I had a philosophy professor in college who I admired greatly. Not only was he wise, but funny - and that's my favorite combo. He loved his subject, evidenced by the things he had to say about it, and the way he treated it - and us - in imparting it. He was a Christian, and this gave me even more respect and admiration for him. I still have Matters of Life and Death - Calm Answers to Tough Questions about Abortion and Euthanasia on my bookshelf, which he, Francis J. Beckwith, co-authored with Norman L. Geisler. And next to it, Are You Politically Correct? - Debating America's Cultural Standards, which he edited with Michael E. Bauman. In that book, he wrote on the inside "To Teri, I hope you enjoy the book. And always be politically incorrect. - Frank Beckwith - Jude 3"
Funny that I've thought of this guy, this professor-from-the-past many times over the years. He shared with our class once that his doctor couldn't understand how he could exercise so much (I think he'd even just come from playing basketball) and still struggle with weight. He held up a candy bar he was munching on and explained that there was the reason. Random memory, huh? For some reason that stood out to me. Then, more recently, I pulled out the Matters of Life and Death book and was forced to rethink some of my position on abortion. I've always thought of myself as pro-life, but in recent years started to think I couldn't stand up too strongly for it unless I was willing to put more money where my mouth was - because I envision all these economically poor women with limited resources being told by rich little me that they needed to keep and feed another child. Re-reading this book reminded me that this weird waffling of mine doesn't hold up to reason. Specifically, I was convicted on page 92 - "Can someone be personally against abortion and yet be prochoice?" The reply is, "It is possible, but it is morally schizophrenic." and goes on to give examples. The answer ends with, "The fact is that some personal views warrant public action, while some others such as a personal dislike for spinach, do not."
Why am I sharing all this? Really, I'm just marvelling as I type. I've been influenced by this professor in good ways starting in 1993. And then today I found this interesting interview that he gave regarding his return to the Catholic church. The truth is, I am not an intellectual giant, even though I wish I was - so it always reassures me when the intellectual giants I know of take positions I agree with and kick butt doing it.