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 20 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 University 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.
To be sure, I have had it confirmed by a few college and university professors that philosophy is enjoy somewhat of a resurgence among millennials. Why am I not surprised? Just one more avenue where we think alike.
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 swear I must have overwhelmed this kid I was so excited. 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 2012 about the then 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 have new hope for the future. Could this Chandler 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 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 will accompany me in a few days for another visit with Ron Ritchie who has rallied and is holding his own. We want Ron to bless Chandler and I am anxious to hear what Chandler has to say after meeting him.