WFT- noetic

18 January 2010

With the launch of the site in mid-December, holidays, travelling to visit family, and getting back into the swing of work I have been slow to catch up on my "Words For Thought" articles.  Monday, January 18th had a rather interesting word so I decided to write on it before catching up on the other 50+ words in the queue.  So here is the MW word of the day:

noetic (noh ET ik)

of, relating to, or based on the intellect

MW provided this etymological information:

"Noetic" derives from the Greek adjective "no?tikos," meaning "intellectual," from the verb "noein" ("to think") and ultimately from the noun "nous," meaning "mind." ("Nous" also gave English the word "paranoia" by joining with a prefix meaning "faulty" or "abnormal.") "Noetic" is related to "noesis," a rare noun that turns up in the field of philosophy and refers to the action of perceiving or thinking. The most notable use of "noetic" might be in the name of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a research organization based in California that is devoted to studies of consciousness and the mind.

There seems to be a tendency within various Messianic groups to gather and study G-d's Word.

And study G-d's Word.

And study G-d's Word.

Don't get me wrong... there isn't anything intrinsically wrong with studying G-d's Word.  I enjoy it tremendously myself. :)  The problem arises when the goal is studying G-d's Word to gain knowledge.  It becomes a noetic pursuit.  That should not be our goal of study.

2 Timothy 2:15

Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

One reason for studying that Paul describes is to prepare ourselves for rightly dividing the word of truth.

Hating knowledge can lead to some severe consequences:

Proverbs 1:28-33

"Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof.  So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil."

Knowledge is not the goal, however:

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Without love we are nothing and have nothing.  The disciple John (Yochanan) gives us these words:

1 John 5:2-3

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

Rather than only studying for the purposes of gaining knowledge, we should study G-d's Word out of a love for Him, and to fulfill the purpose for which we were created:

Ephesians 2:10

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works [mitzvot], which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

To this end may all your studies of G-d's Word be blessed.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17)

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