Monday, April 5, 2010

Searching for understanding

In trying to understand the relationship between science (indeed all human knowledge) and the Bible, Job 28 is helpful. Job has encountered great personal suffering and his friends eagerly share with him their wisdom, which crudely speaking seems to be based on the equation that suffering is directly proportional to ones sin (or inversely proportional to personal integrity).
In chapter 27, Job defends his personal integrity. In Job 28, he considers man's search high and low in the material world to find wisdom and true understanding.

12"But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
13Man does not know its worth,
and it is not found in the land of the living.
14The deep says, 'It is not in me,'
and the sea says, 'It is not with me.'
15It cannot be bought for gold, ....

23"God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place....

28And he said to man,'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.'"

Man's search will reveal many mysteries about the material world but it will not reveal the true meaning of life. In particular, it will not reveal answers to the deep questions that Job asks about the meaning and significance of his personal suffering. Indeed, the best place to find that is in the suffering of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 contrasts that wisdom in weakness to the power and strength of the world.

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