Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Smarts and Heart?

Today I'm borrowing a passage from General Frederick Coutts book, No Continuing City, which was first published in 1976. Here, Coutts is discussing a young married Captain "who was both running the corps and studying for his PhD":
When some mournful spirit confides in me that the Army is not what it once was, I think of our officer corps - and agree. There is a difference. An officer does not belong to what William Booth once called 'the dangerous classes' because he has had a formal education. We are learning that there is no just cause or impediment why a brilliant intellect may not be wedded to a compassionate heart. It is in this happy marriage that lies the ever-increasing usefulness of my fellow officers. I will hear no word against the scholar. If God has no use for our brains He has less use for our ignorance.

It is true that theological fashions change. Yesterday's daring speculation is tomorrow's old hat. It is therefore not surprising that some of the faithful are bewildered and jump to the unjustified conclusion that theology should be treated as Henry Ford treated history - as bunk. But the genuine scholar is devout of heart and charitable in his judgements. If - in the words of John XXIII - I pray God to 'preserve me from underestimating study, I must beware of attaching to it an exaggerated and absolute value. Study is one eye, the left eye; if the right one is
missing, what is the use of a single eye?' Or, for that matter, of one leg? A man needs both to walk.

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