Sunday, December 30, 2007

Killing My Brain Cells Reasserted

After posting my last entry on my frustration on people, especially faith-fellows, who are not encouraging the expansion and exploration of human’s mental capacity, I have received warm advises and comments from friends.

This post meant to clarify certain issues involve in my previous post.

Perhaps some readers might find that my post is “groundless, irresponsible, prideful, uncharitable” etc. The only reason I can think of the cause of such response is due to their misunderstanding of my intention and frustration.

Some might also think that I am depreciating my friends, parents, and clergymen in my previous post.

But first of all, the post is NOT about the ‘tension’ between my relationships with those who are around me, if there is any. I have deep affection towards my friends, parents, and clergymen, but deep affection does not mean ‘anything goes’.

Secondly, my frustration goes beyond my private sphere. The trend of discouraging intellectual engagement within the Church itself is prevalent and rampaging. If we don’t cultivate intense criticality among faith-fellows, we shouldn’t be surprise with medias like Christopher Hitchens, Dan Brown, and Philip Pullman popping up around the world.

Yes, intellect shouldn’t be the only one priority, but doesn’t it dawn to anyone that it is not a priority at all in most corner of the Christendom?

Mind and heart together? Yes, but doesn’t the ‘mindless heart’ that is being promoted within the churches?

If ‘Yes’ to both questions above, then how should one responds when he/she was asked not to pursue the matter of ‘the mind’?

“That's why I frequent and drink at clubs a lot. Drinking coupled with dancing help to hasten the alcohol to kill brain cells.” :)

5 comments:

enn@j said...

mmmm...I think its better to talk in person when you are back for CNY ya :) Look forward to see you!

Anonymous said...

If you ask me, just get on with life lah...

Do what you think is right, can't bother too much about how ppl can misunderstand or understand us.

Of course, I share your frustration about the church's stance towards hardcore thinking...well...it's hard to please everyone, let them do what they want and move on.

Jack

Sze Zeng said...

moving on...................

Kar Yong said...

Hi Joshua,

I also share your frustration. I have been wrestling with this issue even in the seminary. How much "academic" should I go in my teaching? How much of the critical stuff should be incorporated in my lectures? How much original language should I emphasise in the exegesis of a given text?

If seminarians are not too concerned about intellectual engagement, can there still be hope in the church? Must we always and only be fed on Our Daily Bread all our Christian life?

Some in my church also discourage me doing too much "theologising." They wish that I could come down from the ivory tower and make some contribution to the church (read: doing and teaching some Christian principles that can be immediately applied in our dialy lives). Isn't intellectual engagement and pursuit a contribution to the church itself?

In fact, when I was in GCF, I have to fight for time off to do my MTheol, but the exco was not in favour of me doing further studies. The reason: I have already obtained an MA in NT, why is there a need for further studies. As a result, I had to leave GCF to pursue further studies. When I went for my PhD, some discouraged me, and some were concerned that I might turn "liberal" studying in a pure academic institution.

Like what Jack said, sometimes we just have to move on, knowing with certainty what the Lord has called us to do.

I recall Kam Weng telling me that the path of Christian intellectual is a lonely one. But with a friend like you, hopefully it is less lonely for me. Hope the same for you too!

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Kar Yong,

Yes, same here! Glad to have you around.