What is Knowledge?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 14, 2014 0 comments

In my last post, I talked about establishing what a worldview is. To refresh, a worldview is a set of principles and convictions that act as a filter to determine what you accept and what you do not accept. A worldview addresses the questions about your origins, your purpose, your identity, and where you are going. And your worldview will filter all the knowledge you receive into primary categories of true or false information etc. But now we have a question. What is knowledge? Where does it come from?

Knowledge is a piece of information. It is knowing something about something. There is true information and there is false information. You can know what is true because it aligns with the word of God, the Bible. You can also know something that is false if it contradicts the Bible. Here at Worldview Warriors, we are not just interested in telling you the truth that is found in Scripture. We are also interested in showing you how to recognize what is false. To be a warrior, you need to make a stand and be ready to defend something, to fight for something. It means you have to be able to make a judgment on what you are going to fight for or against. There is true knowledge that is worth fighting for and there is false knowledge that we need to fight against. What is truth? I will deal with that next week.

Now, there are two primary types of knowledge out there: Empirical knowledge and Revelation knowledge. I’ll address each one separately.

Empirical knowledge is also known as scientific knowledge. Did you know that the very word “science” comes from the Latin word “scientia” which means “knowledge”? Empirical knowledge is what we can acquire from scientific study. Can it be observed? Can it be tested? Can it be repeated? Empirical knowledge comes from studying the world around us. In Genesis 1:28, God tells man to subdue the earth and the animals. God gave man dominion over the earth, to be able to take and study the creation. To learn about what God did to make the universe work. The vast majority of the major science fields out there today were started by men who believed in God and sought to understand what God did when he made the universe. Science and belief in the Bible are not incompatible. They are actually partners and all empirical science has demonstrated to be in favor of the Biblical account.

But that is not the only type of knowledge. There is also Revelation knowledge. Revelation knowledge is any type of knowledge that does not come via empirical means. Issues of morality, ethics, and even historical events are considered Revelation type knowledge. Why historical events? Because you cannot test and observe the past. You can test and observe what would happen if a historical event took place but that only demonstrates that said event could be possible. To demonstrate it actually occurred, you need a historical record of the event. Be careful out there because there is a great push to mix and blend Revelation type knowledge with Empirical type knowledge. I believe this is done so in order to remove the Bible as the ultimate source of true information.

The Bible is classified under Special Revelation. It is special because it is the directly-inspired word of God. The Bible contains only truth and it contains truth that crosses time and culture, impacting every area of life. The Bible is not a pure science book; it is not a pure history book; it is not even a pure romance story. It is all that and an instruction manual for life. It has the history of our origins. It gives us the purpose for being alive. It tells us who we are and is very honest about it. We are either sinners in rebellion against God or we are rescued/redeemed souls being transformed into the image of God. It also gives us a very honest take on our destination, both short term and long term. It shows us the consequences for our actions and it shows us where we will end up depending on whether we have a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible has everything we need to know for life and living. And in two weeks, I will be addressing what a Biblical worldview looks like.

There is one more thing to add. There is absolute knowledge simply because we know something. There is someone out there who truly knows everything there is to know. If not, we truly would know nothing because we would have no way of knowing if what we think we know has any merit. That means in order to know anything there must be two options: either you must be omniscient (all-knowing) OR you must know someone who is omniscient. We believe all knowledge comes from God who is omniscient and what we do know is what he has revealed to us. And our ability to acquire knowledge empirically is a result of receiving the revelation from God to be able to do it.

Next week, I will address how we sort out what is true or what is false. I will also address two methods of how we determine what is true or false. One of them is shunned and the other has very subtly pulled us away from the actual truth. Tune in next week to find out what is going on.