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Knowledge

“Knowledge is a state of being. It is transformative. When we acquire true knowledge (not just information) it is a form of participation in that which we know. Christ said: “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jn. 8:32. This is not a promise that He will provide “actionable information.” Rather, as we continue in His word [keep His commandments], the truth that abides in His commandments works within us to form and shape true knowledge. That knowledge is transformative, imparting to us a divine liberty which is the very life of God.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“….there are fruitful and unfruitful ways of seeking God. There is a difference between groping for God in the darkness of ignorance and finding God. Our seeking of the Lord must have a different basis than those who construct idols, starve themselves, empty their minds by meditation, induce visions and trances, go on pilgrimages, punish themselves, create fables, or try to capture God by reason. None of these things have given their adherents a personal relationship with God as near as He is to us. No, we would know nothing of God except his power and deity (Romans 1:20) except that the ineffable, invisible, incomprehensible God has revealed Himself to us. The Lord Jesus proclaimed, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him (John 14:7). This is not merely a  truth-claim. It does not merely prove the existence of God. It describes a way of knowing God.” (Fr. Basil)


“Whatever knowledge we may have, it is still imperfect. How is it then that some people claim to have a full and precise knowledge of God? Where God is concerned, we cannot even say just how wrong our perception of Him is.” (St. John Chrysostom)


“Divine knowledge, then, is verified by people on a personal level when they conform to the divine will, that is to divine energy. Besides, each of us is called to participate in this experiment by Christ himself: ‘If you want to do his will, you will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’…There is also encouragement from Scripture to undertake this: ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’…, or ‘take my yoke upon you… and you will find rest in your souls’…There can be no conflict between secular or scientific knowledge and divine knowledge, because each functions on its own level and has its own character. Both these kinds of knowledge are good and useful for us. Despite that, they’re not of equal value, nor are they equally necessary. People who restrict their interest to the level of worldly matters prioritize or even make an absolute value out of scientific knowledge, deprive themselves of the knowledge which leads to the freedom of the Spirit…Meanwhile, those who restrict their interest to the transcendental, ignore the relative value of earthly knowledge, which facilitates the servicing of basic human needs.” (George Mantzarides)


“To recognize the limits of knowledge is not to embrace ignorance.” (James Smith)


“Doctrines are not mere collections of information about God. We cannot acquire knowledge of God unless we are purified by our struggles and aided by the Holy Spirit…Our information culture, however, exalts discursive, logical reason as the most noteworthy accomplishment of the mind…The thinking mind is indeed a marvel, but simple life experience…suggests that thinking is not the only aspect of awareness. There are deeper dimensions that must be awakened and engaged; in fact the contemplative tradition has claimed this for centuries. It is crucial to see this in order to understand its fundamental orientation to prayer.” (Dynamis 7/2/2018, Martin Laird)


“ ‘The notorious result of unlimited freedom of thought and discussion is to produce general scepticism on many subjects in the vast majority of minds.’ Those who expose themselves to the confusion and tumult of the world without being firmly grounded in the Truth find themselves fulfilling an observation made many centuries ago in the Tao Te Ching: “The longer you travel, the less you know.” The modern world has strangely convinced us that such ignorance is a sign of knowledge, and that a truly enlightened person must necessarily inundate himself with the greatest possible volume of cacophonous nonsense in order to “make up one’s mind for oneself.” That to do so generally engenders confusion, skepticism, disbelief, and ultimately apathy should really not come as any surprise.” (Sir James Stephen, Hieromonk Gabriel)


“Human information and Christ’s wisdom are polar opposites in every situation, whether it involves speaking, business dealings, self-valuation, estimation of others, coping with troubles, one’s stance before God, or one’s contribution to the security of family, community, and nation. “We expect the righteous, whom Christ informs, to grasp the essence of wisdom and grace when they speak (Prv 10:31-32), and to be humble before others (Prv 11:2). In the world today, we are more likely to encounter those who pervert language, abuse speech, and sneer at their fellow men. Such individuals are numerous and often influential, and thus a high value has come to be placed on one-upmanship and the quick, off-color comebacks so prevalent in popular culture.” (Dynamis 1/3/2019)


