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Ancient Voices

Why I prefer wisdom from the elders rather than the youngers.
"All of my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients." —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leadership recently offered the axiom "to stay current, stay ancient." Right on. Reading very old things is an excellent use of study time. My wife, Kate, asks, "Why don't you read something from this century?" I have found several reasons:

The texts tend to be the best, culled by many generations of readers. And few enough people are plowing this ground that it provides the chance to sound innovative and singular. I can say some things and be (sort of) bulletproof. It is an always-fresh thrill to find the dilemmas, conflicts, issues and questions of the Christian today in the Church of long, long ago.

Here are a few examples.

About Anger
"… the disposition of (rich) men … is turned to raving anger by pride."
—Gregory the Great, Pastoral Care, ca. A.D. 590

I had been wondering about this for some time. Why is there so much anger around? Young men knife-fight at parties. Church council members become ...

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