Here is an interesting post at JN1034: “The Gospel According to Ontology – The Mind Is Never the Wiser (We’ve Empowered the Christian Intelligentsia to Slaughter the Heart)”. Read it and please send any disagreements you might have. I have a few myself although in general I agree. First, I didn’t find an explanation of our leaving the ways of the old church and arriving to our present condition. Second, (which, I think, is due precisely to the absence of an explanation), the author of the post seems to underestimate intellectual activity.
Just a few remarks. Since our mind has/acquired a rationalizing ability and our faith encompasses this ability even to respond to heretical thoughts (or discern what is heretical and what isn’t), we have to understand and experience God even in this ability of ours, in any case to exercise our freedom to explore possibilities and form our churces. Intellectual/rationalizing thinking is not to be abandoned nor does it ‘slaughter’ the heart by itself, as it did not in the very old church that we admire. Compared with St Maximus Confessor our ‘intelligentsia’ is not more but less intelligent, with a weaker rationalizing power. We may understand the superiority of the heart, but this understanding too needs the intellectual ability.
Therefore what is our problem really? Our problem is, in my opinion, that we focused on rationalization instead of seeing in it a relatively inferior power. This started to happen mainly in the Western scholasticism, and is due to our weakened immediate experience of living together with God, known also as ‘mystical’ experience. This way we passed from being faithful to being followers of an ideology, and this is the start, not all the way. One step further brought us to our present condition. This step is the mass culture.
Some time ago a person who wanted to know not theology, but just painting or music, had to find a great master of that art, had to undergo many pains in order to find him, be accepted by him and probably achieve that knowledge. In the mass culture we created, thousands of bored ‘students’ may attend the most demanding of arts, as is theology, and then be named en masse “theologians”, even “Masters” of Theology.
Fine painters still exist, despite our mass culture, as also saints exist, worthy theological thinking too. What we have done, is that we created a general disrespect for theology, having identified it with the ‘thinking’ of the majority of our ‘theologians’, thus weakening the power of our churches to call new members and edify the old ones. We made of our faith, of the very highest truth, a cause for boredom. This is all that we did, simple to be expressed, yet painful when we sense its consequences for the life of our churches.