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A Scholar’s Priorities

Are our priorities in the right place?

But since we are fallen creatures the fact that [hubris] is now our nature would not, by itself, prove that it is rational or right. We have to inquire whether there is really any legitimate place for the activities of the scholar in a world such as this.

That is, we have always to answer the question: “How can you be so frivolous and selfish as to think about anything but the salvation of human souls?” and we have, at the moment, to answer the additional question, “How can you be so frivolous and selfish as to think of anything but the war?”

Now part of our answer will be the same for both questions. The one implies that our life can, and ought, to become exclusively and explicitly religious: the other, that it can and ought to become exclusively national. I believe that our whole life can, and indeed must, become religious in a sense to be explained later.

But if it is meant that all our activities are to be of the kind that can be recognized as “sacred” and ties are to be of the kind that can be recognized as “sacred” and opposed to “secular” then I would give a single reply to both my imaginary assailants. I would say, “Whether it ought to happen or not, the thing you are recommending is not going to happen.”

There is a legitimate place for the scholar even in the midst of disaster. Without the scholar, without the scientist, we would not have the knowledge to fix failing nuclear power plants, much less to build them. We need the scholar who looks at academia from God’s perspective — too few exist today. We need the scientist, the politician, the theologian, the engineer, the stock trader, and the doctor who sees their occupation from a biblical worldview. Our careers and our faith should not be separated but considered interdependent facets of our persons.

We are not Christians on one hand and journalists on the other — we are Christian journalists.


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