We are continuing the Q&A between myself and prolific theologian, author, professor and blogger, Scot McKnight, about his new book, One.Life. You can check out a number of his award winning books and blog here.
Andrew’s Question: You devote a whole chapter to wisdom, and say the most important posture for one who wants to be wise is to be receptively reverent to those who are wise, as wise people sound like their mentors. That challenged me to think, do I sound like Jesus? Besides the not-so-trivial daily acts of reading the Bible and spending time with God, how can we continue to engage culture and be oriented each day towards God sounding like our mentor Jesus?
Scot’s Response: Let me clarify your excellent brief summary. Wisdom is not honored in our culture; newness is honored; youth is honored. To honor wisdom is to honor the wise, not the famous, not the celebrity, not the rich, not the powerful, not the youthful.
The wise are those who have learned to live in God’s world in God’s way in the way of Jesus Christ.
We become wise only by a posture of listening to and walking with and learning from the wise; we become wise by developing a posture of receptive reverence of the wise. That means listening to them –Andrew, brother, nothing in our culture favors this kind of biblical wisdom. Everything is about what is new and youthful. In fact, for many today anyone over 40 is old and can be ignored. I’ll say it biblically: this is foolish, and it cutting into the fabric of culture and church.
So, my advice is to ask you this: How many older people are speaking directly into your life in a way that you reverently receive their wisdom and go with it? Until that happens we can’t have a wisdom culture.
Reading the Bible is important because we learn from Jesus’ wisdom (and Paul’s and Peter’s et al). That’s the first step. But the second step is to connect yourself to someone who is genuinely wise – pick someone over 50 – and to spend time “with” them and let them become someone who is “for” you – I’m speaking the language of love.