20 December 2013

Thoughts on Scholarship

My brother Gavin with 8 thoughts on scholarly pursuit arising out of his doctoral work in historical theology at Fuller.

The first two:
1) Scholarship can be used for great good. It's like the army, or the press, or technological advance. It can serve the greater good and contribute to society in meaningful ways. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. It is, in itself, a noble and life-enriching activity.

2) Fallen scholarship, when the effects of sin run their full course, tends to produce the opposite of its true purpose. This is way of sin. It does not merely destroy God’s creation, but turns things around into their opposite. It makes family, the place designed for safety and nurturing, into a place of harm and discord. It turns the enjoyment of physical pleasures into regret and pain. It turns religion, the one thing that should humble us, into a system of producing pride and judgment. And so it goes with scholarship: the very thing which should promote knowledge can instead promote obscurity and confusion, and (in extreme cases) elaborate systems of pretentiousness and power-grabbing. Praise God that his common grace restrains this process, and his saving grace reverses it.

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