Brandon and I have had a lot of conversations trying to nail down who we are and who we’re speaking to. Most of them have been very long, enjoyable conversations that follow a few different tangents, but a while back, Brandon hit it when he put out the term “blue-collar scholar.” Since then, we’ve been using that term a lot, not only talking about ourselves, but also speaking to our audience. I’m a bit of an obsessive over procedures, so I’m going to have to insist on taking some time to define our terms.
When we were describing what we wanted InkleDeux to be and who we envisioned it being for, we took our cues from the Inklings. The Inklings were a literary society of sorts, featuring the incredible CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, who met in a pub to discuss their unfinished works. Think about what that requires. As the author, the vulnerability of taking your work-in-progress text to a group of other skilled, professional writers to consider and critique the choices you’ve made, but haven’t fully fleshed out. Even beyond that, though, think about the group as a whole, and the overwhelming sense of community and respect for one another. The confidence that, as you lay your brainchild before them, you know that they will love you enough to challenge you. They aren’t there to bring you down, but to call you higher.
So, with that as our starting point, we weren’t looking to be authors, necessarily. Instead, we wanted to embrace that same idea of being a work in progress ourselves, being vulnerable to one another, knowing that if we are going to be critiqued, it is by people who love us and want to see us grow more towards the Truth. This is where the idea of the blue-collar scholar really shines through. We all, regardless of formal education, possess an intellect, the gift of reason, and access to the Truth which makes it possible for us strive after God, and our role in His plan. The blue-collar scholar balances the humility of recognizing how much we don’t know with the confidence that our experiences and minds do have something of genuine value to contribute to the conversation.
The blue-collar part refers specifically to the fact that much our wisdom as a scholar comes, not only from any reading and classroom style education, but from our experiences of life, approached with the reflective, contemplative mindset of a scholar. We seize on every opportunity to learn of God through all the means He has provided us. So, blue-collar scholar, join us in the ongoing pursuit of the Way, the Truth, and the Life!