When I was in college, I took several philosophy classes. In one class, we looked at logical positivism. Very roughly speaking, it holds that a statement is meaningless if it cannot be verified in an empirical, or experimental, manner. It has the effect of ruling out, for example, theology. When our professor asked us to critique this philosophy, I responded by saying that it simply chooses to ignore what doesn’t fit into its system.
In chapter 10 of 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul deals directly with his opponents among the “super-apostles” and their followers. Here is his reminder: “The weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (vv. 4-5)
We don’t often think of “strongholds” as “arguments.” But we are more than capable of letting a philosophy or a system of thought become a “proud obstacle.” It can be a proud obstacle that hinders the flow of wisdom which opens us to “the knowledge of God.” It can be an obstacle in other ways. It can close our minds to other possibilities—possibilities which our self-imposed system doesn’t allow us to explore. Maybe we think those other possibilities are meaningless.
And maybe those other possibilities never occur to us because we only know our own system!