We Contain Multitudes; So Should our Feast of Ideas

The deaths of both Tim Keller and Matthew Perry impacted me deeply. 

Because the lives of both men impacted me profoundly.

One taught me to exegete both Scripture and culture with integrity, to reach across aisles in pursuit of unity, and to embody a settled faith.

The other taught me to connect through authenticity, the courage of vulnerability, and the power of shared laughter.

Both made me a better thinker, a better story teller, and a better human.

Both poured themselves out for the world, making an indelible mark with their respective crafts.

I loved them both, and despite the differences between their lives and work, I (and so many thousands of others) am more than I would have been if either had not existed…

Because, like Whitman 😘, I too contain multitudes.

I too need to experience the fullness of art and ideas and beauty and goodness and thought in order to experience the fullness of this life and of myself.

My reflection of Matthew Perry’s life and legacy, caused me to examine the ways in which my grief reminded me of and returned me to a short time ago when I was grieving Tim Keller, and I thought about how much I’ve learned about thought and ideas and the nature of the human mind.

Our minds need a multiplicity of ideas from every age and of every form and from so many kinds of people.

We need a multiplicity because we ourselves are precisely that.

We need humor and we need theology.

We need wisdom from varied sources and we need the gift of seeing through many sets of eyes.

We need art that takes on many forms and invokes responses from many depths within us.

We need the page and we need the stage.

We need to share in comedy and we need to sit with one another in tragedy.

We need to laugh and we need to see them told in our books and on our screens and in our living rooms.

We need academia and we need the academy of arts.

I’ve come to know with all of my being that the wells of thought that we’re drawing from must be wide in order to be deep. 

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