Saturday, December 2, 2017

Seems like old times

"In the fifteenth century men cross-examined and tormented a man because he preached some immoral attitude; in the nineteenth century we feted and flattered Oscar Wilde because he preached such an attitude, and then broke his heart in penal servitude because he carried it out. It may be a question which of the two methods was the more cruel; there can be no kind of question which was the more ludicrous.  The age of the Inquisition has not at least the disgrace of having produced a society which made an idol of the very same man for preaching the very same things which it made him a convict for practicing."   Chesterton, Heretics.  
I've been skipping through Chesterton, and that leaped out at me.  Sort of makes you think that the lunacy of our modern age isn't unique to our modern age.   

As I listen to so many leaders, including religious leaders, jumping on the post-evidence, latest morality bandwagon, I'm reminded of something I concluded back in graduate school: There are great scholars who are good at being great scholars, and there are great scholars who are good at being great thinkers.  

You don't hear about the second group as much, because they tend not to think according to bandwagons, one way or another.  That tendency can sometimes limit upward mobility.  But God bless them, they're the ones who help keep us grounded in the real world of God's creation, not the whimsical world of our latest fancies.  

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