As my first post I figured a good idea would be addressing why I asked to write on here. First, I find writing enjoyable and cathartic. Second, I believe writing to be one of the most influential forms of teaching and influencing others. So, both reasons tend to be mainly selfish on my part. Hopefully, though, through the grace of God, my selfish endeavors will be turned into a blessing for the readers.
One of my favorite quotes is from C.S. Lewis in “Learning in War-Time”:
Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether.
With that quote he explains my passion for writing and educating both Christians and the ‘heathen’. I believe, and also fear, that in our current culture the work of a Christian’s ‘cool intellect’ does not need to be done against ‘muddy heathen mysticisms’ so much as against ‘muddy Christian mysticisms’. In our American culture we can argue till blue in the face regarding how ‘Christian’ our country is, whatever and however we decide to define that, but wherever one falls on that argument we undeniably exist in a culture that pulls from a Judeo-Christian background and have many mysticisms because of it.
I sat in a presentation once from a missionary to a Muslim country. The missionary opened the room for questions. I don’t remember the specific question but I do remember the answer, “That isn’t real Islam, that’s folk Islam. No serious practicing Muslim believes that as part of their faith.” It struck me how it could be reversed – I could be a Muslim sitting in a room listening to one of my faith brothers talking about his mission work in a Christian country and a very similar question could easily result in the same answer. It then struck me that I’m not sure how many who claim said belief in Christianity actually would know the difference. What part of what we practice of Christianity is ‘folk Christianity’? What do we do culturally as Christians and don’t even think twice about? What do the faithful in other faiths in other countries think of as ‘reasons’ for why Christianity must not be true when they see how we practice it?
Thinking Through Christianity, as far as I am concerned, tries to work through many of these issues. This blog tries to separate the culture from the sacred, the folk from the real, the mysticisms from the Truth and this is why I want to write here. Hopefully a word, phrase or even paragraph of what I write will influence someone (and myself) to moving closer toward the Truth.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)
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