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Switch to Forum Live View Famous Smart Christians
5 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2010 - 12:40AM #1
Relic433
Posts: 1

CS Lewis in one of his books(I forget which), made a list of famous smart people from history that he preferred to join rather than the gloomy one of atheists or materialists.


If anyone could come up with that list, that would be kind of cool to have handy.


I think Thomas Aquinas and Pascal were on it.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2010 - 2:06PM #2
Beautiful_Dreamer
Posts: 5,167

I hear C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were pretty good friends. I'd put Tolkien on the 'Smart Christians' list...he was Catholic, wasn't he? That's what I've always heard.

More where that came from...

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2010 - 10:03PM #3
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

Relic: Let me give you just a brief list, with brief descriptions (not doing all your work for you;-)), going backward through the saints' days  and commemorations of the Church year:


Martin Luther King, Jr.: Not only a social reformer but a theologian in the liberation theology mold, who got his doctorate from Brown University...he was a lot more than the compelling preacher of popular memory.


Adrian of Canterbury: Adrian was a North African of Berber descent, a scholar who was renowned not only for his knowledge of theology but for secular academic disciplines as well, who was sent to Dark Age Britain with his friend Theodore, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who set out to create a system of higher education in sacred and secular subjects. They established a college in Canterbury that became an important center of learning in Europe.


Dorothy Sayers, another one of the "Inklings" (along with Lewis, Tolkien and others), was a woman of letters who, while being known for her detective fiction (featuring posh detective Lord Peter Wimsey and gal pal Harriet Vane) and works of Christian apologetics, also crafted a well-regarded translation of Dante's Divine Comedy that she felt was her greatest work. She was also a strong advocate for women's education and independence.


Thomas Merton, the famous Trappist contemplative, wrote numerous works on Christian mysticism and social justice, as well as poetry and hagiographies (lives of the saints). He was also a keen student of Eastern contemplative practice, particularly in the Buddhist tradition.


Dionysius of Alexandria was a bishop in the early Church who found value in studying pagan scholarship -- this at a time when some in the Christian community wanted to shun all things pagan -- and who used the discipline of rhetoric to formally debate pagan opponents; he was also one of the first Christian academics to critically analyze Scripture, and also worked to develop a unified, systematic Christian theology.


Luke the Physician, author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, was not only a doctor, but a very sophisticated storyteller. His Gospel is notable for his sense of himself as narrator; with attention to historical detail; with interactions between people fleshed out in a contemporary manner.


William Tyndale, translator of the first English Bible (and coiner of many well-crafted phrases that found their way into the KJV) was also a theologian.


Dag Hammarskjold was a gifted diplomat and distinguished General Secretary of the UN who got his professional start in the banking world, helping develop the economic underpinnings of modern Sweden. He was also a thoughtful person of faith whose spiritual diaries show great complexity and depth of thought.


Hildegarde of Bingen was a medieval nun who defied the narrow boundaries of what was expected of women in those days, as well as a sketchy formal education, and created very complex works of theology and music as well as spiritual autobiographies of her own faith experience...and she was a fearless reformer unafraid to speak truth to power.


I can keep going if you want.;-) You'll note I haven't even touched on "smart Christians" in our own immediate time.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2010 - 10:50PM #4
Ironhold
Posts: 11,594

Don Bluth - animator / director (Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven)


Henry Eyring - scientist (father of Henry B. Eyring, one of the leaders of the church)


Dr. Philo T. Farnsworth - scientist / inventor (credited as the inventor of the television)


Alvino Rey - musician (credited with inventing a style of steel guitar)


John Moses Browning - gunsmith / businessman (founded Browning Arms Company and invented several of their more popular weapons and ammo types)


James A. Talmage - geologist (later became one of the church's foremost apologists)


Hugh Nibley - soldier / scholar (served in the Army during WWII; later became one of the church's foremost apologists. Noted for holding several advanced degrees and being multi-lingual)


"Wierd" Al Yankovic - singer / humorist (graduated high school at the age of 16; earned a bachelor's in architecture before deciding that music was his calling)

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2010 - 7:34PM #5
Sakhaiva
Posts: 942

Lewis and Tolkien were members of 'the Inklings' (along with several others)  They were also friends with TS Eliot, who is another 'smart christian'


Ok, wow.  Where to begin?


Desiderius Erasmus


Phillip Melanchthon


Origen  (a great read: katà Kélsou)


William Tyndale (spoke SEVEN languages so fluently one could not tell which was his own)



Copernicus


Galileo Galilei ("God is known by nature in his works, and by doctrine in his revealed word.")


Bonhoeffer


Soren Kierkegaard


... the pastor of my youth was pretty intelligent; extremely well versed in Koine Greek, Latin and studied Hebrew in Jerusalem.


 


:)


Since Ash Wednesday is next week, and since I put him on my list, here is a link to T.S. Eliot's poem:




Ash Wednesday


 

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 09, 2010 - 7:37PM #6
Sakhaiva
Posts: 942

Jan 19, 2010 -- 10:50PM, Ironhold wrote:


"Wierd" Al Yankovic - singer / humorist (graduated high school at the age of 16; earned a bachelor's in architecture before deciding that music was his calling)




 


Cool

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2010 - 8:03PM #7
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

John Polkinghorne: Physicist/Anglican theologian.


Katherine Jeffers-Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the USA, has a doctorate in oceanography as well as in divinity.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 10, 2010 - 10:39PM #8
SeraphimR
Posts: 10,128

Feb 10, 2010 -- 8:03PM, tawonda wrote:


John Polkinghorne: Physicist/Anglican theologian.


Katherine Jeffers-Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the USA, has a doctorate in oceanography as well as in divinity.




Polkinghorne has done some interesting stuff.  And Polkinghorne gives even Dawkins pause; he cannot bring himself to call Polkinghorne an idiot.

People with a mission to save the earth want the earth to seem worse than it is so their mission will look more important.


P.J. O'Rourke
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2010 - 5:16PM #9
Sakhaiva
Posts: 942

Sara Miles


War journalist (served in the Salvadoran jungles as well as in the Philippines and South Africa) Born athiest, converted to Christianity in mid-life.


Author (Jesus Freak: Feeding Healing Raising the Dead and Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion)


Founder of a massive food pantry that feeds thousands each week (they have been responsible for financially establishing 11 other food pantries.)


All around smart cookie.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 15, 2010 - 8:01PM #10
tawonda
Posts: 4,367

I'll also give a shout-out to my old congregation, University Lutheran Church of East Lansing, next door to Michigan State University. When I attended church there, a significant number of members were MSU faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines, including and especially the hard sciences. It truly grieves me to run up against the stereotype (even from members of my extended, in-law family) that Christians are all inbred illiterates embracing fundamentalist theology. Hardly.

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