Spirituality and Wisdom

I’m a Christian by faith, and (attempt to, anyway) read my Bible every day. A few years back, I found the “48 ways to Wisdom” on a Jewish site.

On Winds of Change, another blog, they have a series on Sufi wisdom (the Sufis were a branch of Islam distinctly different from Wahabbism), which makes for interesting reading.

And of course, there are the ancient traditions from Asia and India.

So, here’s my question. Where do you stand on wisdom from sources other than your own religion? I ask, because there seems to be three main schools of thought in Christianity :

1.) Anything outside the Bible is not useful (Fundamentalist, extremely conservative, etc)
2.) The Bible was written by man, so any source is good (Liberal, atheist/agnostic, etc)

3.) All sources are inspired by God, the Bible was written by God, so as long as it doesn’t contradict Scripture, it’s useful. (conservative, Berean, etc)

I tend to fall into the 3rd camp. How about you?


3 thoughts on “Spirituality and Wisdom

  1. I draw my dichotomy somewhat differently; I believe that texts are either ego-inspired, or divinely inspired. Ego-inspired work fetishes the small Self at the expense of everything else–it is, quite literally, sh*t. As such, it may properly be ignored.

    Divinely inspired texts, on the other hand, point to things much larger than themselves; they connect, they heal, they point to the order underlying chaos. They may, upon occasion, be deeply challenging. You may have a visceral response to them which says, ‘No, no! This is dangerous! It must be evil! I must suppress it!’

    But the fact that you are having such a reaction means that at the very least, it must be examined more closely.

    So your rule of thumb, ‘as long as it doesn’t contradict Scripture, it’s useful’ seems like a good place to start. But sometimes things that apparently contradict Scripture may point to deeper truths nevertheless which must eventually be considered. My rule of thumb is, ‘don’t be hasty.’

  2. 1 John 4:1 says “Test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    The Holy Bible is the only source of Truth. The other world religions ultimately come from Satan the author of all lies. Satan will put a little truth in each religion; don’t steal,lie etc. This serves to confuse people.

    Even a drunken beggar may stumble onto a deep truth now and then, but would you go him to look for it when your pastor has so much more to offer? Why look for diamonds in a dung heap?

    Truth is like food; where you get it from matters. Why walk past a fine eating establishment then dive into a dumpster looking for steak?

  3. I was raised in a Buddhist family. I’m not really religious, but Buddhist ethics instilled in me since I was a child. None of the ethical values address a supreme god or Jesus. Apparently my cultural values contradict the central tenet of Christianity. According to the tenet of your faith, are you saying that if whatever I do in my life based on my values doesn’t agree with the Bible, I am a worthless human being that needs to be saved?

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