ENTRY 1222 | February
always found it exhilarating to make a "breakthrough" in
my thinking; to discover, through a process of thinking things through,
a new, more useful or "manageable" conception of something.
When I became editor of the Journal at age twenty, part of
the job description was to write an editorial every week. I resisted
the idea for a while, because compared with news reports and columns
consisting of chit chat about teen interests (which had been my previous
main assignment for five years) writing editorials—stating an
idea and expounding and defending it—was hard work entailing
research and lots of rewriting.
though "what would Jesus do?" was not a motto I'd heard
then, something close to it did influence all my decisions at that
time. It was more like "what would Jesus want me to do?"
or "what's the 'Christian' thing to do?" And of course,
the answer to that in regard to editorial writing was obvious as soon
as I asked the question: "See it as an opportunity to influence
the thinking of others in a godly direction."
is an obligation every Christian shares, in my opinion (and I daresay,
the Lord's), though most do it more by behaving responsibly, being
kind and charitable, and "speaking words of encouragement and
of faith in season" rather than writing about ideas. In other
words, I had a chance to expand my Sunday school class consisting
of the teen boys at First Baptist Vintondale into a "classroom"
scattered all around Cambria County (the editorials appeared in all
of the Sedloff weeklies, serving three sections of the county). And
once I started thinking of it that way, I was thrilled to learn that
none of the other company's editors liked to write editorials so they
were happy to leave most or even all of that task to me as the one
who "enjoyed" it. And I enjoyed it because it required me
to think things through which inevitably—eventually—led
to new breakthroughs or insights into the human condition.
this is all preliminary to saying that I have just made another breakthrough
in my thinking. Combining the fact that I recently wrote a chapter
in my current book entitled "Christian Philosophy" and another
chapter about two specific philosophies (modernism and postmodernism);
that I have been reviewing, tweaking, and peddling both of those chapters
as features to highly regarded magazines; and that I recently wrote
several blog entries in this department entitled "a manner of
speaking"; and that recently in rereading C.S. Lewis's Mere
Christianity I found him saying that when someone becomes a Christian,
God gives him a lot to learn but also gives greater intelligence to
enable him to learn it...all of these combined to help me gain a new
insight is that everyone is a philosopher or, more precisely, every
sane human being "philosophizes," engages in philosophical
work now and then. Before the breakthrough, I had a vague notion that
philosophy is for philosophers and philosophers are people with advanced
degrees from advanced educational institutions who majored in that
particular science and that if I pretended to be a philosopher I would
be laughed out of town. To be sure, philosopher-snobs might laugh
at a neophyte like me having anything to say in "their"
field, but now I'm sure it's true that everyone philosophizes; it's
as basic and simple as "In the beginning was the Word (Logos,
logic) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." To know
God is to know the Word (God the Son). And to philosophize is to think
logically and as the root of logic is logos/word, to philosophize
is to think through the meanings and uses of words.
its most basic sense, it wouldn't stretch the point to breaking to
say that every time someone looks up a word in the dictionary, he
or she is doing philosophy. To better understand or better know what
something means is the beginning of philosophy, the two Greek logos
of which mean "love" (philo) and wisdom (sophy). The "mother
church" (so to speak) of Orthodoxy is the Hagia Sophia Cathedral
in Constantinople (Istanbul). Though some mistakenly translate it
as "St. Sophia," it literally means "Holy Wisdom,"
which could also be called "God's Logic."
hope to revisit (and philosophize some more about) this theme next
time. But for now, somthing to think on.
Webmaster Jon Kennedy