The Taming of the Shrewd?

For the sons of this world are more shrewd
in dealing with their own generation
than the sons of light. Luke 16:8b ESV

In previous posts, Jesus Himself is seen to be the More than common sense we Christians need in order to live well as his disciples. Since Jesus Himself made the controversial comment above (Luke 16) about common sense or what might be called worldly wisdom, this first of three brief posts on the theme of Wisdom begins there. It comes from Graeme Goldsworthy…

Graeme Goldsworthy wrote: “One of the more difficult sayings of Jesus is the story of the dishonest (manager) in Luke 16:1-9. … There is no question of Jesus condoning the man’s fraudulent approach to his master’s goods. However, he does commend the prudence of the (manager) in the way he pursues his own ends. … So, the children of this world often show greater wisdom than children of the kingdom of God in this sense, that they apply themselves to the problems facing them with far greater tenacity. Ronald Wallace comments (in Many Things in Parables) ‘The average Christian of today is not willing to put into the matter of his religion even a fraction of the perseverance, patience and intelligent concentration that the man who knows only this present world gives towards perfecting his technical knowledge for his business, or even towards his hobbies’.

Graeme Goldsworthy continued: “If Christians showed as much talent and shrewdness in the pursuit of the world for Christ as unbelievers show in the pursuit of riches, who could gauge what effect that would have? In ultimate terms the (manager’s) wisdom is folly for he would be overthrown in the judgement of God. But in limited terms there is a valid aspect of wisdom in what he does. His shrewdness would need to be transformed by the gospel, but it is commendable wisdom for all that.”

From Graeme Goldsworthy in Gospel and Wisdom


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