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Wednesdays with Words: Knowledge

I do know that it’s Thursday, but I read all of these on Wednesday and I need to make a little more sense of them, so adding them here in one big post … well, this is the way. The books are talking.

Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion Book 2, Chapter 6 (pg 341)

Surely, after the fall of the first man no knowledge of God apart from the Mediator has had power unto salvation [cf. Rom 1:16; I Cor 1:24]. For Christ not only speaks of his own age, but comprehends all ages when he says: “This is eternal life, to know the Father to be the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent” [John 17:3 p.]

Charlotte Mason Ourselves (vol 4) Volume2, Chapter 14 (pg 81):

The Bible contains a Revelation of God. –Where shall we find our material?–for we can only think as we are supplied with the material for thought. First and last, in the Bible; for the knowledge of God comes by revelation. We can only know Him as he declares and manifests Himself to us.

The CMEC offers several PNEU articles as free resources and I recently read Recipe vs Thought by Essex Chomondeley from that selection. There is a section from Mason’s School Education quoted (pg 789) that is all about “What is knowledge, is it the same as information?” and is summed up “Knowledge results when the mind has accepted and has worked upon the ideas presented to it.” I commend the whole article to you.

Charlotte Mason Formation of Character (vol 5), Part 4, Chapter 3 from pages 382 and following:

Casual reading–that is, vague reading round a subject without the effort to know–is not in much better case: if we are to read and grow thereby, we must read to know, that is our reading must be study–orderly, definite, purposeful. In this way, what I have called the two stages of education, synthetic and analytic, coalesce; the wide reading tends to discipline, and in the disciplinary or analytic stage the mind of the student is well nourished by the continued habit of wide reading.

pg 382

To know is not synonymous with to do; but we should not leave our young people to stumble on to right action without any guiding philosophy of life; the risks are too great. We who bear the name of Christ do not always give ourselves the trouble to realise how His daily labour was to make the Jews know; how ‘ye will not understand‘ was the reproach He cast upon them.

pg 383

“A freeborn boy,” says Plutarch, “must neglect no part of the cycle of knowledge, but he must run through one (subject) after another, so that he may get a taste of each of them–for to be perfect in all is impossible–but philosophy he must pursue in earnest.”

pg 384

Mason goes on to say, despite Plutarch, that philosophy is important, but theology (or religion) is moreso. Knowing oneself, knowing God, knowing one’s duty thereto … that is the height.

And, finally, Saint Augustine in On Christian Teaching Book 4, ยง 19:

The wisdom of what a person says is in direct proportion to his progress in learning the holy scriptures–and I am not speaking of intensive reading or memorization, but real understanding and careful investigation of their meaning. Some people read them but neglect them; by their reading they profit in knowledge, by their neglect they forfeit understanding. Those who remember the words less closely but penetrate to the hear of scripture with the eyes of their own heart are much to be preferred, but better than either is the person who not only quotes scripture when he chooses but also understands it as he should.

pg 104-105 in the Oxford World’s Classics edition

This reminds me so much of Cindy Rollins talking about her children’s memorizing of scripture – the ones who may not have it “word perfect” but have the true sense of it have it more in their marrow. The putting in the heart and mind, not simply the mind.

So … clearly knowledge is a theme in my reading and I want to pay attention to it as I go forward.

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