The keynote speaker at this year’s Paideia Conference was a guy named Mike Wittmer and his topic was How Can We Really Know Anything?
I was horrified.
The quickest way to get me angry during an intellectual conversation is to say “How can you really know anything is true?” when it looks like you are wrong. It happens all the time when someone’s thesis is challenged by the fact that no documents support their claim. They quickly appeal to abusive post-modernism and state that we don’t really know anything, anyway, so who cares? I don’t talk to these people more than once. (I tell them I don’t believe in them.)
So who was this Mike Wittmer guy and why was he talking about the same thing? As it turned out this guy was on his game; he quickly gained my respect and his blog has become one of my favorites. I have been very put out by the actions of the emergent church and was delighted to know that Mike Wittmer has met with emergent church leaders to point out the problems in their theology (or lack of it) and to encourage the church not to throw out the Bible. Mike Wittmer is a champion of the church – confronting those who seek to do it harm with their philosophy.
“It was always our dream that one of our songs would inspire a Christian book. Now, we can finally retire having accomplished all of our goals!”
Mike reminded us that our beliefs are everything. He went on to talk about being a Christian in a doubting world that hangs on to abusively post-modern stands. In the question and answer section he displayed his intellectual prowess when confronted with tough questions; during a conversation with him I was delighted to discover that he is also something of a medievalist and we had a nice chat about early medieval thought. Mike Wittmer gave us sound logical/philosophical advice for our lives that was practical in helping us live out our faith. What more could an intellectual ask for?
Well, he could name his next book after a Led Zeppelin song, for starters. What is and What Should Never Be sounds like a good title. So does The Battle for Evermore. Or maybe a book about Catholocism titled The Wind Cries Mary? (Of course, when I think of the emergent church the first song that comes to mind is We’ve Got to Get Out of this Place.)
“Just think – 1 million people with the song Don’t Stop Believing by Journey stuck in their head! That’s our vision, folks!”
But seriously, Mike Wittmer is doing great work and everyone should check it out. More importantly, we should listen to him and remember how critical it is that we know what to believe.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)