Mankind as a whole is now poised to cross the “Reformation” threshold. Each spiritual individual is truly able to think for himself. But in our present crisis of conceptual chaos this is more like standing on the brink of a threshold chasm. In order to step across the abyss of our knowledge gap—and glut—we need to sort through the pieces and build a bridge of understanding to reach fulfillment on the other side.
Then ideational spiritual man, developing since Adam and Eve first nibbled of the Tree of Knowledge, may finally come into being. When Adam and Eve nibbled and thought—consciously and self-consciously—they separated from God. Thus, began man’s journey from his common origin in Genesis, when he was unconsciously one with God, to his common destiny in Revelation when he will consciously be one with God again.
The idea of Americans sorting through our conceptual chaos to bring conceptual freedom to mankind is rather ironic. In the 1950s, Father Bruckberger (Image of America) pointed out that Americans were not yet intellectually independent of European thought. In the 1980s, Alan Bloom felt we were still influenced too much by German philosophers. In 2003 a college professor sent a letter-to-the-editor of the Wall Street Journal. He stated, “All colleges—high and low—are anti-intellectual to the max these days.” William Barrett noted in Irrational Man: “Americans are not only non–intellectual but anti-intellectual. In America, a philosophical idea is an alien and embarrassing thing.” Even ministers subscribe to this when they say we have too much theology. Isn’t it time we think—each one of us?