Sherlock Holmes, the perfect embodiment of modernity’s ideals


Everyone has heard of the fictional “world’s only consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes, the creation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who has been immortalized in numerous short stories, novels, movies and television series. He has been played by more actors than any other character. Almost a century after Conan Doyle put down his pen for the last time, the character Holmes still appeals to readers. Numerous spin-offs have been written, striving to match the genius of the detective’s creator in spinning a yarn about his exploits in defeating crime in late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century England. Hollywood continues to produce movies based on the character.
A series of novels is being published by various mystery writers all competing best to continue the saga of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
Why mention Sherlock Holmes in a book about modern theology? There is precious little theology in any of the stories. The answer is, “Elementary!” (Holmes frequently said that to the often nonplussed Watson.) Holmes represents the ideal modern man, the paradigm of an Enlightenment person.
He was unemotional, objective, rational and committed to reaching conclusions only by evidence and logical deduction. He said nothing against religion but displayed no interest in it. He refused to take miracles or the supernatural seriously even when a crime seemed to have been perpetrated by a vampire or ghost. Above all, he had a steadfast and unwavering faith in observation and deduction. After finally discovering the truth about a crime, when he had seemed to be wrong about a piece of evidence, the detective declared to Watson, “I should have had more faith [in my methods]. . . . I ought to know by this time that when a fact appears to be opposed to a long train of deductions, it invariably proves to be capable of bearing some other interpretation.”
A person as detached, rational and dedicated to observation as Holmes may never have existed, but it would be surprising if Conan Doyle was not intentionally trying to portray the perfect model of an Enlightenment man of science and reason—the model modern man. (Ironically, Conan Doyle himself was the opposite of Holmes. The author, though a medical doctor and therefore well acquainted with modern science, believed in communication with the dead and “garden fairies.”) One can imagine Holmes sitting in his brother’s Diogenes Club smoking a pipe and congenially conversing with Locke or Hume or even Kant. One way to understand the abstract concept of modernity is to think of a character like Holmes, who seemed to be the perfect embodiment of modernity’s ideals for all people.

Roger E. Olson, The Journey of Modern Theology: From Reconstruction to Deconstruction

My Book Review: Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp

dangerous-calling-paul-david-trippThe most important aspect when I read a book about ministry is to understand if the author is actually involved in ministry (of course…), to understand his heart and taste his honesty.

Dangerous Calling is soaked with confessions. Paul Tripp’s confessions, and so many tragedies from the ministry field. Inspired title, Dangerous. Paul knows the problem. If you are preparing for ministry or you are involved in ministry, you can certainly understand that he was and he still is in your shoes. He’s sharing humbling and embarrassing things that most of us tend to hide.

I know I am not alone. There are many pastors who have inserted themselves into a spiritual category that doesn’t exist. Like me, they think they are someone they’re not. So they respond in ways that they shouldn’t, and they develop habits that are spiritually dangerous. They are content with a devotional life that either doesn’t exist or is constantly kidnapped by preparation

He examines his heart and motivations in ministry and invites you to walk in his steps, constantly asking himself, how is the Gospel of Jesus Christ forming the heart of the pastor and his ministry local culture. Undoubtedly, if you do not understand the ministry as it was designed by God, you are in a dangerous place. If the work of God and not God Himself is the main motivation, you are in a dangerous place.

The pastor must be enthralled by, in awe of—can I say it: in love with—his Redeemer so that everything he thinks, desires, chooses, decides, says, and does is propelled by love for Christ and the security of rest in the love of Christ. He must be regularly exposed, humbled, assured, and given rest by the grace of his Redeemer. His heart needs to be tenderized day after day by his communion with Christ so that he becomes a tender, loving, patient, forgiving, encouraging, and giving servant leader. His meditation on Christ—his presence, his promises, and his provisions—must not be overwhelmed by his meditation on how to make his ministry work.

You can feel the love for those who are involved in God’s work and also his pain for the unhealthy pastoral culture that anyone can identify today. The only remedy is Christ.

You see, it is only love for Christ that can defend the heart of the pastor against all the other loves that have the potential to kidnap his ministry. It is only worship of Christ that has the power to protect him from all the seductive idols of ministry that will whisper in his ear. It is only the Citește în continuare „My Book Review: Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp”