Thursday, October 12, 2006

SuperSonic | Knowledge Puffs Up

The apostle Paul was on trial, explaining his defense of the gospel when "Festus said with a loud voice, 'Paul you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.'"

While I disagree with Festus' conclusion, Paul was indeed a man of "great learning." He was educated, intelligent, and influential among the Jews. But after turning to Jesus, this was one of his conclusions about knowledge: "knowledge puffs up" (1Cor 8:1).

This was our first point of discussion at SuperSonic last Sunday. I wanted to bring this as the first idea for our young learners to consider, pray about, and evaluate in their lives. They are about to embark on a learning experience to gain knowledge about sound, lighting, and video equipment. They will possibly become "experts" to whom others look. And that quickly. How must they handle this new understanding?

They've heard that knowledge is power, that the smartest people are the best, automatically deserving respect, submission, and honor. But that is worldly wisdom, which just doesn't work in the economy of God, as our church has been learning in our series on 1 Corinthians.

What happened in Corinth? The believers had freedom regarding eating food sacrificed to idols. But that freedom led others into sin. "We know better," they said. "Idols aren't real." They were right. But they became "puffed up" in their understanding, and they didn't use love to transform their knowledge into service of others. Instead, they tempted others to go against conscience and eventually sin against God.

What's that have to do with church tech? Everything. How often do we as tech servants get in our heads that "we know better," that we are the "resident" experts? The fact is this: we're right. However, without a healthy suspicion of and battle against the pride in our hearts, we too will fail to apply love to transform that knowledge into service of others. We will actually worship ourselves and our "wisdom" instead of the One True God.

Pride is a daily temptation for me, and I'm confident that these young servants will face it as well. So, next week I'll be checking in with them more to find out how they are aware of and battling pride in their hearts.

Photo Credit: Sarah Macmillan


Erik Schmaltz said...


My name is Erik Schmaltz from Lakeview Christian Center in New Orleans. I've just recently found your blog and have been receiving so much information from it. We are, as you know, in the process of rebuilding. Along with that comes an opportune time to rethink the way we have done ministry in the past - inparticular for me, how we've used/misued media in the past. Your blog has been so refreshing to read. Not just for the abundant resources and ideas that are discussed on it, but the constant recurring theme of gospel centeredness. Thank you so much for being a reminder to me of why I do what I do, and remining me what I should desire to euip others to do, namely "all to the glory of God".

I wish I weren't so far away. I'd love to attend your SuperSonic class!! But I am grateful that you are recapping here on your blog.

I have a question for you. Would you be intersted and/or have be available (have the time) to converse with me over email about how we as a church can both think and posture ourselves toward growing an effective and gospel-centered media ministry. If so, you can email me at

I look forward to gaining wisdom from what you guys at Covenant Life have learned over the years. Thanks for you consideration. I look forward to possibly talking with you if you have time.

Have a great day, Dave.

Erik Schmaltz

Dave Wilcox said...


Thanks for your encouragement. I look forward to emailing with you some more. You should see a message soon.