Beyond the Intellect

Knowledge in and of itself does not equal an experience.

Christy Shaw

Knowledge apart from experience is always second hand. First-hand knowledge is gleaned only, always, from first-hand experience. Knowledge apart from experience is hearsay at best, and is unreasoned, illogical, disconnected speculation at worst. Experiencing the intimate reality of truth, and subsequently storing that experience through logic and reason, empowers us to propel into life through first-hand meaning. Truth requires no less than our willingness to personally learn from him with every faculty, and no more than knowing him, completely.


About Todd Beal

I love truth and its facts. I love thought-provoking conversations that give both the other person and me a better understanding of a particular topic. I love to find answers to life-long questions; answers that let me see things for what they are instead of what they seem to be. I truly enjoy being in the midst of a group of people where all individuals are joining in, where everybody is enjoying the company of each other. I relax in the company of individuals who are competent yet humble. I like to catch myself doing or saying something ridiculous and then laugh my head off. I enjoy my church and being involved.
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4 Responses to Beyond the Intellect

  1. Definitely true. This thought can also be twisted by the Adversary, as I’ve seen in experiences with the attitude of certain rebellious young people who use the quest for “knowledge” as an excuse to head down wayward paths and engage in activities that will certainly bring them some very expensive knowledge.

    Do I need to commit every sin to gain a knowledge that it’s not good for me? No. In faith I can take God’s word for it, and gain knowledge through that faith while avoiding potential spiritual destruction. God has issued warnings through his commandments that certain behaviors are sure paths to self-destruction. Why would I need to explore those paths? Aren’t there plenty of others I can observe who have been there, done that, and come back to testify of what God had already established? There are certain experiences I can do without entirely. In these cases, the “safe” path is the right path.

    On the other hand, there are arenas in which safety is damaging. If in trying to avoid failure and rejection I shy away from developing my talents, I hurt my own soul and deny myself knowledge. If to avoid heartbreak I run from love, I will only find the heartbreak that derives from never experiencing love.

    I believe we came to this world to live within the boundaries set by God. Protected by the kindly fences of the commandments (which only prevent us from hurting ourselves and others), there is a vast range of experience available to all of us, and I believe we are expected to make the most of it. If we can be likened to buds on the vine of Christ, we should bloom to our uttermost potential by seeking knowledge through experience and learning in as many areas as are within our grasp.


    • Todd Beal says:


      I appreciate your dedication to seeing both sides of the issue. It is interesting to me that Satan always borrows the requirements of truth to serve his own purposes. I didn’t mean to make this an extension of the earlier post Know Your Enemy but your comment shows they are directly related. Just as we discussed on that post, we must become intimate with truth only, and only then can we gain true knowledge of our spiritual enemy, sin. Satan twists that around, making us believe that only through first hand experience with sin do we gain true knowledge. If we are disconnected from truth we are blind to the truth, and therefore blind to the sin in which we indulge.

      Christy Shaw is the Pastor of our church. She made this post’s statement in one of her Sunday messages. The essence of that message was the futility of gaining a head knowledge of the Bible and spiritual truths without ever experiencing truth itself. This really resonated with me in that we humans are so quick to learn, but often at the expense of intimacy with truth.


  2. Lance Ponder says:

    You just keep hitting home runs. I was so angry when I was unable to read my subscriptions for a few days, mostly because I wanted to see what you were writing. It is like a drink from a fresh cold mountain stream – fresh and clear and life enhancing and always pleasant. Blessings, brother.


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