A Danger for Every Wealth
Our Lord's teaching about rich men, camels, and needles' eyes applies directly, I believe, to the deeply learned man, to members of that extremely rare class of the world-historical variety that includes people like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Pascal, and Hegel. Someone with this extraordinary intellectual depth and power has the ability to prove to himself and by extension to others, with the appearance of finality—by electing and weighting whichever strands of knowledge he chooses to draw upon—anything he desires to be true, so his intellect (paradoxically, for it is supposed to be the ruling faculty) is even more under the control of his will and his passions than those of lesser minds might be.
Intuiting this, his critics suspect and sometimes mention (but cannot get behind) the primitive desires, often developed in childhood, that control his thought. But neither can they, being unable to answer him antithetically, help him. Such a man, as our Lord indicated in his teaching about wealth, can only be saved by a special act of mercy which gives rise in him to an unfeigned humility, manifest (absent prophetic infallibility) in unfeigned tentativeness about his insights. One thinks here of St. Thomas's late judgment upon the insubstantiality of his own monumental work. With God all things are possible, so even a rich man may be saved.
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
more on bible from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives