Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Is there a place for scholarly pursuit of divine truth?

I used to believe that divine truth is given to everyone regardless of their intellectual ability. I was wrong. 

The "wise and learned" are excluded from divine revelation. Says who? The man himself---in fact, such exclusion is praiseworthy.

"At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do." (Luke 10:21)

In fact, as I read through Luke's Gospel, Jesus is portrayed very much like an anarchist. He is against establishment, the rich, the elite, and the learned. His curd relation to the latter group is most fascinating to me.

For eg. "One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.” Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them." (11:45)

If we can extrapolate "experts in the law" as "scholars", then this passage contains so much critique against the practice of meritocratic academia (both in secular and theological studies)! 

It seems that elite thinkers are shunned by Jesus. What does this tell us about academic pursuit and excellence that almost everyone (including churches) so cherish today? Should this diminish the importance of academic theological study, or should this help us to re-frame academic theological learning?

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