This time it's mostly in the New Testaments where the Bible shows it's real hostility towards learning and the acquisition of wisdom. Paul particularly, and perhaps understandably so, seems especially worried in his epistles that people are going to learn stuff which might make them question rather than just accept his authority on things.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.Paul seems to have got into quite a state with that first epistle to the Corinthians, doesn't he.
I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.
|Martin Luther, Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1533|
Reason is the Devil's greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil's appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom ... Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism... She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.Love that last one, but Luther seems even more petrified than Paul did that people may start thinking and reasoning for themselves. The modern equivalent would be the drug pusher having his house searched and trying to frighten the police into not looking in the loft.
Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148
Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but -- more frequently than not -- struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.
Martin Luther, Tischreden (Tabletalk)(1569)p. 353
There is on earth among all dangers no more dangerous thing than a richly endowed and adroit reason... Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed.
Martin Luther, quoted by Walter Kaufmann,
The Faith of a Heretic, (Garden City, NY, Doubleday, 1963), p. 75
Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his Reason.
People gave ear to an upstart astrologer [Copernicus] who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13] that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.
Martin Luther, "Works," Volume 22, c. 1543
|Johannes Calvin; Titian|
We take nothing from the womb but pure filth [meras sordes]. The seething spring of sin is so deep and abundant that vices are always bubbling up form it to bespatter and stain what is otherwise pure.... We should remember that we are not guilty of one offense only but are buried in innumerable impurities.... all human works, if judged according to their own worth, are nothing but filth and defilement.... they are always spattered and befouled with many stains.... it is certain that there is no one who is not covered with infinite filth.With this anti-intellectual teaching forming such a prominent part of basic Christianity, is it any surprise that reasoning with so many Christians is almost impossible; that proud ignorance and resistance to learning seem to be such prominent features which are waved with inordinate pride?
In John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait, 1989,
William J. Bouwsma, Oxford University Press, USA, p. 36.
It's hardly surprising that so many charlatans are able to pose as scientists, philosophers and intellectuals and to earn a living parasitising people to whom ignorance is seen as a blessing and something of which their priests extol the virtues, the easier to sell them 'faith' for money.
Spot the difference:
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.
Isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be part of it?