Thursday, June 13, 2013

knowledge, faith and being educated

To put it succinctly: educated people know not only what they really mean but also what they are actually saying. ... You will be educated, which means that you will be interested where others are bored, that you will notice unities where others experience randomness, and that you will intend meanings where others are just spouting words. ~Eva Brann, Do You Know What An Odyssey Is?
The second objective is to know all other worldviews fully and fairly. It is not possible to know what one believes and why without simultaneously knowing what one does not believe and why, for nothing is knowable in a vacuum. ~Glenn R. Martin, Prevailing Worldviews
Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.  ~C.S. Lewis, previously posted as C.S.Lewis on Writing
I put these quotes together but I'm still mulling over where I find myself in the process of being educated and educating others, namely our children. How well do I know other worldviews, for instance?

This past Sunday at a church picnic, I conversed with a visiting university biology student who confided throughout our varied conversation, that science had messed her up in regards to her Catholic schooling and faith.  Later after further inquiries, she related that she felt that the proof of evolution was at odds with the Bible and there was her faith crisis, along with grief over the passing of a much adored grandparent several years ago.  I knew my studies in this area were inadequate to have a in-depth discussion with her own much more advanced knowledge of biology, genetics, etc.  And shouldn't Christians of all people, be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within them?

But it wasn't really a discussion about biology and evolution that needed to happen, it was a discussion about the goodness of God in the face of grief and pain that needed to be cried over together and hugs exchanged as I shared with her my family's unexpected loss of my younger brother those many years ago.

I have come to see that frequently, it is not that someone needs evidences debunked or studies discussed, but they need their view on God and suffering challenged with empathy and kindness.  They need someone to say, I have felt loss too, yet I still believe God is faithful.  She asked in just a few words, how our family coped with a fatality in the family and the answer was that God is kind to us.  She had been watching and interacting with Kate and loved her.  She spoke of wanting to have and care for children of her own someday, and even special needs children if it meant they would be loved and cared for.  But yet her heart is struggling with why God caused her grandmother to die so unexpectedly with no chance for goodbyes. I hear her heartache, yet we are not promised answers, but are asked to trust God with the reasons and obey His word for our lives.

And really, what's the point of knowing a reason for a tragedy, if there is no true comfort provided?  God provides comfort for His people and asks for us to trust Him that He is working out His purposes for His glory and our good. And that is very comforting, knowing that God, the Creator and Sustainer of this world has not forgotten His people; He is working for them.

And knowing this, being educated like this, means that we should see unity and purpose where others see random and meaningless acts.  We should intend actual meaning, where others just spout words.  Our worldview should include knocking down(sometimes gently, sometimes staunchly; discernment is ever needed), those faulty worldviews that do not bring people into obedience to God's word and trust in His Providences.
And we should be people who do it well, knowing our words, not fudging the answers or looking to impress the audience, but speaking clearly the truth of God's world to people who desperately need to hear it.

I told my new young friend that I would be praying for her as she searches for peace and she responded gratefully, acknowledging that there are others who say they do as well.  We have begun a friendship and she has allowed me to send her some articles and book suggestions that may help her as she searches.  I care for her and I pray that God brings her to Him.


  1. I love your heart, Heather. Surely you were used by the Holy Spirit in that conversation to share the comfort you had received and to encourage her with the truths of God's character.

    Blessings to you and to your new friend,

    1. Thank you Stacy for your encouraging words, sometimes I wonder if I have said the right thing, but He can take my words and use them however He purposes. That's comforting.

  2. Please encourage your friend. We will eventually be able to reconcile new scientific knowledge and our faith. Eventually we will be able to see both science and the Bible as true. Just because we struggle now does not make either wrong.

    1. Thank you, Jeanne. If I understand what you are saying, I agree with you. One day science will only show what God has already revealed in His Word and throughout His creation. Thank you for commenting here, I appreciate you taking the time to read and leave your thoughts.


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