Monday, May 27, 2013

The Fool's Faith

Someone I know was at a science fiction convention recently and got into a conversation about faith. Another person, dressed up in costume no less, overheard and commented, "faith is for fools." The irony in this case is sweet, for there is a profound truth in it.

For what could be more foolish than the obsessive fandom of cosplay? Or the childishness of Geekdom? My response would've been, "yep, you'd fit right in." Christians cannot deny the foolishness of their beliefs. 1 Corinthians 1 and Erasmus' IN PRAISE OF FOLLY are all but proofs of this, for me. I'm a fool. I'm weak and childish and sinful and stupid. I can't pretend to be otherwise without the worst kind of deceit.

But isn't that the point of Geekdom too? It is the bravery of embracing silliness. Indeed much of human life, and nearly all that makes human life meaningful and enjoyable, is silly and foolish. Play, laughter, even love...all follies, if you really reflect on them. The Christian merely includes his or her living into the experiences that inform their worldview. They embrace the folly of human existence in a paradoxically more serious way. They see truth in living, and profundity in the folly of it all. They bring their living and believing together, and indeed I would argue Christianity speaks to the silliness of our living better than any other faith. No, a Christian cannot deny his folly. He can point out, however, the essential folly of us all.

Note: compare Paul's embrace of folly to Simon Pegg's quote about geekiness:

“Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”

Note: Geeks are the future of Christianity in this country, or could be. If these connections could be made clearer, or more bridges built, evangelism here had great potential. 

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