July 29, 2013

The Vocation of The Intellectual: James Sire Explains What I Do For A Living

For most of my career, people who work for churches and Christian ministries have never understood what it is I actually do for a living as an academic and research fellow. James Sire, however, gets it. I wish I could put the following quote as a disclaimer in everything I write so that those who work in ministries and in the church world understand why I do what I do. Here are his profound words:

An intellectual is one who loves ideas, is dedicated to clarifying them, developing them, criticizing them, turning them over and over, seeing their implications, stacking them atop one another, arranging them, sitting silent while new ideas pop up and old ones seem to rearrange themselves, playing with them, punning with their terminology, laughing at them, watching them clash, picking up the pieces, starting over, judging them, withholding judgment about them, changing them, bringing them into contact with their counterparts in other systems of thought, inviting them to dine and have a ball but also suiting them for service in workaday life. A Christian intellectual is all of the above to the glory of God.” -James Sire, Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling

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