- Science and Mystery.
- The stench in the Ark.
- Organic (and local).
- L.A.P.D.: More than just random brutal beatings®.
- Mid-Term Memory Deficit.
When a scientist denies or belittles the mystery that cannot be solved, he is no longer within the bounds of science.
Thus, when Mr. [E.O.] Wilson asserts that Paradise Lost owes nothing to “God’s guidance of Milton’s thought, as the poet himself believed” (p. 213), he is talking far beyond the reach of proof. He does not consider that Paradise Lost is the poem it is because Milton was a man faithful and humble enough to invoke the assistance of the “Heav’nly Muse.” The only empirical truth available here is that Milton, believing, wrote Paradise Lost, and that Mr. Wilson, disbelieving, wrote Consilience, a book of a different order.
(Wendell Berry, Life Is A Miracle)
At First Things, Leroy Huizenga defends his chosen Church (Roman Catholicism) against the sometimes-tacit, sometimes-explicit, question “If you’re really The Church, why do your Bishops behave so badly at times?” He concludes:
The issue of sin in the historic hierarchy is a matter of what I’d call ecclesiadicy (a most cumbersome term indeed). By it I mean an attempt to justify the concept of apostolic succession in light of episcopal sin in the same way theodicy concerns attempt to justify an all-good, all-loving God in the face of profound human suffering. Put another way, if one can believe in God after Auschwitz, one could also believe in the Church after whatever scandal. It’s not so simple, of course, for those who have experienced real trauma at the hands of hierarchs or others who are rightly enraged thereby. There we have an existential issue, and may God grant them peace.
I understand some of the impulses that cause people to ask the question. Like Bishops, some of the questioners are honorable while some are merely fleeing the Hound of Heaven. And I welcome to Holy Orthodoxy those whose “existential issues” have led them to flee Rome, seeking peace.
But I welcome them guardedly, with no promises that “no such thing could ever happen here.” The Church has had issues from the beginning:
A popular revision of history (also a shallow fiction) declares that the Church of Apostolic times was a perfect, Spirit-filled saintly community. The advocates of this fantasy are deluded, and some have even invented churches offering the “pure practice and teaching” of their imagination thereby creating schism and heresy in attempts to reproduce the perfect Church.
Or a Huizenga puts it,
I’m an Augustinian at heart, since I first read parts of The City of God as a youth, and was raised Lutheran, so nothing produced from the darkness of human nature in Christian or pagan man surprises me, whether grave sin or major omission or simple misjudgment. Hurts, yes; angers, yes; disappoints, yes; frustrates, yes; but scandalizes? No. Bishops are human, and will err and sin in all sorts of ways. And unless one is going to dispense with organized Christianity altogether—an option neither Jesus nor the New Testament leave open for us—someone has to mess up administrating a church. It may be a Baptist congregation that votes wrongly on something of import. It may be a presbytery or a General Assembly affirming heresy and immorality with eager ebullience. It may be a congregation’s church council covering up crimes.
The ultimate issue for those who take seriously the question of which Christian communion they should belong to, I think, is not which ecclesial structure evinces the most holiness yesterday and today….
I ultimately must reject any effort to gain an edge over Rome in favor of Orthodoxy because of Rome’s better-publicized problems.
Being a simple-minded sort, who’s
gradually glacially taking on the shape of historic Christianity, I rather like the Ark analogy: If it weren’t for the flood outside, the stench inside would be unbearable.
Did I mention the flood outside?
Rod Dreher welcomes some support from a Stanford study, but then briefly reminds the world why, nutrition studies aside, it’s good to buy organic.
It’s also good to buy local, by the way.
Has L.A., with it’s other documented problem of police brutality, decided that if loitering laws can’t rid it of the homeless, the authorities will beat them up and steal their stuff when they’re momentarily away from it?
Democrats are right to point out that it’s absurd to blame President Obama for the fallout of an economic disaster that was years in making. That disaster was indeed years in the making — and the first year was not 2001.
* * * * *