I ran into Chandler the other day at the Koffee Klatch — the local coffee hangout in town where I often go to write. Only this wasn’t our Chandler; it was another Chandler; actually the only other Chandler I’ve met since we named our son fifteen years ago. I’ve always been surprised at that. Being that Chandler was one of the friends of the very popular TV show by the same name, I thought there would be a rash of Chandlers. But that hasn’t been the case.
This Chandler is a college student at Biola College headed for graduate work at Loyola Marymount University. Meeting this Chandler was like uncovering a time capsule.
First, he’s studying philosophy. Who does that anymore? Not only that, but he’s studying continental philosophy, more particularly, existentialism. Existential philosophers like Descartes, Kant, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were the major influencers when I was in college in the ‘60s. I didn’t think anybody even cared what existentialism was anymore.
I think of philosophy as thinking for the purpose of thinking. Who does that anymore? Who has the time? Here was a twenty-something wanting to get a graduate degree in thinking, and ultimately teach, as a Christian in a secular university — a poster boy for the Catch if I ever found one! I practically got down on my knees in front of this guy, like the professor in my favorite Doonesbury cartoon, who, upon finding a student who was actually asking intelligent questions relevant to the topic, knelt down in front of this kid’s desk and said, “A response! I finally got a thinking response from one of you, and I thought you were all stenographers! A student! A student lives! Who are you lad? Where did you come from? Don’t be frightened.”
I swear I must have overwhelmed this kid. He wanted to know if I’d ever heard of Os Guinness. Ha! I turned him on to Francis Schaeffer. Told him the whole premise behind Escape From Reason in five minutes and watched his eyes light up. I found my Catch from a year and a half ago about the new president of Loyola Marymount being a Presbyterian and how unusual that was at a Catholic university, and yet how in keeping with the Jesuit tradition he was (being open-minded, celebrating truth wherever you find it, caring for the poor). I talked about the hippies of the ‘60s and early ‘70s and how so many were seeking existential reality and truth.
Suddenly I had new hope for the future. Could this guy be a trend? Are people wanting to think again — even Christians? Oh my gosh. Call up the colleges; I’m ready to go! (Actually, wait until you hear what we are planning along these lines and how this plays right into an exciting new venture we are forming.)
At any rate, greet Chandler, our latest new member of the Catch. I’m sure we will hear from him in the future.
As we will from our other Chandler — our own — who told us just yesterday that he wants to contribute to the “family business,” being the Catch. He wanted to know if we had anything for the kids. Funny you should ask …
Dreams do come true.