Pursue Useful Knowledge
John Calvin was aware of the various strains and tensions in the history of Christianity in relation to the intellect. As he says in his Institutes, one extreme amongst Christians is to think we don’t need to know anything. And the other extreme is to think we know a lot more than we know.
In his commentary on 1 Corinthians 8, he quotes an old proverb: “Nothing is as arrogant as ignorance.” If you know anything, you probably know that because you’ve talked to some ignorant person who doesn’t know what you know yet claims they do. Nothing is as arrogant as ignorance—unless it’s being puffed up with knowledge.
And Calvin says, “How do we balance these things? We allow the Bible to balance them for us.” We desire to know useful knowledge—not speculating into things that we can’t comprehend, that are too high for us, and not refusing to think about what the Bible has revealed to us and encourages us to know. We desire to pursue useful knowledge, knowledge that is useful for our minds and for our wills, knowledge that will enable us to understand the wonderful depths of the truth that God has given us in His Word and encouraged us to think through, think out, and study the implications of.
God calls us to the renewing of our minds. God calls us to love Him with all our minds. God calls us to recognize that our Savior is the truth and reminds us that our Savior said to us, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).