Knowledge and the Danger of Arrogance
1 Now concerning meat that has been sacrificed to a false god: we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes people arrogant, but love builds people up. 2 If anyone thinks they know something, they don’t yet know as much as they should know. 3 But if someone loves God, then they are known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:1-3 -- Common English Bible.)
I'm not preaching on this text from 1 Corinthians 8 this Sunday (it is the lectionary selection from the Epistles), but I thought it interesting for a time like this. Paul isn't discounting education, which is important. The knowledge that he speaks of here is one that leads to arrogance -- knowledge that puffs up, leading one to believe that one is better than the other.
I'm hesitant to bring up a text like this at a time when there is political gain to be gotten from attacking education and knowledge -- especially scientific knowledge. There is political gain from misrepresenting history. But despite the hazards, I think it is important to hear this word about arrogance, especially during a political season.
As you ponder this text, here this word from Kenyatta Gilbert concerning Paul's admonition:
The person who loves God discovers a truth: knowledge corrupts if not chastened by humility. [In Ron Allen, et al., ed. Preaching God's Transforming Justice: A Lectionary Commentary, Year B, p. 85]