Socratic method

Who Is On the Lawn? Or, Those “Scary Others” As Conversation Partners

“Who is in the front yard?” Growing up in Oklahoma City on 17th Street we had a protected front porch. Holly Bushes lined the two exposed sides. I am thinking they were at least five feet tall. But then again, in my mind’s eye that was when I was a bit shorter.

These prickly barriers kept eyes from peering in our front door on summer days when the glass was raised to let in a summer breeze. At the same time, they only allowed us to see the shadows of those who entered the front yard from time to time. Those were safer days everywhere.

If C.S. Lewis offered the picture of Christianity as a building with one large hallway lined with doors and rooms behind them representing the various Christian Traditions/denominations, what about the yard? What about when we leave the building? Surely with the future hope of the City of God we could imagine in Lewis’ analogy there would be a front lawn where others passed from time to time. Doubtless we may encounter those scary others in many places beyond the lawn, but to press the imagery too far risks missing the point.

One of my friends once remarked that I seemed to have a natural Socratic bent. Intrigued I investigated the description to determine whether the observation was compliment or criticism. Read More