From mocking him, to being intrigued as I learned more about his personal life (including his visit to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert, where I spent some time before my ordination), to a borderline fascination with the man, I am now listening to Matthew McConaughey narrate his autobiography. A real treat so far.
Three quick thoughts as I approach two months without a smart phone.
- I don’t need a smartphone.
- Very few day-to-day companies on the planet believe #1 is true.
- I sometimes don’t believe #1 is true.
From confused phone carriers to pick-up orders to Amazon needing to verify that I am actually me when I login on my computer, the modern world is built around the notion that every customer owns a smart-phone with email and browser access, alongside the instant ability to download an app. This was likely true before the pandemic, but is increasingly noticeable now.
Whereas refusing to read these authors and learn about their worlds — or to do so merely in order to melt them down in the moral acids of our own unexamined certainties — is to close ourselves off both from our own past and from the possibility of living a fully self-aware life in the present.
That there are people in our time who see little value in the study of the classics is hardly surprising. There have always been those who care little for learning, or who value it only for its usefulness in advancing practical projects. But that such a crude form of philistinism has begun to gain a foothold in the very institutions tasked with preserving and passing on our classical inheritance is troubling. It’s a sign that present-day political concerns and obsessions have begun to intrude on and badly distort the work of the university.
Damon Linker, Cancel the Classics?
History is the story of the way in which man has learned how to live, and in learning this, man has come, from time to time, to periods of great change: periods when the old order of things has changed, passing into the new.
These times are always very difficult for those who live in them, for so much of the old seems to be undergoing destruction that the building of the new is not noticed, for those who destroy generally make more noise than those who build.Dorothy Mills, Book of the Ancient Greeks
A book about Ancient Greece written in the 1920s somehow captures much of our own current moment.
Our Rector’s sermon this morning was beautiful, and model of how to preach in the midst of a crisis.
Honored to be among the clergy of Church of the Incarnation and the Diocese of Dallas.
It was to a room full of people in a similar situation to our own that C.S. Lewis once spoke these words:
The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs.
Doodle of Lewis’ talk available here.