Simple Sages

When choosing a blog name I decided to relate it to an idea I wanted to convey. During the time I spent in a Christian and Classical Studies program I gained a higher appreciation for what I call ‘wisdom of man’. A wisdom which in fact helped me better understand portions of the Bible. I know when it comes to obtaining wisdom there is a True Source that is found in a Person. However, until now I never felt the weight of the Apostle Paul’s statement when he says the wisdom of man is foolishness to God.

I unintentionally equated man’s wisdom with what I see in today’s culture; namely a relativistic post modern worldview where truth is subjective. Discerning between objective truth and subjective ideas, I had an unformulated notion that the wisdom of man (in specific regard to Paul’s statement) was not that wise to begin with. Paul had something else in mind. When he addressed Greek wisdom he meant the Hellenistic mindset. Hellenism is a worldview shaped by Greek philosopher heavyweights; Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, amongst others. When I consider what Paul knew to be the Hellenistic mind, his statements about the wisdom of God become more pronounced. The “foolishness” of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, yet the Wisdom Paul knew is considered foolishness by the world. “Foolish Wisdom” is what we all have; thus ‘Simple Sages’ was suggested by a friend.

I intend by showing my appreciation in (and acknowledging the importance of) classical literature- it will be shown foolish, or simple, in light of True Wisdom. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle have given us soul-shaping insight and understanding through their classics, even shaping Paul’s mind; but in light of Him in whom is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, they are simple sages.

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.’
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.’“
– 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

New American Standard Bible

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