This cartoon was inspired by my reading of G.K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy”, where he says while critiquing some modern-day thinkers who suggest:
“If thy head offend thee, cut if off; for it is better, not merely to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as a child, but to enter it as an imbecile, rather than with your whole intellect to be cast into Hell…”
Richard Dawkins has a valid complaint when he says,
“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.”
You know the drill. When you ask too many good questions or get too smart about some things, you are told to lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge God. I was given this warning by a church leader when I left my church three years ago. In other words, you can’t be smart and trust God at the same time.
The bible warns about vain philosophy. It challenges, “Where is the wise man?” Totally misunderstood and misused, these are employed as scare tactics to keep Christians dumb and docile. If one just stood back far enough to see that, say, the book of Romans, which critiques vain philosophy and false claims to wisdom, is one of the richest and most complex pieces of philosophical and theological literature from that era. Still to this day, Romans confounds the most intelligent among us!
Have you read Barth’s commentary on Romans? It shook the theological world. It might shake yours.
There are places, even churches, where we can think freely. That is our human right and responsibility. Find them! I’m starting with my own head. You?