Sheltering in during the pandemic has left me with more downtime than I’m used to. And watching too much news tends to increase my anxiety level. So, along with writing books and blog articles, I have tried to focus my attention on prudent activities. This includes pursuing my spiritual devotions, spending time with my wife, and reading classic books. But I have also sought some escape time by rewatching some of my favorite movies and television programs.

Growing up, I was a big fan of the original Star Trek series. In high school, I would watch the series in reruns perpetually. I’ve seen the original series movies numerous times. Recently, I rewatched one of my favorite episodes entitled “The Galileo Seven” and it led me to think about human nature and leadership roles.

Reason and Compassion

In the original series, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) regularly receives advice primarily from two confidantes and subordinate officers: science officer Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and starship physician Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley). Spock and McCoy are clear counterpoints in personality and in what ultimately drives them in life. Mr. Spock is half human and half Vulcan with a stoic, pensive personality and a relentless devotion to logic. Dr. McCoy, on the other hand, is passionate, cantankerous, and emotional. Both are men of science but they often clash with one another. You might say that Kirk appeals to Spock’s razor sharp mind and to McCoy’s compassionate and developed conscience.

During “The Galileo Seven,” Mr. Spock is in command of a shuttlecraft that lands on a planet populated by hostile creatures. While he carefully and systematically follows the logical path in each decision he makes, he nevertheless encounters great trouble and failure. In the end, faced with what appears to be imminent death for him and his crew, he resorts to a rather desperate act that ultimately leads to their rescue.

In rewatching the episode recently I wondered whether Star Trek creator and screenwriter Gene Roddenberry wasn’t making a philosophical point about human nature and what is needed to be an effective leader. It seems what makes Captain Kirk a capable starship leader is his ability to combine logic and compassion. In effect, Kirk relies upon and balances both Spock’s reason and McCoy’s emotion.

Head and Heart

Good leaders possess strong intellectual qualities and virtues. They are critical thinkers who are learned and committed to the cogent ways of reason. They are also people of moral conscience evidenced by genuine compassion toward others. As a Christian, I desire to be a careful thinker as well as a compassionate feeler. I want to be a man of the head and of the heart. Like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I want to be driven by both truth and love.

May our political and spiritual leaders—in the midst of the pandemic—be people of both extraordinary head and heart. Human beings who have been created in the image of God stand to benefit greatly from such character traits.

Sometimes entertainment is a way to escape from the stresses of life. But, ironically, I must say that I really enjoy movies and television programs that me think about the deep issues of life.

Reflections: Your Turn

What kinds of movies and television programs appeal to you? Are you driven more by head or by heart? Visit Reflections on WordPress to comment with your response.

Check out more from Reasons to Believe @Reasons.org

About The Author

Kenneth R. Samples

I believe deeply that "all truth is God’s truth." That historic affirmation means that when we discover and grasp truth in the world and in life we move closer to its divine Author. This approach relies on the Christian idea of God’s two revelatory books - the metaphorical book of nature and the literal book of Scripture. As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity's truth-claims. My writings and lectures at RTB focus on showing how the great doctrinal truths of the faith (the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Atonement, creation ex nihilo, salvation by grace, etc.) are uniquely compatible with reason. This approach reflects the historic Christian apologetics statement - "faith seeking understanding." I work to help myself and others fulfill Peter's words in 2 Peter 3:18: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity's truth-claims. • Biography • Resources • Upcoming Events • Promotional Items Kenneth Richard Samples began voraciously studying Christian philosophy and theology when his thirst for purpose found relief in the Bible. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and social science from Concordia University and his MA in theological studies from Talbot School of Theology. For seven years, Kenneth worked as Senior Research Consultant and Correspondence Editor at the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and regularly cohosted the popular call-in radio program, The Bible Answer Man, with Dr. Walter Martin. As a youth, Kenneth wrestled with "unsettling feelings of meaninglessness and boredom," driving him to seek answers to life's big questions. An encounter with Christian philosophy in Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis led Kenneth to examine the New Testament and "finally believe that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, the Lord and Savior of the world." From then on, he pursued an intellectually satisfying faith. Today, as senior research scholar at Reasons to Believe (RTB), Kenneth uses what he's learned to help others find the answers to life's questions. He encourages believers to develop a logically defensible faith and challenges skeptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level. He is the author of Without a Doubt and A World of Difference, and has contributed to numerous other books, including: Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men, The Cult of the Virgin, and Prophets of the Apocalypse. He has written articles for Christianity Today and The Christian Research Journal, and regularly participates in RTB's podcasts, including Straight Thinking, a podcast dedicated to encouraging Christians to utilize sound reasoning in their apologetics. He also writes for the ministry's daily blog, Today’s New Reason to Believe. An avid speaker and debater, Kenneth has appeared on numerous radio programs such as Voice America Radio, Newsmakers, The Frank Pastore Show, Stand to Reason, White Horse Inn, Talk New York, and Issues Etc., as well as participated in debates and dialogues on topics relating to Christian doctrine and apologetics. He currently lectures for the Master of Arts program in Christian Apologetics at Biola University. Kenneth also teaches adult classes at Christ Reformed Church in Southern California. Over the years Kenneth has held memberships in the American Philosophical Association, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, and the Evangelical Press Association. The son of a decorated World War II veteran, Kenneth is an enthusiastic student of American history, particularly the Civil War and WWII. His favorite Christian thinkers include Athanasius, Augustine, Pascal, and C. S. Lewis. He greatly enjoys the music of the Beatles and is a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan. Kenneth lives in Southern California with his wife, Joan, and their three children.



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