Th Poison of Pompous Novelty

There is a new book out from Baker titled Faith, Film, and Philosophy, which compiles articles from a number of different Christian philosophers who critique modern culture through the study of film.  One chapter by Douglas Geivett (who spoke on this subject at ETS) concludes with a caution worthy of our notice.  I quote it at length for your consideration:

Christian thinkers have a responsibility to serve the church with their expertise.  They need to consider carefully what this means.  They should exercise caution–and what I would call compassion–when displaying their wares before an unwary laity.  Scholarship has an experimental aspect.  This is risky business.  Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga writes that “the method of true philosophy, unlike that of liberal theology and contemporary French thought, aims less at novelty than at truth.”  Intellectual representatives of the Christian knowledge tradition should resist the temptation to impress others with their erudition and the impulse to propose experimental theories for the sake of originality.  The lure of prideful posturing is an occupational hazard for those of us who work in the academy.  Christian intellectuals are not immune to the desire for celebrity status; intellectual hubris joined with spiritual elitism is an especially deadly concoction.  And members of the believing community are vulnerable to its poison.

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