Thursday, November 10, 2011

The world needs more philosphers: they helped me frame today's Penn State

I have the greatest respect for philosophers. They have the patience and love of thought that allows them to frame complex issues of life in ways that I aspire to. I am thankful when I can engage them and gain insight for what I do as a pastor.

The only people I know with extensive training in philosophy both received their training at Penn State University, the school associated with the tragic and horrific abuse of several boys. 

I've never met Brian Cubbage personally, but I have greatly respected his thoughts and ideas for some time via social media. If people wonder what philosophers do, my understanding of philosophy is writ large in his post regarding the emotion and pain of the victims of sexual abuse at Penn State. Cubbage frames the issues at hand with a wisdom that I have yet to see in all that I have read and heard in the past several days. My other PSU-philosophy-trained friend David O'Hara has shared his thoughts on these issue more on Facebook, and I have appreciated those as well. Dave's writing is a good time investment.

Sometimes pastors get the idea that we have to be the bearer of all wisdom when the most difficult questions and situations of life arise (maybe I should speak for myself). The image of the body of Christ is helpful here. Sometimes I do have wisdom to offer. But I also have friends who have been through the rigors of thought work like an athlete trains their muscles, and have the gifts to articulate the best thoughts and paths to action. The world needs philosophers in the Body of Christ more than ever. I am a big proponent "shipping" ideas quickly and learning from failures. But I also thankful for the philosophers who remind me that the body glorifies God when we recognize parts and gifts differing.

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