Out of Order

Dave Gifford

READ : Colossians 2:4-8

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit . . . (v. 8)

I teach a philosophy class at a seminary in Mexico City. So I have to wince at Paul’s choice of words. Philosophy means simply “love of wisdom.” That’s a good thing. Paul here is not criticizing philosophy in general but a particular philosophy in Colossae. There are ways of seeking wisdom that are actually foolish and downright dangerous. Paul says such ideas deceive and enslave us if we submit to them. And they are hollow—beneath their persuasive surface these ideas are nothing but hot air.

Today various media expose us to many such philosophies. Television, music, and advertising bombard us with messages that seek to seduce and enslave us. And pretty much anyone can create a webpage and broadcast their random, unordered ramblings to the entire world. Some Christians think we should insulate ourselves from such messages. I would suggest we need to do the opposite: use true philosophy—real wisdom—to disarm such messages and expose their hollowness. But this only works properly when we sink our roots deep into Christ and are nourished and fortified by him. May you experience today the unshakable faith that comes only from him.


Help me order my thoughts and my life according to Christ, the true source of wisdom.