Texas has invaded California.
Actually, Houston Baptist University is here helping sponsor the annual Wheatstone Academy, a summer conference for future Christian leaders. For the first time ever, Wheatstone is offering college credit: HBU units are awarded for the intense academic program.
What is the discussion?
This year we are focused on a “noble risk” and using I Peter and Phaedo as primary texts. The text of I Peter encourages suffering lovers of Wisdom and Phaedo suffering lovers of wisdom.
Loving wisdom isn’t made for comfort.
As a slogan “love wisdom” seems safe enough, but if one actually starts doing it, then the trouble starts.
Wisdom refuses to be constrained. Nothing is safe from examination. All my assumptions, including the very assumption that I should love wisdom (!), end up being challenged.
Wisdom tires me, because She demands to know and I am content to know enough . . . enough to get by, get a grade, pass a test, get a job, or finish this piece. Wisdom causes me to pause, right now, and question what I have written. Flaws are obvious and corrections must be made.
A guy seeking to be wise will soon wear out the patience of a city. “We value your commitment to learning,” the rulers say, “but everything in moderation.”
Love of wisdom transcends moderation. Wisdom is so beautiful that if a man catches sight of Her, there is no stopping. He will love Her until he dies.
Love drives a man to Wisdom, because Wisdom is chief amongst the creations of God. Wisdom looks directly into the face of God and always says: “Let it be done unto me according to your Will.” Her disciples imitate Her.
But from the point of view of fools with power, this is not the worst. Wise guys are irritating, but fools can suffer the wise gladly if the wise are simply annoying. Instead, wisdom goes to war with folly and this destruction cannot be ignored.
Wisdom destroys folly . . . and much of what we believe is foolish. The lover of wisdom starts and ends with knowing himself and allowing God to transform his being, but this very transformation is an indictment of the fools.
The lover of wisdom may say nothing, but his life shouts out the message of a better way. Of course, Wisdom herself is never silent. She shouts her message of the fear of the Good, the Truth, and Beauty in the minds of every human.
The marketplace of ideas finds her standing in the midst of the tawdry and the cheap appealing to our better natures. She haunts us and to the fool such a voice is damning, haunting, and ultimately infuriating.
Wisdom is personal. As long as “wisdom” is an abstract idea, then it can be the subject of endless debate, speculation, and intellectual gamesmanship. Wisdom incarnate, in a great teacher such as Socrates, is a threat to evil and has to die. When Jesus came as a man who did not just seem wise, but really was wise, the establishment (religious and political) united to do Him to death.
Socrates attacked the exploitation at the heart of the Athenian academic establishment. Jesus, God in the flesh, was the son of Wisdom and brought her with Him all the way to the Cross. The sword that pierced Her heart at His death convicted all the rest of humankind of the folly of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Just now, my folly looms before me. Would I have condemned Socrates? Infinitely worse, would I would helped crucify the Lord Jesus? Do I fear God and so begin the unending transformation into His divine likeness? Do I stand absolutely vulnerable, as every wise person does, and say to a Good God: “let it be done unto me according to your will?”
God have mercy, I cannot be sure how I would have acted, but I suspect that with the majority I would have been indifferent. I would not have condemned or followed Socrates, too busy with “important” business. Jesus would have lived and died and my schedule would have prevented wasting time to hear Him.
My evil is too often to ignore Wisdom and no even bother to reject Her and Her Lord.
God have mercy and make me this week and every week a lover of wisdom: here in California and back home in Texas.