The Book of Proverbs, as well as 1 Cor 1-3, distinguishes between intelligence and wisdom. Intelligence without wisdom is worse than useless.
Far better to be godly, but dumb than brilliant, but damned.
There are facile thinkers like Don Cupitt, D. Z. Phillips, and Gordon Kaufman—as well as wannabes like exist~dissolve—who feel the odd need to keep up appearances long after there’s nothing underneath.
For them, religious language strictly instrumental or functional. They continue to sing their hymns and intone their creeds, but it’s a private, code language which they reinterpret according to their hermetic lexicon.
The language of faith loses all referential force. There’s no reality to redeem the linguistic tokens.
Metaphors of nothing. A code encoding nothing. A symbol that stands for nothing beyond itself.
Signs pointing nowhere.
An empty bottle without a message.
Of all God’s creatures, none is smarter than the Devil. His IQ is off the scale. And what good did it do him? Pure genius devoid of wisdom.
Dwight Moody was by no means an intellectual, and his theology was flawed, but he knew the way home.
There’s a constructive use of reason, and then there’s an evasive use of reason. There’s a use of reason which seeks to understand man’s place in the world, and then there’s a use of reason which seeks an alibi to absolve its spiritual revolt.
There’s a use of reason that honors a higher reason, by deferring to the supreme reason of God, and then there’s a misplaced ingenuity which goes out of its way to deny all that’s obvious and essential.
God made human beings to be just smart enough to realize that God is infinitely smarter than human beings. Hence, nothing is more rational than humble submission to the Word of our Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.
But the reprobate are rebels. They have locked themselves into a jail cell and tossed the key out the window. We no longer have the key to release them, and they have no incentive to leave—even if the prisoner or the jailor had access to the key.
Some of them maintain a façade of piety. Theirs is a virtual Christianity. A spiritual simulation. They fill the time behind bars by playing a cabbalistic game of scrabble. I leave them where I found them—in their self-imprisoned folly.