Knowledge Without Humility Turns to Vanity

He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words…. 1 Timothy 6:4

A new school within evangelical Christianity has appeared in our time which appears to me to be in grave danger of producing a prime crop of intellectual snobs!

The disciples of this leaning are orthodox in creed, if by that we mean that they hold the fundamental tenets of the historical faith; but right there the similarity of their school to New Testament Christianity ends. Their spirit is quite other than the spirit of the Early Church.

This new breed of Christian may be identified by certain field marks. One is the habit of puffing out the chest and uttering a noise that sounds suspiciously like crowing. Another is the habit of nesting so high that ordinary Christians have difficulty in locating the aerie. Rarely is an original note sounded—each one waiting to hear what Barth or Brunner or Bultmann or Tillich has to say and then imitating it as nearly as possible, only transposing it into the orthodox key!

They are largely overlooking the fact that truth is not mental only—but moral. A theological fact becomes a spiritual truth only when it is received by a humble mind. The proud mind, however orthodox, can never know spiritual truth!

In the Scriptures knowledge is a kind of experience and wisdom has a moral content. Knowledge without humility is vanity. The religious snob is devoid of truth. Snobbery and truth are irreconcilable!

—Renewed Day by Day – Volume One


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