“We live in a world with more and more information and less and less sense…In a world driven by information, it is more than a little easy to mistake knowing something as important and good in and of itself. As such, the acquisition of spiritual information is something of a going industry…It is scandalous in our time, particularly where information is seen as an essential element of democracy (and we imagine the spiritual life to be as rightly democratic as the political life), to be told that there is knowledge that is bad for you or knowledge for which you are not yet suited. It is the case.” (Jean Baudrillard, Father Stephen Freeman)


“Evagrius of Pontus, a fourth-century monk, is one of a host of contemplative writers to make an important distinction between the calculating, reasoning mind that makes use of concepts in a process we call ratiocination or discursive thought, and that dimension of mind that comes to knowledge directly, without the mediation of concepts. This later he called nous, an intuitive spiritual intelligence. And so when he defines prayer as “communion of the mind with God,” he means a dimension of our consciousness that runs deeper than the discursive process of ratiocination [reasoning].” (Martin Laird)


“If you love true knowledge, devote yourself to the ascetic life…the ascetic life to the everyday person who works a job, has a family and is in the so called “real world” looks different than from a monastic but the discipline of participating in the life of Christ remains the same – daily prayer, going to church, regular fasting…doing the things that move us toward God, denying the things that move us away from God." (St. Mark the Ascetic, Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Faith is not an issue of great knowledge and learning but humble submission not to the prevailing knowledge but to the truth of the Church, timeless and eternal.” (Protopresbyter

Theodore Zissis)

“Pursuit of the knowledge of God, His Son Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit, our study of human nature, creation, and its salvation in Christ is not a philosophy, a system, a thing of mere study. It is not a game. It describes absolute reality. That means that in all its detail and complexity, in all its miraculousness and transcendence, it is real and grounded.” (Peter C. Bouteneff)

"The door to true knowledge is repentance. Of course, for most people, repentance itself belongs to the category of legal and forensic things. It means not doing bad things, promising not to repeat the ones I have done, and, perhaps, feeling sorry. This is both inadequate and misleading. The Greek word used for repentance is metanoia, literally a “change of mind (nous).” It can be described as a movement from one form of knowledge to another (true knowledge).” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“It [Christian Faith and life] is not contrary to nature and reason, but surpasses their limitations. It discloses the original nature and purposes of things, reveals their ultimate destiny, and illumines human minds and hearts to"the knowledge of the truth” about God and all things in Him.” (Father Thomas Hopko)

"…Church is the way that God has provided for people to grow in their knowledge and love of who God is and build relationships with other disciples and from this time of focusing on Jesus and connecting with others who love Jesus we can go out into the world and spread the good news of Jesus Christ and his love with others." (Echo Kayser)

“...a life centered in Christ brings about true peace, wisdom, and knowledge..." (Abbot Tryphon)

“Sadly, these kinds of acts [evil acts] are gradually becoming more common because of the decreasing presence of the knowledge of God in society. This knowledge is an immune system in our souls. The less of that knowledge in people’s minds, the more evil rises in any culture.” (Rice Broocks)

“...you may know a lot about God, but you don’t truly know God until the knowledge of what he has done for you in Jesus Christ has changed the fundamental structure of your heart.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“ ‘…knowledge of the our Lord Jesus Christ’ (2 Peter 1:8)…This knowledge (Greek epignosis….) is not primarily mental but spiritual. It is experienced as we have faith and bear good fruit in the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Orthodox Study Bible 2 Peter 1:8)

“True knowledge changes us…The knowledge to which Christ refers can also be called “saving knowledge,” for it requires and involves the transformation of the person who has it. And that transformation is in the direction of true existence – conformity to the image of God.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

#FatherThomasHopko #EchoKayser #AbbotTryphon #RiceBroocks #PastorTimothyKeller #PeterCBouteneff #ProtopresbyterTheodoreZissis #FatherStephenFreeman #StMarktheAscetic #SacramentalLivingMinistries #Dynamis #MartinLaird #SirJamesStephen #HieromonkGabriel #JeanBaudrillard #FatherStephenFreeman #FrBasil #StJohnChrysostom #GeorgeMantzarides #JamesSmith

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