ask about the most obvious examples:
1. “Big Bang” proponents, can you give me any real proof about the way the universe originated, since you couldn’t observe or record it? Science has developed a set of assumptions to guide their thinking, but there’s no absolute proof of origin. Have you considered that your scientific position requires some major leaps of faith? Doesn’t “Big Bang” require every bit as much faith in the unknown that creation does? Maybe even more, since it depends on random chance rather than design!
2. I’m also interested in having folks who are sure about evolution give me proof without making any assumptions. What certainty is there that the current complexity of life developed from random events? That it all came together over millions of years, rather than from creation? The laws of probability suggest it would take more time to generate randomly than is scientifically possible, and yet many subscribe to it as if it were scientific fact.
Not Just Science: Life or Death
And, 3: I would like to hear from those who feel confident that abortion is merely a woman’s reproductive right. Please explain how you “know” when the fetus becomes a life… I have said that I’m pro-choice if a baby in the womb is just cells. But I’m against ending a human life once it has started. However, I have yet to hear the definitive explanation from the Pro-Choice side about exactly when a fetus becomes a living soul. If it’s just part of a woman’s body, then it’s truly her right to get rid of it, like a fingernail or a wart.
But if it’s a life, then ending it is morally wrong. It’s only assumption–not science– that “justifies” the decision to terminate it, because science doesn’t know. They can’t prove with certainty that a baby isn’t a soul at conception. Most folks would agree that when a fetus becomes a living soul, then it is protected by moral law. Since “Pro-choice” proponents cannot empirically demonstrate exactly when that happens, they have to act on assumption rather than certainty.
So Many Questions
The law certainly frowns upon killing a newborn baby. But it gets pretty murky when you precede the birth event by even just a little. The law has in some cases arbitrarily assumed that a fetus is not considered viable until 20 weeks, but how do they know for sure? What if it becomes a soul at TEN weeks? At heartbeat? At conception? Who knows? Do you know? Are you sure? But any abortions after that point would be murder… I’m not saying “I’m right–they’re wrong”, but I am saying that, in the end, anyone who chooses abortion HAS to have as much faith about their position as I do about mine.
The wisdom of the world is saying, “go ahead and terminate full-term babies”, which is the logical extension of their assumptions. But if that’s wrong, then terminating a fetus also becomes wrong at some point. The question is, when do we have certainty?
And according to this verse, holding fast to this world’s wisdom may keep someone from finding God’s. In Hebrews it says that it is impossible to please God without faith. In the biblical view of things, faith begets wisdom, not the other way around. God rewards those who come to Him in faith with true wisdom. Earthly wisdom is its own reward. Heavenly wisdom is directed towards, well, HEAVEN. Don’t deceive yourself: become foolish.
Some of us demand to see the proof with our own eyes,
And point to scientific evidence to make us wise.
We use empirical proof to see some things that give us certainty,
And trust that we will grow to be superior intellectually…
God provides his wisdom, but it is another kind.
He asks us to depend on faith; to see where we are blind,
The evidence that is not seen, or based on something “school-ish”:
He asks us to believe in Him when others call us foolish.
Academics scoff at faith. They even have the gumption
To ridicule belief as something based on mere assumption!
But even science makes assumptions everywhere you turn,
And there are leaps of faith required no matter what you learn.
So in that place where evidence ends–perhaps I’m kinda dense–
Having faith in “nothing” doesn’t make intellectual sense.
So I agree with Paul, and I will read his words again:
The “foolishness” of God is wiser than the wisest men…
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