Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Proverbially Thinking

On my way home, today, from a weekly reading of the Proverbs with a friend, I was thinking about the theological import of the book itself. The whole thing is written from the posture of a Father to a Son - so the Trinitiarian and Christological insight is obviously immense. Exercising through the Proverbs is an exercise in learning how to be a Son (of God). And if we have to pick a central theme, the Father can't highlight enough the glory-beauty of the Woman adorned with the Spirit of Wisdom. (Which is to say the Father can't highlight enough the glory-beauty of the Church adorned with the Spirit of Christ - which is to say, again, that the Trinitarian and Christological insight is obviously immense.)

On a related note, there is a real risk that Christians can pigeon hole the whole book of Proverbs as the book of "practical stuff" - "wisdom" they call it. This is to miss the whole point, though. In no pardonable way can we reduce the book to a trivial collection of sage advice, or a mere outline of moral character. (Though, to be sure, the book is a collection of sage advice and an outline of moral character). Rather, especially given the revelation of the Gospel in Jesus Christ, we should see that the book of Proverbs explodes our idolatrous concepts of sagacity and morality, showing us instead that true wisdom is found in the foolishness of the Cross, and true morality is found in the Church's participation in the life of the Triune God.

1 comments:

Jake Belder said...

Scott, this is great, thanks. That's been a tendency in myself, to look to Proverbs just for practical wisdom. This is a helpful corrective. Thanks for sharing that bit of wisdom.