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"Word & Wisdom"

Word and wisdom, God's Word and human interpretation. When the bible speaks about visible and invisible things, then we may consider them the material and immaterial. However, one must be aware that formulas such as s=v × t, that people employ in applied science, are not to be found in the bible. The bible is not a human manual, but a divine one. According to Paul we now see through a dim glass into an enigma, then we will know as we have been known. Therefore all our thinking and actions remain limited, human efforts. But that does not mean that they are not conducive to understanding or unnecessary.

We must make good distinction between the following matters: in the bible there is mention of cooking, but the bible does not teach you to cook; also there are no recipes in it (unless you consider 2 Kings 4. 38, 39 a recipe, which it hardly is). But the Lord Jesus wants to help us and give us strength to live lives to His glory and each other's benefit. If you wish to learn cooking, you must not look for directions in the bible, but you must consult the practical wisdom that the Lord has laid in nature. Some accordingly state that He not only has given us the bible as a book, but also creation as a kind of book! So Paul argues: 'Does not nature teach you that it is an honor for a woman to have long hair, etc.'

Now, as far as my own anthropology and ethical theology is concerned: of course I endeavor to base them as much as possible on the bible. But I also attempt to learn from creation and partly from what others have to say on the subject. As long as things are not in contradiction with Scripture and of course they must have been inspired as much as possible by that.

Although nature teaches us many things that, built up over thousands of years, form the contemporary cultures of this world--from cookery to space technology--for them that love Him and His coming again, it is so that Scripture takes the most important place. Nature for us, in the end, is but a broken and fallen and even accursed creation that not only has lost its primary glory; but of which it is said that Satan is the god of this age and the ruler of this world (cosmos in Greek and universe in Latin; here meant spiritually). So you see that the most modern technologies of the Romans only served to please their god, the devil. The Colosseum for instance in Rome is an architectonic example for arenas up till today, so perfect was that invention. But it served such a lewd pleasure for the masses that one could argue that it was the Romans themselves who were the barbarians and not the peoples that withstood them, such as the Germanic tribes. Our predecessors in the faith, the brothers and sisters of the Smyrna time period (see the second epistle of John in Revelation), were sacrificed there to the entertainment of the citizens of that metropolis. Therefore also we await a new heaven and a new earth.

As far as technologies from cooking to space travel are concerned, these things belong to the things of the world (again cosmos or universe; here meant literally) and they that are married are called upon to occupy themselves with them (1 Cor. 7) to please your partner. But we are also admonished to think on the things that are above, where our Lord is seated and not, in the first place, the things of this earth.

Consider therefore, in your studies, that human knowledge, based on nature, is part of the old, fallen creation and that universities are in the power of the adversary most of the time, in the sphere of influence of the prince of darkness. Also Christian schools and universities do not escape his influence. His thoughts are not unknown to us, says Paul. He does not want us to love one another in all peacefulness, or, as the bible wants us to also, that we consider the good for everybody ahead of time; let alone that we come to worship the Father and the Son, or grow in that. Therefore he causes unrest among brothers and sisters and tries to shoot all his fiery darts at us. But we can stop those with the shield of the panoply of Ephesians 6 and extinguish them.

That God mocks the wisdom of the world, that Paul says in 1 Corinthians. 'He catches the wise in their own wisdom.' We would say, He beats them with their own weapons! And so you can see and hear that the great theories and philosophies follow each other up, while each philosopher considers himself the best, only to end literally in the grave of oblivion. Thinkers tend too much to absolute claims and often go beyond the limits of their science. 'The pattern or schema of this world passes by,' but 'he that lives for Him remains unto eternity.'

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