Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. (Rom. 1:22) 

MY OFFICE IN THE RELIGION DEPARTMENT at Houghton College is on the top floor of the library building. Visitors to our floor often try to discern theological meaning in that architecture. Are the disciplines of Bible and theology superior to all the knowledge stored below? Does reason go only so far, and must our department lead students to heaven through faith? Though it’s fun to speculate, the construction was undoubtedly more pragmatic than sublime.

Either way, the dichotomy of faith and reason is not necessary in the Christian walk. Both are important. But Paul was right in warning us that knowing God is not enough; we must integrate that knowledge into our very being. Since we cannot access God’s wisdom with our minds alone, we must bring the entirety of our being to the table—heart, body, and mind. This integration becomes most apparent when we glorify and give thanks to God.

The difference between knowledge and wisdom is important because most of Christian growth comes through the latter. Some people have collected much knowledge, even knowledge of God, in this life. But the collection of facts and information is reduced to futility when they are not marshalled toward a greater purpose. There is nothing worse than a smart person acting a fool.

When facing a decision, ask, “How does my faith play into this choice?”

Richard Eckley is professor of theology at Houghton College and serves on the Women in Ministry Task Force for The Wesleyan Church.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.