Knowledge vs. Understanding

Knowledge would be specific facts or procedures – hard reliable data. Understanding would be the ability to assemble knowledge into a cohesive interworking structure. What’s interesting is that you might think that understanding can only be developed upon a base of knowledge, but in reality they tend to float freely. You can’t get understanding without first working closely with a lot of base facts, but a generalized understanding can be transferred over to a new knowledge base and anticipate information you haven’t acquired yet, and so pick it up faster. It also scales upward: understanding at one level can be evaluated as a kind of knowledge in order to achieve a higher level of understanding. So knowledge is more foundational, but understanding is more desirable.

ON THE OTHER HAND, nothing can be more frustrating than a conversation in which knowledge and understanding don’t match up. Understanding that ain’t so is much harder to fix than when what you know ain’t so. So when a person with superior understanding (or supposed superior understanding) comes into contact with someone who has a more shallow understanding and a hard grip on the facts…! Let’s just say nobody is going home happy.

… I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me-
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father’s saying,…

The Essence of Faith

The Essence of Faith.

I think this is good as far as it goes, but it’s still wrong. To a certain extent, it should be as obvious as anything that we should trust an infinite God, infinitely. And our lack of ability to do that even a little bit is probably a pretty good measure of how far short of God’s glory we fall in other areas.

BUT. It’s not as though God makes it obvious and easy to trust in Him. He delights in being trustworthy, and He wants us to delight in his trustworthiness by trusting Him. And to delight in Him more and more is to trust Him more and more. But trusting more and more requires greater and greater challenges to that trust. So God deliberately sets up scenarios where the risk is ever greater to take Him at His word.

If faith were easy, it would just be presumption.


Earlier in my life, I equated knowledge with maturity. And that is a valid position….but not spiritually. I have since come to realize that physical maturity comes with time. Soulish or Intellectual maturity comes through knowledge but spiritual maturity comes only by obedience. Which is why we have so many immature believers…..and frequently I consider myself the chief.

From: Di French (who insists she never said anything original)