Small thinkers produce small thoughts. Roark says, to be a good thinker, one must first be a good person. I suppose this is true, since it tends to clear the calendar of ulterior machinations. It also occurs to me that a good thinker must think as much in broad principles as in minor details.
For the last fifty years or so, in Free Church life, good thinkers have succumbed to powerful forces. The thinking pool among us is a shrinking pool as a result. This fellow was "too big for his britches." That one over there risked the most horrid gamble, he was "right too soon." The legion of the "angry, unreconciled" are too great for a thousand herds of swine.
I imagine myself sitting in a clean room somewhere with a tube of poison-life running into my arm, sure to kill undying cells, at the same time destroying the auto-immunities that render one able to withstand the common germs of socio-religious life. We actually do get to name our poison.
We desperately need some good thinkers or we will transfer cards from this hot institution to that one over there, while never making a dent in the culture. A large, large church is, at best, a small portion of a community. Communal action by a collection of large churches and small bodies, what we used to call an association of churches or a convention of them, is no longer effective. They are predatory at worst. There must be some real thinking done about how we will cooperate and with whom.