When the Bible talks about stupidity, it’s not merely addressing book-smarts or street-smarts, I.Q. or knowing lots of information about a lot of things. You can be really smart and still be super stupid. Knowing the superfluidity factors of quantum mechanics pales in comparison to knowing how to live wisely before the Lord.
When God is addressing our stupidity, he’s talking about our lack of wisdom—a kink in our walking in holiness before the Lord.
Russell Kirk spoke of this as the shaping of the “moral imagination.” Stories, rightly told, shape us, almost always unconsciously at first. We vicariously are delighted or surprised or disgusted or outraged. It’s not just that we cognitively connect the dots but that, at some level, we actually experience these things. That power can be used in terrifying ways—see the use of Germanic volk myths in the rise of Hitler—or in life-giving, redemptive ways.
For someone who specializes in 18th-century history, the question of slavery is an ever-present problem. As an evangelical, I deeply admire the work of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, but I can’t get around the fact that they both owned slaves.
What do we do about flawed historical heroes like these? Christians are hardly unique in having to deal with the issue; it’s also an American problem and a human problem. It’s American in the sense that America was founded on the fundamental tension between liberty and slavery. Thus, we have a panoply of historical heroes in America (George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Robert E. Lee, and many more) who were also slaveowners.
We recognize the inherent dangers in quoting someone still living to support your ideas.
They could change their mind, say something idiotic to destroy their credibility, or explain how your quoting of them misunderstands their point. In other words, they could stop being useful to us.
We like our heroes dead and their quotes out of context. That way we can sand off rough edges that are abrasive to us and our preconceptions.
It happens around this time every year now. It’s part of our regular family rhythm, so much so that it doesn’t mean as much to us as it used to. Today is the day our son, Joshua, visits the Survivor’s Clinic for childhood cancer survivors.
Joshua was diagnosed with leukemia when he was two, and we walked through three and a half years of chemotherapy treatments with him. Those were hard years. Years of hair loss. Of painful sores. Of all night stints in the hospital. But looking back on those years now, they were also the most formative years of our lives.
This is pretty neat:
The Bayeux Tapestry may leave France for the first time in 950 years, as the country considers loaning it for display in Britain.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce the historic loan at a meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday.
The artwork depicts the Battle of Hastings and the events leading up to William the Conqueror’s Norman conquest of England in 1066. Embroidered onto a series of 20-inch-tall linen panels, it concludes with the death of King Harold and the retreat of his army.
A favorite from the archives:
Meaning, simply, nearly 40 percent of the world’s population can have an abortion at any time, for virtually any reason. And it’s most likely paid for by your tax dollars. In fact, Canada, where I live, has no standing abortion law whatsoever, despite several failed attempts to place limits over the last 30 years (here’s a timeline of abortion laws in Canada for those interested).
All but one of the major political parties in this country are staunchly pro-abortion. One of these parties requires all of its members of parliament to vote in line with this stance on any bill being considered, regardless of personal conviction. But its not as though the remaining major party is pro-life; they simply allow party members to vote according to conscience.