I really am quite certain how this exercise would go about if I ever did it. What I have in mind is going to the man on the street and having them give me a list of famous thinkers. I will write that down. Then, I will compare to the second list of famous entertainers. These can all be past or present. I have no doubt which list would be bigger.
Sadly, even for me, I think the second list could be bigger.
I’m not against entertainment of course. I am thankful there are people who can write good fiction and play musical instruments well and sing well and act well. There is nothing against that in itself. I am against our being so overwhelmed that we don’t know thinkers, but we do know entertainers.
Let us suppose we went to the origin of our thinking categories on Earth, the country of Greece. We land there and we want to go see the Parthenon for instance. How do we get there? The best method would be to ask someone who lives there? Why? They’re familiar with the land and can get us there. It’s not intelligence so much as it is familiarity.
Compare that to us today. Let us suppose we wanted to know how to think? How would we do it? Honestly, most of us don’t know and we probably get a headache trying to ponder it. We also don’t know how to stay focused in our world as there is so much going on. Few of us ever take the biblical advice to just “Be still.”
We might have more intelligence, but that doesn’t mean anything this time. Intelligent people can draw stupid conclusions. The problem is we don’t know how to think like the ancients did. Not everyone in Greece was an Einstein I believe. They could have been people of moderate intelligence who just applied what they had and actually thought.
Instead, while we get together today for entertainment, which I am not against of course, we rarely get together and discuss great ideas. We never really talk about the thought of the day or even more importantly, the thought of the past and try to tackle great problems. Would that we did!
We do not know the writing of De Caelo, but we do know how quickly an Oprah Book Club recommendation sells. We do not know who Alcibaides is in Plutarch or the dialogues of Plato, but we know who Tom Cruise is in love with this week. We do not know who Germanicus was, but we do know what is going on in 24 this week.
Again, I’m not saying to neglect the other entirely, but realize that that is not all there is. There are great thoughts out there and if we addressed them, we might find them quite enjoyable as well. In fact, I find when I engage people in such conversations, they usually do enjoy them.
Christianity is a faith based on objective facts and truth and it’s a philosophy on how to see the world with Jesus Christ as the centerpiece. It is a faith for the mind. We neglect that only at our own peril.