by Paul Jones
Archimedes made the famous statement, “Give me a long enough lever and I can move the world.” I began to think of this in relation to Christian belief and rational knowledge and decided to see how this might relate to my life and how knowledge and Christianity can combine to give one wisdom-with the caveat that one has to keep in mind also the Dutch saying, “You get too soon old and too late wise.”
Like many young people in my Boomer generation who went on to secular universities, it didn’t take long before my already fairly weakened Christian faith “crashed and burned” under the assault of class after class of secular Humanism with professors who were not Christian, combined with very few students I met who kept up a daily and fervent faith.
I was steadily increasing my rational knowledge, or to use the words of Archimedes I was extending my “lever” to greater and greater lengths. But one thing was missing in those years, a “fulcrum.” Just as a lever without a fulcrum is useless, so too extensive knowledge without the “lever” of Christian faith does not lead to true wisdom.
Luckily I began to regain my faith in 1976, starting with a book called “The Desire of Ages” that beautifully describes the life of Christ, and ever since then I have maintained the “fulcrum” of Christian faith to help me through all the good and bad times that one deals with in this life here on earth. This “fulcrum” has been moved steadily forward as my rational knowledge has extended over time, since just as a real lever needs to have the fulcrum moved forward to keep up with the growing length of the lever, so too Christian faith has to be moved forward along with increased rational knowledge in whatever field one is concentrating in. If not, one is like the hamster in the cage on the wheel, running and running, but in reality getting nowhere in terms of finding the ultimate truth. This is the case, in my opinion, of the myriad of intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals who have maintained their atheism or agnosticism while at the same time they have only concentrated on the rational advance of knowledge. However, by doing this, they can never come to the true wisdom which can come to one who is a follower of Christ.