For the child of God, the knowledge and love of God are ultimately one and the same. There is no difference between pure knowledge and pure love. Solomon knew that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." Saint Paul's friend Clement wrote that a man should be faithful and powerful in the utterance of knowledge.
Aristotle, writing of God - "All the knowledge in the world can have little effect on our acts, if we have not the will to choose and do our duty. For one who desires knowledge for its own sake will desire above all what is most genuinely knowledge and that is the knowledge of what is best to know. And the things best to know are first principles and causes."
Aquinas - "Divine knowledge is the ultimate end of every act of human knowledge and every operation."
Montaigne on vain education - "Now who does not begin to distrust knowledge and to doubt whether he can derive any solid benefit from it for the purposes of his life, when he considers the use we put it to: learning that cures nothing?"
Tillich - "Doubt is the necessary tool of knowledge."

Philosophy is the knowledge of general principles. There are of course Christians that despise all philosophy as vanity but the fact remains that philosophy in its purest form will lead us to the knowledge of God. In the Bible, wisdom, knowledge and understanding are very often grouped together. This is not the vain philosophy or foolish arguments we were warned about but simply the love of wisdom that leads to the knowledge that in turn leads us unto the understanding of truth. The excellency of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to them that have it and it is through our reason that we may arrive at knowledge and understanding. While philosophical arguments should be avoided, the philosophy that leads us to knowledge is for the receiving of wisdom and truth. Knowledge is pleasant unto your soul and better than gold. Having a knowledge of the glory of God is a philosophy in itself. It is right that philosophy should be called the knowledge of truth as well as the love of wisdom. A fool will despise wisdom, knowledge and understanding, therefore philosophy also will be despised. False teachers who instruct the foolish, think that they know and will try to teach you knowledge. You cannot learn knowledge from these foolish teachers because their zeal of God is not according to knowledge. A person of knowledge will increase in spiritual strength but the Lord says that "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."

The aim of knowledge is truth and not for those that walk in darkness or deny spiritual gifts. The word of knowledge is a charism that gives us through the Holy Spirit supernatural knowledge that we would not have known without it. Whether one has the gift of the word of knowledge or not, faith must be coupled with reason to judge correctly. This is how we discern between the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil and are able to make sound judgments. Descartes began by the postulation that our approach to knowledge must be governed by doubt: we must reject everything which, when tested by pure reason, appears uncertain. Paul confirms this by having us prove all things and holding fast to what is good. Also be careful that this newfound knowledge does not give you occassion to sin through being puffed up but rather prove your knowledge and wisdom through meekness.

All knowledge and all wisdom is relative truth. Learning is the revered of the revered and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Saint Augustine taught that knowledge depends on wisdom and not the reverse. Knowledge is the best treasure that a man can secretly hoard up in life. Knowledge makes a man honest, virtuous and endearing to the society. Knowledge is in the holiest of the holies and commands the respect of crowned heads; shorn of knowledge a man is but an animal. Pray with Paul that "your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;" and of His desire that "you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding...increasing in the knowledge of God."
[06, 09, 51, 61, 64, 65, 94, 181, 231, Proverbs 1, 2, Ecclesiates 7, Hosea 4, I Thessalonians 5, Romans 2, Philippians 1, Colossians 1, James 3]

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