Saturday, October 14, 2006


I'm currently reading "Habits of the Mind" by James Sire. I found the first couple of chapters difficult. He quotes extensively from Cardinal Newman as an example of a Christian intellectual. Since Newman converted from being an Evangelical Anglican to Roman Catholicism, I'm predisposed to take his intellectual powers as being somewhat suspect. I know, this is my personal bias. Sire quotes extensively in the way that some people write Christian devotionals. However other peoples devotional thoughts have never done much for me. I enjoy my own devotional thoughts. That's not to say I don't enjoy some thoughts and statements others make. I just find it hard to read a book where someone quotes a famous author and says, "Doesn't this thrill your heart?"

However, after the first couple chapters I started to enjoy this book. He had one observation which I thought was particularly insightful (or at least he had a pithy way of expressing the thought). He said that while a secular intellectual is interested in ideas, a Christian intellectual is interested in truth.

He also had some interesting thoughts which I believe expressed very well the sheer joy of thinking. Perhaps he goes a long way to express the psychology of Christian intellectualism, in the same manner as the book "The Psychology of Computer Programming" explained to the world how computer programmers think and what their (our) motivation is.


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