Try Thinking

By Sam Kean

Are you afraid that you will be seen as stupid or dumb for believing Jesus Christ is the Son of God? No one wishes to be seen as uneducated, and absolutely no one wants to be “taken in” by what they feel is myth or mere religion. Perhaps you think Christians “check their brain” at the doors of churches and drink the “red Kool Aid.” No educated person falls for that sort of stuff. Right? There’s too much science to go back into the “dark ages” and pre-enlightenment times.  [By the way, I am a firm believer that pure science (as opposed to theory or conjecture) and pure biblical interpretation can be harmonized without compromise to either.]

Ok. So, here is my fuller response prefaced by my cases-in-point. Already today, I have had 2 somewhat disturbing experiences.

First, I asked a young lady what she thinks is the meaning of life. Her response was, “I don’t think about that; …I am just living right now.” We had a somewhat limited conversation about the topic, mainly one-side, because she wasn’t being modest or philosophical by her answer. It was obvious she hadn’t given any thought to the matter. Perhaps it was her youth. Maybe. Nonetheless, I found it disheartening, because I would rather someone think about this stuff incorrectly than not to think at all.

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Secondly, I was doing some work in a public area, and a man came out of the work-out gym area. I am not sure if he thought no one was around, but he exclaimed (almost at a shout), “What the H____?!” It startled me. I turned around, and he saw me. I said, “What’s going on?” His reply stunned me in its triviality. “Leyland resigned,” he muttered and then walked out. Ok, so perhaps he was a big Detroit fan. I don’t know, but I couldn’t help thinking that the gravity of his exclamation didn’t really match the trivial nature of the event. So what if a coach resigns! What does that matter in the grand scheme of one’s lifetime, let alone the topic of the eternal and spiritual?

Now, I am willing to admit that my disposition leads me to the philosophical. Some people have referred to me as a religious thinker; others may relegate me to the likes of ancient mystics and think nothing more of what I say or write. Whatever the case, my interactions with these two individuals today typifies our modern culture to me. Living in the moment is the mode for our post-modern, pluralistic society. Everyone just wants to feel, and everyone wants (understandably) to feel good right now. The hassle and possible offensiveness of thinking has given way to the ease of not thinking…

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