education verses wisdom

Before He is power… God is Mercy, Love and Vulnerability
and He wants to make us into
that same image.

The Rev. Gavin Ashenden


(a section of the magnificent Library at Dublin’s Trinity College / Julie Cook / 2015)

As a former educator, whenever there is talk about our ailing school system–
-of which has been an instrumental part of the bedrock of Western Civilization since
the beginning of such time, my ears most assuredly are always piqued.

I have read, watched and lamented these many months now over the fracas and
sideshows that seem to be happening across our major universities and colleges—
even since before last year’s election was really heating up.

Tales of snowflakes, cupcakes, safe zones, coloring sessions, happy talk and
fairylands has left me both frustrated as well as sad.

The images coming from so many upscale universities and colleges of violent protests
have amounted to nothing more than overgrown temper tantrums…
as students, and even the supposed role models of educators, converge upon all things
they currently find themselves whining against….
All the while administrators are afraid…afraid of law suits, of life, limb and job security as they stand cowering, daring to say nary a word.

Be it speakers who have actually been invited to discuss various viewpoints,
writings or books that just so happen to run counter to the current self absorption
many students are currently wallowing in—-
Or the odd professor who tries to offer some actual sort of sanity by suggesting
that the students should maintain an open mind…..

These students will immediately either rudely walk out
on said guest in some sort of protest when the lecturer dares to
say something these students find “offensive”—or even worse, they will go into a
fit of violent rage….
as most everything said today seems offensive to them.

Were not our hallowed halls of higher education intended for a better purpose?

Intended not to only stir the consciousness of young minds but to challenge said
youthful minds to dig deeper and go further…all in a quest of learning while seeking knowledge and dare we say it, eventually a bit of wisdom….

Did we not ourselves, as students, seek to further our education in order to
learn new thoughts and ideas while venturing further into the
unknown of possibilities?

So I have found it perhaps no coincidence that two of my favorite clerics
from across the pond, just this very week, were discussing issues about both
learning and wisdom in this most modern topsy turvy world of ours.

The Scottish Pastor David Robertson was musing about knowledge and wisdom from the standpoint of the Book of Ecclesiastes and King Solomon while The Rev Gavin Ashenden
discussed the growing concern that anyone who upholds traditional Christian views, particularly on a college campuses, is perceived as anathema and a cause for
censorship—or even worse.

Pastor Robertson reminds us that “in our Western cultures we have largely
forgotten what education is supposed to be about—[that being] the search for wisdom.”

He goes on—We live in a culture where there is lots of information –
but little understanding: what the Bible calls wisdom.

This lack of wisdom is what results in a great deal of argument, irrationality, confirmation bias, fake news, virtue signalling and ignorant prejudice.

He continues….
It is that human beings observe and what we observe in real life is not
always pleasant. There is a heavy burden God has laid on men.
We may live as secularists but the problems we face have been ordained by God.
Mankind thinks and plans. We have been wired that way.
We want to understand.
The problem of life is for us all not just a hobby for philosophers.
The quest of meaning is a quest for God and it is something that God has placed
in our hearts.

Today we may know a lot more.
But are we happier?

Have we progressed?
Are we wiser?
Lets be brutally honest – most of us cannot face the truth.
‘With much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.’
Is it not the case that the more we really understand, the more we ache?
Is that not why people escape into the fantasy world of films, dramas,
drink and drugs, celebrity gossip and computer games?

David Robertson

Wisdom and Meaning for the 21st Century – Ecclesiastes

Bishop Ashenden in the latest interview on Anglican Unscripted explains that
“our colleges are broken”

He notes one example as to just how broken with the story about the former Bishop of Rochester, who just so happens to be a greatly esteemed theologian and gifted orator,
had been invited to speak at Cambridge. Yet it seems that someone did a little digging
into the background of this intended guest and discovered that he was a priest
who actually held traditional views regarding marriage…
imagine that…
a priest with traditional views….
Who upon which discovery was quickly uninvited.

As it seems that anyone who has a counter thought, particularly one that is a
more Orthodox thought or standpoint, is no longer welcome on the campuses of
higher learning.

The good Bishop notes that Orthodox Christians are being grossly marginalized…
particularly by our more liberal society and on our campuses of higher learning.

Both men agree that there is rather  a sad and frightening trend that we are turning out generations of individuals who have not actually gone to college to seek knowledge or
even wisdom but rather those who have been coddled and merely given a piece of paper

The good Scottish Pastor Robertson notes that “we live in a culture where there is lots of
information – but little understanding…
adding that perhaps it would behoove us to
“stop following the marketing and ‘knowledge’ ways of this world.
Instead let’s return to the ancient paths of wisdom and seek the Lord whilst
he may be found.
We can chase the wind – or we can build on the Rock!

Perhaps a suitable motto for every school and University and church would be these
words from Hosea 14:9.

Who is wise?
Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning?
Let them understand.
The ways of the LORD are right;
the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

Hosea 14:9.

17 comments on “education verses wisdom

  1. Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
    Well said Julie!!

  2. Wally Fry says:

    Education is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing it doesn’t go in the fruit salad

  3. Excellent! You expressed this perfectly, Julie. I found myself nodding in agreement all the way through this!

  4. I think such things have been and could be said about every new generation. The nature of man has not changed nor will it. Since the first two unlocked good and evil in the world, it was one of their first children who killed the other, it has looked bad from the get go. But at every turn the Lord has attempted and continues to attempts giving his disobedient and wayward chldren a chance at redemption. He even went so far as to send His Son to die for our egregrious ways two thousand years ago for it became clear that we would never be able to save ourselves. Now the mission has become for those of us who have accepted Jesus’ magnanimous offer of salvation to follow Him in leading as many as we can to do the same. It is never easy, but as we day by day put one foot in front of the other, we become His hands and feet able to shine His light into the world which is we read scripture in to be done with joyful and hopeful hearts. Yes, there is horrible darkness and degradation all over the planet, but we must keep our eyes on the light and by doing so spread the light as we go. What more can we do?
    Love, N 🙂 ❤

  5. oneta hayes says:

    Universities are touted as places to learn critical thinking, to toss around ideas, to enlarge one’s self development and all that “I’m old enough to know what I believe” stuff. Someone needs to tell those neophytes they still have a lot of content they need to learn. Once upon a time, students learned “content” in high schools. Sadly there are far too many HS graduates who think they now know it all – now it is time for philosophy and other genre in which one might find wisdom. Most four year colleges and universities need to demand a couple of years of learning facts. We used to call those Gen. Ed. courses. So we have “voters” who don’t know history, civics, or economics. High schools turn out babes in the woods – a far cry from having enough knowledge to base “wisdom” on. You have stirred my ire, dear Julie. 😀 (I’ve been being boring, haven’t I?)

    • Exactly Oneta—we have HS graduates who couldn’t tell you the difference between Georgia as in Soviet verses Georgia the American state—couldn’t tell you there were actually two global Georgia’s…….
      and you’re right, we have voters who really don’t even know what district they’re in—we say that recently in a special election over in Atlanta where only part of a county could vote but everyone else showed up and couldn’t understand why there weren’t allowed to vote—-hellloooo, you aren’t in that district….

  6. SLIMJIM says:

    I love higher education; I have benefited much from the universities. It makes it even more tragic for me to see the direction things in the universities are going with the intolerance and super sensitivity…

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