Something about that name …

(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)


“I think, therefore I am.” Descartes

Given that I am setting out on a road trip this morning with Chandler to Colorado to look into some possibilities for his future, I was short on time to write the Catch this morning, but I found this Catch from seven years ago that seems appropriate for reprint today. I also look forward to writing you from various points on our journey. Like tonight, when we’ll be in Seligman, a little town in Arizona that celebrates being along the original Route 66.  

I ran into Chandler the other day at the Koffee Klatch — the local coffee hangout in town where I often go to write. Only this wasn’t our Chandler; it was another Chandler; actually the only other Chandler I’ve met since we named our son 22 years ago. I’ve always been surprised at that. Chandler is such a great name. Actually it came from his older brother and sister who named him by combining parts of their names (Christopher and Anne: Chandler).

This Chandler, however, was a college student at Biola University headed for graduate work at Loyola Marymount University. Meeting this Chandler was like uncovering a time capsule.

First, he’s studying philosophy. Who does that anymore? Not only that, but he’s studying continental philosophy, more particularly, existentialism. Existential philosophers like Descartes, Kant, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were the major influencers when I was in college in the 1960s. I didn’t think anybody even cared what existentialism was anymore.

I think of philosophy as thinking for the purpose of thinking. Who does that anymore? Who has the time? Here was a twenty-something wanting to get a graduate degree in thinking, and ultimately teach, as a Christian in a secular university — a poster boy for the Catch if I ever found one! I practically got down on my knees in front of this guy, like the professor in my favorite Doonesbury cartoon, who, upon finding a student who was actually asking intelligent questions relevant to the topic he was teaching, knelt down in front of this kid’s desk and said, “A response! I finally got a thinking response from one of you, and I thought you were all stenographers! A student! I have a student! A student lives! Who are you lad? Where did you come from? Don’t be frightened.”

I swear I must have overwhelmed this kid. He wanted to know if I’d ever heard of Os Guinness. Ha! (Our most popular BlogTalkRadio guest.) I turned him on to Francis Schaeffer. Told him the whole premise behind Escape From Reason in five minutes and watched his eyes light up. I found my Catch from a year and a half ago about the then new president of Loyola Marymount being a Presbyterian and how unusual that was at a Catholic university, and yet how in keeping with the Jesuit tradition he was (being open-minded, celebrating truth wherever you find it, caring for the poor). I talked about the hippies of the ‘60s and early ‘70s and how so many were seeking existential reality and truth.

Suddenly I had new hope for the future. Could this guy be a trend? Are people wanting to think again — even Christians? I sure hope so. Our Chandler is a deep thinker, too.

Maybe it’s something about that name …

This entry was posted in Art and Life, Marketplace Christian, Worldview and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Something about that name …

  1. Toni Petrella says:

    I just thought of something today after reading Today’s Catch. Yesterday’s message Their is Something About That Name is special. This took me back to the 1970’s and a special song Their Is Something About That Name. Some of the words Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, There is Something About That Name. Some of the other words like Kings and Kingdoms Will All Pass Away but, Their is Something About That Name. Sometimes, a Special Memory is triggered by a Special Moment. Thanks for that message. You all take care, God Bless, and enjoy your day.

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