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Real wisdom

Buy the truth and do not sell it— wisdom, instruction and insight as well. Proverbs 23. 23


Sir Thomas More was Chancellor of England near the beginning of the 16th century. He was ahead of his time in insisting that his daughters receive just as good an education as his sons. However he further understood that, without progress in virtue alongside intellectual development, the fruit of even the best instruction would be what CS Lewis memorably described as "clever devils".


This is especially true in our on-line age, where so much knowledge is available at the click of a button. It is now so easy to present an impression well above our actual ability: whether that is in prose which has been polished by grammar software and spell-checker, or a stream of facts which we have blithely regurgitated from wikipedia. What happens in the event of a power-cut?


Balancing learning with virtue enables us to acquire useful skills and information, present an honest profile and apply our gifts constructively and not for our own aggrandisement. Jesus chose to remain "ignorant" according to the scientific awareness of his time, in order to demonstrate what real wisdom looks like. The author of Proverbs knew where his priorities lay in listing truth before other accomplishments.

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