By In Politics

Harry Blamires, 1916-2017

Harry Blamires (pronounced BLAMers) was not one of the best known of Christian apologists, overshadowed as he was by the likes of his mentor C. S. Lewis and, among Reformed Christians, Cornelius Van Til. Nevertheless, he was a scholar and theologian of the first rank, and he will be remembered for a single book he published in 1963, The Christian Mind. Because there have been so many books published in recent decades on the subject of a Christian worldview, we may forget that there was a time when the need to think in a distinctively christian way was unfamiliar even to regular church-goers, as it was to me when I was growing up. I acquired my copy back in June 1976 (so I wrote inside the front cover), and underscored those passages that leapt out at me. Blamires makes no mention of Abraham Kuyper, the Dutch polymath and statesman with whom I was becoming acquainted and increasingly sympathetic, but, with some exceptions, I saw them as co-belligerents in the effort to alert believers to the comprehensive sovereignty of God in Christ over the whole of life. Here is a wonderful sample of Blamires’ writing:

It may be that the dominant evil of our time is neither the threat of nuclear warfare nor the mechanization of society, but the disintegration of human thought and experience into separate unrelated compartments. For a feature of the diseased condition of modern society is the parcelling out of human faculties—physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual—into distinct categories, separately exploited, separately catered for. Man is dismembered. In the high incidence of mental disease you can measure something of the cost of this dismemberment. In so far as the Church nurtures the schizophrenic Christian, the Church herself contributes to the very process of dismemberment which it is her specific business to check and counter. For the Church’s function is properly to reconstitute the concept and the reality of the full man, faculties and forces blended and united in the service of God. The Church’s mission as the continuing vehicle of divine incarnation is precisely that—to build and rebuild the unified Body made and remade in the image of the Father. The mind of man must be won for God (TCM, p. 81).

Christianity Today carries an obituary of Blamires here: Died: Harry Blamires, the C. S. Lewis Protégé Who Rediscovered ‘The Christian Mind’. May he rest in peace until the resurrection.

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