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Pursue Obscurity

November 30th, 2022 | 4 min read

By R. Lucas Stamps

Craig Bartholomew, who has been a friend and mentor to many of us younger Christian scholars, often repeats the admonition: “pursue obscurity.” It is not enough simply to accept obscurity, if it happens to be our lot. Rather, there is virtue in positively pursuing obscurity, in seeking anonymity and nonrecognition. I have thought about this proverbial advice a lot over the years. In fact, it has become a kind of life code, even if it often remains more aspirational than actual. I think about it especially in terms of our Lord’s warning in the Sermon not to practice “your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them,” but rather to practice our spiritual disciplines — fasting and praying and giving — in secret, where only our Father can see and reward.

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