1 Corinthians 3:19
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
I read the above scripture about a year ago while reading the New Testament with my wife. For some reason, the scripture has kept me thinking all these many months about wisdom. It has also made me ask the question. Does man have wisdom? It seems that even in our age of information, education, and technological advancements humanity keeps going around in the same circle. Wouldn’t a wise people learn from other people’s mistakes? Is there still not genocide, war, man caused famine, hatred, and thievery? Is humanity any more ethical today than it was thousands of years ago? Has our knowledge, our education, our “wisdom” changed anything?
While reading the book by Loren Eiseley titled “The Firmament of Time.” I found a passage, a thought that made me re-read an entire chapter in the book. The passage reads, “In man, I know now, there is no such thing as wisdom.” Eiseley then quotes the philosopher Kierkegaard which said, “there comes a critical moment where everything is reversed, after which the point becomes to understand more and more that there is something which cannot be understood.” After re-reading the chapter I found another quote, “We who are engaged in the life of thought are likely to assume that the key to an understanding of the world is knowledge, both of the past and of the future. That if we had that knowledge we would also have wisdom. It is not my intention here to decry learning. It is only to say that we must come to understand that learning is endless and that nowhere does it lead us behind the existent world. It may reduce the prejudices of ignorance, set our bones, build our cities. In itself, it will never make us ethical people.” So, does man have wisdom?
I another passage I found while re-reading the chapter. Eiseley quotes the philosopher Kierkegaard once more writing, “He who fights the future has a dangerous enemy. The future is not, it borrows its strength from the man himself, and when it has tricked him out of this than it appears outside of him as the enemy he must meet.” Eiseley then makes the comment, “We – have rushed eagerly to embrace the future and in so doing we have provided that future with a strength it has derived from us and our endeavors. Now, stunned, puzzled and dismayed, we try to withdraw from the embrace, not of a necessary tomorrow, but of that future which we have invited and of which, at last, we have grown perceptibly afraid. In a sudden horror, we discover that the years now rushing upon us have drained our moral resources and have taken shape out of our own impotence.” Could of our all problems be associated with not learning how to live in the now? Could our problems be associated with not learning how to manage that which is manageable?
After pondering these passages for many weeks now, I looked back over the chapter to read my highlighted passages. I found one more I would like to share. It says, “With the fading of religious emphasis and the growth of the torrent, modern man is confused.” This passage then took me to find a scripture in James 3:17 which says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” Could a lack of spirituality, in whatever form, lead humanity to its problems? Could a lack of spirituality, in whatever form, lead humanity to lack wisdom?
I have no conclusion to this thought. I just wish to repeat the question. Does man have wisdom?