Name and Place for August 26 (’14)
Harry Blamires’ 50 year-old book The Christian Mind still has practical applications for the modern day Christian and a powerful warning on the dangers of when Christ’s Church loses its ability to think Christianly.
As Christians struggle with 20th century secularism, Blamires’ exhortation needs to be heard again.
“We twentieth-century Christians have chosen the way of compromise. We withdraw our Christian consciousness from the fields of public, commercial, and social life. When we enter these fields we are compelled to accept for purposes of discussion the secular frame of reference established there. We have no alternative- except that of silence. We have to use the only language spoken in these areas. Our own Christian language is no longer understood by the people there. Moreover we ourselves have so long ceased to use it except for discussion of the moral, the liturgical, or the spiritual, that it is rusty and out of date. We have no Christian vocabulary to match the complexities of contemporary political, social, and industrial life. How should we have? A language is nurtured on usage, not on silence, however high-principled. And we have long since ceased to bring the Christian judgement to bear upon the secular public world.
The Church’s virtual withdrawal from these fields has left the pragmatist and utilitarians in power. It has led to the decay of the Christian mind. And now, by reaction, it has begotten a brood of frustrated Christians who try to cultivate their own souls but, outside of that, just don’t know what to do” (27-28).