Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"There is no longer a Christian mind." -Harry Blamires

So begins Harry Blamires in The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think?. This book came out in 1963. "If Christians cannot communicate as thinking beings, they are reduced to encountering one another only at the shallow level of gossip and small talk. Hence the perhaps peculiarly modern problem- the loneliness of the thinking Christian."

The following resonated with me, especially after reading Alisdair MacIntyre's book on Edith Strein and her phenomenologically trained apprehension of the necessity of community in development of the full identity:

"You cannot enter these spheres as a thinking Christian, for there is no one to communicate with christianly. There is no field of discourse in which your presuppositions can be understood, let alone accepted and discussed. With these fields you will find yourself inevitably, by acquiescence, sunbscribing to the furtherance of aims of which you deeply and christianly disapprove." What fields? Political, cultural, social and commercial life.

This seems somewhat pessimistic. To be sure the situation has changed since the 1960s when he wrote, yet his words do not strike me without an element of unction. He recognizes the need for the Christian intellectual dialogue and the graveness of its loss among us.

He writes about the pitfalls of being merely an efficient organizer or a scholar in contrast to the thinking Christian, and cogently delineates how the worldy paradigm has often invaded in the former kind, with seeming good intent, but nefarious, excacerbating the bad, prolonging the toil, ostracizing the Spirit of God.

One thing that I am reminded as I am reading through this book is of the importance of cultivating real Christain thought, even on so measly a scale as this backwaters blog that apparently no one ever reads. Understanding and employing the mind Christianly is no small task. Lord, may I do this!

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