One of the great religious thinkers of this century has pointed out a strange contradiction in the mental attitude of our times--our eager love of knowledge and our universal neglect of truth. That men love knowledge is too well demonstrated to need proof, if by knowledge we mean facts, know-how, statistics, technical information, scientific and mechanical skills. Our printing presses are constantly rolling out books crammed with useful information. Our schools are bulging with eager students bent on acquiring all possible knowledge in the shortest possible time. Among the most popular and lucrative radio programs on the air today are those designed to discover how many unrelated bits of information the participants possess. "Who? What? When? Where?" run the endless questions, and the impression is created that the one who can answer the greatest number is in some way a superior person.
It is vitally important that we make a sharp distinction between knowledge and truth--that is, between the knowledge that is but the sum of facts we possess and truth which is a moral and spiritual thing. It is possible to fill the mind with facts and be none the better for it, for facts have no moral or spiritual significance. Facts bear the same relation to truth that a corpse bears to a man. They serve as a medium whereby truth relates itself to outward life and circumstance but must depend for their significance upon the inner essence of truth.