Don’t dismiss ‘knowledge’ to quickly

I grew up hearing the often quoted saying, “A lot of people miss heaven by 6 inches… the distance between the heart and the head.

It led me to believe that heart-connection with Jesus is far superior to head-connection with Jesus, and that I should pursue Jesus with my heart.

I can appreciate that.

There are many with an academic infatuation of biblical literature, or philosophical fantasies of the nature of God who will one day be asked to stand on the left-hand side of the Great Shepherd (see Matthew 25:31-46).

Yet something still bothers me with this saying, and various others that postulate an either/or solution to Christian growth.

Outside of the academy, in everyday Christian discipleship, the mind and knowledge have somehow been equated to an inadequate means for life and godliness.

But that’s not what Peter says.


The power of God is at work, and that power has granted us something. This ‘something’ is the one thing most disciples of Jesus want.

You want to know how to truly live a life of godliness.

I mean, really, that’s what you want. That’s what we all want.

We don’t just want to exist, we want to live!

We don’t just want to blur into this world as some type of indistinguishable entity, we want to shine as stars in a darkened universe, representing and reflecting the glory of Christ.

We want to live. We want to be godly.

So how do we get that ‘something’?

How does Peter inform us to the means by which this happens?

Read it again.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence…”

Don’t dismiss ‘knowledge’ to quickly.

Don’t pit heart and head against each other. This is not an either/or scenario.

It’s both/and.

The heart engaged life of godliness, dynamic and alive, rich and full, comes through a knowledge of him who’s called us.

I think you can appreciate a stranger, but I don’t think it possible to truly love one. You must know someone first before you can love them.

Pursue a knowledge of him who has called you out of darkness and into light. Pursue a knowledge of the one who conquered death to give you life.

Know Him.

And love Him.

Know Him more deeply.

Love Him more deeply.


One thought on “Don’t dismiss ‘knowledge’ to quickly

  1. Hi Chris,
    “I never knew you” is a shocking line. Imagine hearing it and their dismay – ‘didn’t we do . . . . .?’. I met a christian guy caring for the poor in Mozambique – studying for three years to be a pastor. I asked him his favourite parable and he responded the one where Jesus threw out the net and gathered in the big fish and ones that later had to be thrown out. He would have holes in his theology a mile wide. He would have all sorts of doctrinal issues. How terrible, we think. He must study more and then he will know his Bible better.
    Yet he may have a deeper understanding of the beatitudes than I will ever have. We have to be deeply humble about our heritage. It may be tremendously rich doctrinally, but it might never have captured our heart. It might never have reached deeply enough to blind us to our cultural filters that keep us bound to our riches more tightly than the chains that were put on the demoniac. If Emmanuel (my guy) knows more about humility than me, he will know Jesus more than me, even though I know more *about* Jesus than he does.
    He cares for kids 2 days a week, full-time, even though he has 9 mouths to feed in his family and has 1 blanket for the nine of them (O-N-E), and his crops are 8km away with NO transport other than his own two feet. Every grain from every bushel of maize is removed by he or his family. Every flour sack is pounded by his wife and 90 year old mother. ONE $3 blanket! He has an LED bulb with two wires clamped to 3 C size batteries, held together with rubber bands, so that he can study his bible and fill out the paperwork to support his children at night.
    What does it mean for him to take mentorship and responsibility for another 5 children in addition to his own family? How does he keep his faith strong, with such a ‘poor’ grounding in the scriptures?
    No wonder we are told to approach our salvation with fear and trembling. Think of how modern first world evangelism has brushed justice from its message, with its extremely unsettling implications – as simply as detaching the OT law, the prophets and even the gospels from the epistles and repeating the ‘dispensational applications of Matthew 25’.
    It is scary. We should be afraid, very afraid. Pharisaism is never far away. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”
    Equally scary is another : “and you do many things like this”. This is to the supreme theologians of Israel’s time. The best, the cream, the elite. Like Keller says, we need to be good at repenting. We need to be experts at humility. “His Glory” is not his transfiguration,
    God help us remove our logs, so that we can see clearly what the gospel means. It has depths that we can be assured that we have not plumbed.

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