Monday, October 25, 2010

Learning to Be Crazy

It seems that some people become so intelligent that they lose their sense of reasoning. When Paul was telling the account of his conversion before King Agrippa, Festus interrupted stating, "Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind" (Acts 26:24). Paul responded that he was not out of his mind, but speaking true and rational words. Doesn't this mindset seem familiar?

Quite often the world of science and skepticism makes the claim that Christianity is irrational. To believe in Christianity, one must put aside rational thought and rely on fairy tales and the ramblings of insane men. To be fair, I suppose I could understand the mindset of those who say that. It can be hard to go against the normal thoughts of the world and believe in something that does require the supernatural creation and guidance of a heavenly being. While I can understand it, it doesn't mean I believe their way of thinking is correct. In fact, those who berate Christianity for lack of reasoning quite often turn to those in the realm of science who make claims that are beyond believable, but quite often accepted due to their source. Consider a quote from Stephen Hawking. Hawking is a brilliant man. He has intelligence that I highly doubt I will ever achieve, yet this intelligence also leads to madness. In his newest book, Hawking stated that, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist." Hawking claims that the force of gravity can create something out of nothing. Again, I'm no genius, but my understanding of gravity is that it is the force that occurs between two objects that draw them to each other. My lowly thinking would tell me that if there was nothing present, the force of gravity could not exist. If that is the case, then how could gravity exist where nothing was, and if it did, how could it create something out of nothing? One doesn't have to go very far through the world of science to see madness stated as facts!

There is another type of this madness is found within Christianity. Matthew 16 begins with an interaction between the Pharisees and Jesus. They came asking for a sign from Christ as proof of who he was. Jesus answered telling them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.' And in the morning, 'It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:2-3). Consider what Christ had already done by this time in his miracle working. Why did they need anything else? If they had not believed by this point, what would convince them? They had become so studied and set in what they wanted to believe that anything else was madness to them. The Christ could come and perform miracles before them, and he did, yet they were stuck in their madness. Many are still like that today. Despite what they find in the Bible as truth, they will not change their religious beliefs or thinking. They had learned so much that anything else was foolishness to them.

We never grow out of learning. No matter how old we grow, what type of degree we might earn or what our profession may be, we will never stop learning. In all of this, we must be careful and make sure that we do drive ourselves into madness with our learning.

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