Looking for Real Authenticity
“This above all: to thine own self be true.” Thus says Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It has become our culture’s “life verse,” though we usually talk about it in terms of authenticity.
When comes to figuring out our “real self,” things get complicated, as research shows:
One of the saddest consequences of our culture’s search for the holy grail of the authentic self is how it destroys families, among other relationships. Note this piece on CNN, “I Was Married with 2 Kids when I realized I’m gay.”
This is one reason our culture is, as this article in City Journal puts it: “Alone: The decline of the family has unleashed an epidemic of loneliness.”
It is one of the great paradoxes of the Christian narrative that only the one who gives up the self will be able to find it (Mark 8:35).
A Couple of Elusive Presences
This week’s title in my ongoing series is “The Church’s Sickness Unto Death: Our missional activism threatens to kill us. It doesn’t have to.” This completes this series on the church, which has been a series within a series.
Another piece on the CT website of special interest is “The Bonhoeffer That History Overlooked: In 1946 a man named Ernst Lohmeyer disappeared from East Germany. It took me three decades to piece together his story.” James Edwards summarizes his book, Between the Swastika and the Sickle, the search for this New Testament theologian who opposed Nazi ideology and its fanatical anti-Semitism.
Summer Reading Redux
My book recommendation for the week is Love in the Ruins: Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World, by Walker Percy. He was a National Book Award winner back in the day (1962, for The Moviegoer). As the subtitle suggests, this book has religious themes woven through it. Like this passage, after the profligate, alcoholic narrator, a psychiatrist, has made a pass at a nurse:
Here is the summary of the novel at Wikipedia:
Grace and peace,
Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today