Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beware the Sophist...

“The sophist, who is often a carrier of cleverness, is really an intellectual guerrilla, a forlorn man without a country who draws his delight and satisfaction from the process of verbal combat and encounter itself; he does not seek resolution, but disruption.

He has no homeland and, therefore, seeks always to fight his battles on the home front of the believer. The sophist has nothing to defend. He takes no real risks because he believes in nothing.

Perhaps, in a strange and twisted way, he wants to create anomy and drift by using the sword of speciousness to cut other men away from the central things that anchor them."

In case you don’t recognize the quote by the verbiage, it’s by the late (and greatly admired) Apostle Neal A. Maxwell. I don’t mean verbiage in a negative (too wordy) connotation but more for the technical writing. Elder Maxwell’s a gifted writer but sometimes people (okay, me) have to read through Maxwell a couple of times to make complete sense of all the meaning. But I think he’s a amazing writer and a spiritual giant (and dearly missed).