Colossians 2:8  “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

Sometimes intelligence and ‘sophistication’ just adds to the confusion.  Overdoing anything, including analysis and rationalization doesn’t help; it hinders.  Have you ever had to listen to someone who just loves to argue and doesn’t really care about the subject under discussion.  In those situations, you quickly realize that the ‘philosopher’ loves himself way more than his philosophy.  When complexity and convolution move to the forefront clarity and accuracy have to take a back seat. In Paul’s day, Greek philosophy and Hebrew religion was contending for legitimacy within the Gospel and in the process was robbing the Gospel of its power and scope.

Today worldly philosophy and scientism (superstitions about science) seeks to deny the truth of the Gospel.  One commentary points out that  worldly philosophy cannot see God and starts with the conclusion that God doesn’t exist.  This conclusion is in itself a profound theological assertion.  The commentary concludes; “Because man’s philosophy does not consider God, its very foundation is faulty.”  (Forerunner Commentary)

     What secular philosophers (who wouldn’t call themselves theologically based) rarely admit is that by starting with the conclusion that God doesn’t exist places all their succeeding claims on the same epistemological basis as arguments based on the contrary proposition – that God does exist.  The superstition that has evolved around science in our time hasn’t helped.  Much of science is based on what has never been observed and what simply can’t be observed by human beings.  Yet this ‘shortcoming” of science is rarely admitted or even discussed in the debate.

     In my desire to shed the cumbersome sophistication picked up in my travels through this world I have adopted a new ‘epistemological’ measuring stick – “The proof of the pudding is in the eating!”  In all the ‘knowledge’ that comes at me in this confusing difficult complex world, I accept as true wisdom those statements that help me live my life in a gentler, kinder way.  I’m afraid that Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, although high sounding and smart as hell, doesn’t make me any less of a jerk.  But Jesus’ teaching;   “All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) goes a long way to making my world and the world of my neighbour a far better place.  This is a way better philosophy than ‘survival of the fittest’ and the practical outworking of it – “nice guys finish last”.

     The truth is –  the Gospel makes me a better person, science or secular philosophy doesn’t.  What about you?