Many years ago, a friend of mine gave me a book to read named Sophie’s World. It was a novel, but one where the protagonist visited different parts of the world, and met different philosophers and deep thinkers in history.
I discovered a fascinating world with different ways of thinking about life’s big questions. Perhaps my friend was hoping I’d abandon my belief in Jesus, or start thinking of him as one interesting teaching among many, but that’s not what happened. Instead, I began to see Jesus as the actual source of all truth, that each of those philosophers is looking for. I think it drove her crazy, because she really saw philosophy as the way to find truth in this world, and I think she saw Christianity as a bit simpleminded.
Some might dismiss religion, Christianity in particular, as non-academic.
We think of prominent scientists like Richard Dawkins, who likes to characterize believers as intellectual lightweights, gullible people who swallow unbelievable truths whole. Unfortunately he’s become angrier and angrier over the years, to the point of hatred and insensitivity. He’s started showing some of the worst characteristics of religion gone bad, even though he claims to reject all that! One person described him as, “a man so convinced that he possesses God-like powers of omniscience that he can’t understand why everyone is angry at him for pointing out the obvious.”
The problem is, this is something we can only say if we consider ourselves wiser. If you are naïve yourself, you won’t’ recognize another’s naiveté when you see it.
You can probably see how dangerous it can be to call anyone naïve. You’ve immediately claimed to be an authority on whatever topic is being discussed. And if you should ever discover they DID know what they were talking about, then it would appear you were the unsophisticated one with a lack of experience, judgement, information or evidence. A boomerang word – it might come back and hurt later.
That happens to a group of Greek philosophers in the Bible, in the story we’ll study this week.
But first, here’s a question to discuss:
Question: Who have you ever wrongly considered someone less intelligent? How did they surprise you, and what did you learn?
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]
Two Dates to Remember:
- Our Outdoor Movie Night Returns – September 19th at 7:30pm in Ajax – More Info