Fahrenheit 451 revisited

Monday Musings for March 06, 2017

Good morning, Musers,

On first blush, today’s question might sound a little highbrow, but its solution lies with my oft-used passage, Romans 1:18-25… because highbrow or common, the solution is often the same: just look around — look up, down and in — because God has covered all the bases.

What satisfied me personally, however, was that I was able to bring some of my more current work into this question — about how our preference for social media snippets might affect our ability to understand complex ideas. But more specifically, it shows how this proclivity distances us from substantive discussion of our literary canon… which helps us see how our lives integrate with the biblical canon.

God made us bright, but God also made us to be deep… and his “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17) idea extends to all life. So, whether we are students at Socrates’s knee, or a medieval master with his apprentice or a surgeon with his chief, we are all the better for testing each other… and for disagreeing! That’s a great method to test our theories! But perhaps most importantly, we are all the better for building upon our collective wisdom rather than ignoring it… although we are no strangers to repeating bad history.

In a dystopic vision of our future, Ray Bradbury saw a government that had grown too big, but its real problem was the way it subdued the population. By creating a society where ease usurped any real mental work (which might sound like a dream), the government could do whatever it wanted as long as pleasantness reigned. In fact, it engaged in wars that the people were barely aware of — and this is a real threat. When individuals allow their soulish capacities to atrophy by shifting away from substantive pursuits, like reading, and spend more time consuming shallow entertainment, critical thinking dies… and others think for you. How are we not right there?

Both Bradbury’s world and our own shows how we humans (and humanity) squander our gifts. God made us so capable — so deep… but look at what we do with ourselves. We take our potential and consume it upon our own lusts (James 4:3). But I’ll remind my readers that God works very well with a remnant — and that he laughs at consensus… although consensus will come. But it will come at the right time and for the right reasons.

By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. (Isa. 45:23, NIV)

You heard it here: every knee shall bow…so beat the rush! If you are an outsider, bow to the Savior, and if you’re a believer, bow to service… but either way, enjoy the musing.

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