Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Gated gardens

Someone reading my contributions to this blog might have a misimpression of my priorities. That's because a lot of what I post on is out of proportion to my personal priorities. Put another way, a lot of what I post on is not intrinsically important, but it's a practical necessity. 

Take a walled garden. What's the relationship of the wall to the garden? The garden is where we live and what we live for (figuratively speaking). 

But we live behind a wall because the wall is necessary to protect the garden from the encroachments of the wilderness–so that the wilderness doesn't reclaim the garden and return it to a wilderness. The wall is necessary to protect it from dangerous animals or animals that tear up the flowerbeds or trample down the flowers. The wall is necessary to protect the garden from human intruders or invaders. 

But this means a certain amount of time and effort must be put into maintaining the wall. The wall is not an end in itself, but just a means to an end. Yet without the wall, there is no garden.

The stuff I post on apologetics, as well as the culture war stuff, is mostly the wall, not the garden. But the garden can't  flourish without it. For me, the garden is family, friends, natural beauty, feminine beauty, music (mostly classical, mostly Christian), painting, church architecture, poetry (mostly Christian), literature, good movies, my fiction, my existential writings, and my Bible studies on the biblical symbolism of light.  

Now that oversimplifies things a tad. Apologetics requires a deep and accurate grasp of Christian theology. And everything I care about ties into Christianity. That's the lynchpin. Remove that and nothing else matters. But that's a kind of spinoff value of apologetics. 

Christianity has always had to maintain a wartime footing. Not only is that necessary for the survival of the Christian faith in a hostile world, but Christian values extend a protective dome over many unbelievers. Take the current secular assault on the young and the old, masculinity and femininity. Only Christianity stands in the way of the secular progressive onslaught. It's not just for our own benefit.

When the vandals are besieging the wall, it takes an inordinate amount of time away from what ultimately matters to maintain the structural integrity of the defensive perimeter. To keep the vandals from breaching the wall. But that's just a buffer zone. Unimportant in its own right. 

In the world to come we won't need fences and walls (figuratively speaking). In the world to come, we can just enjoy the garden. The whole world will be a garden. And although that's a metaphor, it's literally true that the world to come will have unspoiled natural beauty in abundance as well as landscape gardens.