A new and likely rather different Dane

It’s hard to imagine another C.S. Lewis in today’s climate. I mean, there’s an entire small cottage industry of writers attempting their own Mere Christianities, but with none of the cultural cache.

Apologetics is, by its nature, didactic, and so tends to attract practitioners who have the qualities of a teacher, and who place a lot of value in the efficacy of argument, discussion and the power of good reason. But while these are generally good things, and while you should be able to articulate why your beliefs are reasonable, the fact is that argument, perhaps now more than ever, is a kind of spectacle, and the attributes of the apologist are typically not the sort equipped to deal with this. So apologetics, like the world of analytic philosophy, risks becoming a sort of hermetically sealed back-and-forth argument in a subculture of people who like that sort of thing, but with little effect outside that. Maybe that’s an unfair characterization, but it sometimes looks that way to me.

Perhaps a more ideal model would be someone like Kierkegaard, who was not out to rationally convince the reader, but to actively play a kind of four-dimensional chess game against the reader. All his major texts are these weird performances which want to draw you deeper into contemplating something of existential import. There’s no assumption that you’re a person who is here purely out of a desire to understand the Truth in good faith.

This could be developed further, but it’s 2am.

About Josh W

Scribbler and doodler
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