Thursday, August 19, 2010

Common Sense vs Learned Reason

"We have elevated common sense above learned reason. Magazine editors and network executives make writers cut references and words they think most people won't know - even though everybody has Wikipedia. We are becoming a country that believes the rich have earned their money but the well educated have not earned their intellectual superiority. This leads to a nation that idolizes the Kardashians." (Joel Stein in Time Magazine August 23, 2010)

Stein is commenting on society in general, but his observation applies easily to the Church as well. When entering in to discussions about liturgy, music, missions, preaching/teaching and community we would all do well to discern whether our current position on the current consideration is an unstudied-prejudice or a studied-conviction. And then, and only then, enter into the debate with a modesty befitting our actual understanding of the issue.

Stein continues, "Yes, it's unfair that much of our future is determined by what we did in high school, as if we were some Soviet Olympic team. But until we come up with a better system, if I have brain surgery, I want it done by a doctor who went to an amazing medical school. Just like I want my Brazilian jujitsu instructor to have a red belt, my prisoners of war to be rescued by a Navy Seal and my technical support phone operator to speak passable English. In fact, I wish more jobs had clear forms of elitism. Specifically, building contractors."

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