Only Connect...


My good friend and colleague in exile Barry Sloan posted a link to this piece by Victoria Coren in the Guardian. I'd half heard a reference to it earlier in the week on some discussion show or other (can't remember which) but was interested to read the article in full... Especially as I have the same sort of intellectual crush on Victoria Coren as she has on Rowan Williams... her quiz show on BBC4 "Only Connect", is an oasis of intellectual challenge (together with Paxo and "University Challenge" immediately before it on BBC2) in a wilderness of reality TV, soaps and quizzes for the illiterate or money-grabbing (or frequently both).

I'm sure we've all had fanboy/girl embarassing incidents in our day... Mine involved some simpering infront of Brian Cox years ago before he was famous (the actor not the astro-physics popstar)... although the thought of trying to extricate yourself from an embarassing situation with the Archbishop of Canterbury using a story involving watermelons in the film "Dirty Dancing" strikes me as a case of "when in hole stop digging." I've never seen the film so I don't know if the anecdote made any sort of sense... but her recollection of it was at least funny.

But this article is important not simply because it is funny, but also because it is true... there is a dearth of witty, intelligent believers in the public eye. And the problem is not, as the former Archbishop of Canterbury and his cohorts would have us believe, that there is a huge anti-Christian conspiracy in the media and in the public square in general... Yes there is less deference to Christianity these days (something which Christians, particularly those in the established church in England have difficulty in accepting) but we also reap what we sow in disparaging the intellect... especially within evangelicalism... where many are actively hostile to most intellectual pursuits... the sciences, especially biology and cosmology are derided as godless, the arts are effete and dominated by people of dubious morals, and theology can be injurious to faith. If there is any lauding of intellectual pursuits then it must be within safe boundaries, and within a Christian sub-culture... creation science, Christian arts and reformed/evangelical/sound (delete as applicable) theology in a bona fide evangelical institution.

As I have stated repeatedly previously we are called to worship God with our heart, soul, strength and mind... not simply use the rice pudding in our heads as packing material to stop our heads from caving in...

We are called on to take the gospel into the whole world, including the world of the intellect and the media... to make connections for the sake of Christ...

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