Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Enlightened Thinker

Here is someone who sees
himself in such a way.
He is not such a helper.
In Christianity - perhaps all faiths, but certainly Christianity - there repeatedly turns up the figure of the man who knows what the faith is really all about and how the rest of civilization has fallen away from the true religion. This is not too surprising, the entire religion is built upon one such figure. But there is always something discomforting about reading such a thinker.

If you are the only one - or one of the elite few - then it must be that everyone else is wrong. You must lead them, and they ignore you at their peril. But you are a particular man. You love some things more than others. You are terrified by some things and not by others. You have a body type, a skin color, a hair style, a wardrobe. How can an entire church become like you when there is no one else in the world precisely like you?

Perhaps we say that they only need to resemble him in one capacity - the capacity of faith - but men do not divide that cleanly. If he had a different upbringing, a different culture, a different nationality, a different tone of voice, a different socioeconomic status, a different hobby, a different length of penis, a different preferred style of writing or film, a different sized family, a different first crush; then the faith would be different.

I want to say that we should approach all such Enlightened Thinkers as helpers. People who have excelled at some faith game and become a certain kind of man, and who can therefore help us become certain kinds of men. Distinct from them, but great in our own way. That is what I want to say, but is it true from the Christian point of view? It certainly seems to be a rare sentiment among the Enlightened Thinkers themselves, they rarely sell their ways and methods as just another set of ways and methods.

And then I step back out of the Christian Vantage Point, and leave that question to simmer.

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