Monday, October 25, 2010

On the Errors of Optimism and Pessimism (a Gamgee philosophy explained by an orthodox rebel)

"Let the high praises of God be in their mouths and a two-edged sword in their hands...." Ps. 149:6
Christianity is neither optimism nor pessimism. It is neither naive nor cynical. It believes in goodness and worships the One who is Good. It also believes in evil and abhors the one who is Evil. There is never a case of extremism in this view. There is nothing of that obnoxious optimism, reeking of superficiality and ignorance, that reads so much good into everything that it sees nothing to fight about. And there is nothing of that pernicious pessimism, reeking of childish and condescending angst, that reads so much evil into everything that it sees nothing to fight for. Because such doctrines do not line up with reality, Christianity denies them both. The truth is that there is good in this world, and it is worth fighting for.

The world is growing weary of jesters and snobs. It grows tired of the infantile laugh of the optimist and the corrosive sneer of the pessimist. This is because the world is starving for Reality, for what is real and true, and neither optimism nor pessimism is either real or true; they do not deal with things as they are. Consequently, they have neither sword nor song for their journey, and such a lack will haunt them in the end. When the dark falls like a curtain and threatens what is true and good, they will have no means to engage it. Likewise, when the light shines like diamonds and beautifies all that it touches, they will have no means to express the fact. Only Christianity, treating both good and evil as true realities at their full capacities, puts a song on our tongues and a sword in our hands.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment