TWO TYPES OF STUPIDITY

Hey Christian: We are not off the hook here!

Felipe Cherubin: Given the constant threat of terrorism with which we now live, do you believe we are facing a cultural war? Is Samuel Huntington’s thesis that the world is divided into several civilisations based on religious ideals that can be fault lines for conflict still valid for the 21st century?

Roger Scruton: There is certainly some kind of clash of civilisations occurring. However, Islam seems to have forgotten its civilisation, and it is rare now to meet a Muslim who has ever heard of enlightened Islamic scholars like Ibn Sinna, or Rumi, or Hafiz, or who is even aware that a great civilisation once existed, built upon the revelation of the Koran. Western civilisation, too, is losing the memory of its religious inheritance. I am reminded of Matthew Arnold’s “On Dover Beach” in which he expresses his fear for a future in which “ignorant armies clash by night”. So yes, there is a clash—not of two civilizations but of two competing forms of stupidity: one given to violence and the other to self-indulgence. 

HT: Scot McKnight; emphasis added

WISDOM FROM THOMAS CHALMERS

Love these! (HT: George Grant)

1. “The wider a man’s knowledge becomes, the deeper should be his humility; for the more he knows the more he sees of what remains unknown. The wider the diameter of light, the larger the circumference of darkness.”

2. “Regardless of how large, your vision is too small.”

3. “It is only through faith that we can find our way to love, and only through love that we can find our way to obedience.”

4. “Live with the high aim and purpose of one who is in training for eternity.”

5. “Gargantuanism and the care of souls cannot coexist.”

6. “Repentance is not one act of the mind; it is a course of acting by which we die daily unto sin.”

7. “Obstacles, setbacks, and difficulties are but opportunities for courage and tenacity. Great victories demand fierce resistance. Otherwise, they would not be great.”

8. “I would pray unto watching–and watch unto praying.”

9. “Let us standfast and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered; let us be manly and strenuous in the vindication thereof; and yet, let all our things be done with charity.”

10. “It is not by irregular efforts, however gigantic, that any great practical achievement is overtaken. It is by the constant recurrence and repetition of small efforts directed to a given object, and resolutely sustained and persevered in.”

11. “Let us be neither over-sanguine nor over-melancholy of immediate results. Our perspective of time is only slowly synchronized to the clock of providence.”