Editor’s Note: To get the free 72-hour rental, visit The Gospel Coalition, download the current episode and enter the code provided. The Aug. 4 episode is “The Economy of Wisdom,” and the code is “TGC5”.
For seven weeks, The Gospel Coalition is promoting a new short film series from the Acton Institute called “For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles.” On Monday, July 7, The Gospel Coalition offered a coupon to watch the first film in the series for free (normal rental price is $1.99 for a three-day rental) and has continued to offer a coupon for each subsequent film in the seven-part series for the next six Mondays (July 14, July 21, July 28, Aug. 4 – TODAY, Aug. 11, Aug. 18).
“For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles” is a kinda quirky, extremely hipster, theologically rich, artistically beautiful documentary which primarily asks the question, “What is our salvation for?” The series should especially appeal to the millennial generation in its format, look, and quality. If you’re a millennial Christian (or younger), watch it. Even if you miss the “free Mondays” this summer and have to fork over the buck ninety-nine, watch it. It’s worth it. If you’re a bit older and not in touch with the millennial generation, it’s still definitely worth watching for what the series says, just be warned, you might think the format’s a little goofy. Like I said, it’s extremely hipster.
Episode 5: The Economy of Wisdom
This week, Evan asks about knowledge. Why do we want to get knowledge? Do we want to get an education so we can have a piece of paper that says that we can do something, so we can get a job, buy a house, have kids and a nest egg for retirement? Is it a tool we leverage so we can get more stuff … or is it something more than that?
Evan talks with Dr. Timothy G. Royer from Neurocore, a company which does scans of people’s individual brains to help them reach their full cognitive potential (I went to their web site to learn more about the company and found that their purpose is mostly to help people with ADHD and anxiety to overcome it without medication). In talking about our individual brains and how they all work differently, the film raises the problem of our current public education system – that we teach each child the same way, treating them as if they are items in an assembly line. And yet, because people are not all the same, the assembly line model doesn’t work. It doesn’t produce identical successful “finished products” – some kids get lost in the process, and even kids who might be successful at school could be missing something more or something different that they could be, simply because it’s never been considered. As a mom of a kindergartner who has just started in the world of public education, I see this is a very real problem, and I want to know more, but of course the film doesn’t tell us how to fix it!
Evan reminds us that Christians shouldn’t be afraid of science – learning more about the world around us will help us to know God more because it reflects who He is. The lion is like God’s strength; the ocean shows us his greatness; astronomy shows us how the heavens that God made work; biology tells us how the human body works – all of these things bring glory to God who created them.
Evan says, “Knowledge becomes wisdom when it recognizes the Creator.” Christians should long to know more about science, economics, history, everything, because all of it will point us back to He who created it.
Like everything else they’ve discussed in this series, Steven and Evan learn how knowledge is about more than what it can do for us. Yes, it helps us be more and do more, but it is a gift and like all of God’s gifts, it is meant to be given to others. Knowledge is power, but it’s not a commodity that needs to be hoarded. When you give it away, it only grows. If I share my knowledge with you, I don’t have any less knowledge. There is no reason not to share it. As Paul said, “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Knowledge alone is all about me, how much I know, how smart I can show people I am, how much I can do for myself, how far I can go in life with my knowledge. Knowledge with love builds other people up, helps others to grow, helps others to succeed.
This short film has lots packed into it. Evan has five points that he makes about knowledge in 20 minutes! There is so much to explore and more questions are raised than answers given, but that is the way of knowledge, right? It grows. The more you pursue it, the more you learn, the more questions are answered, but the more new questions you have. Watch this week’s film and see what new questions it brings up for you to explore!
Kathy Larson is the director of Christian Education and Creative Arts at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C.
Episode 1: “For the Life of the World”: Quirky, hipster theologically rich documentary
Episode 2: “For the Life of the World”: The Economy of Love
Episode 3: “For the Life of the World”: Creative Service
Episode 4: “For the Life of the World”: The Economy of Order