They’re not as hostile to me as I expected, but they do not get it at all.
(Pastor Jim Garlow quoting an unidentified Evangelical Protestant working in a major media setting, about his colleagues’ reaction to his faith.)
I spent Friday evening and all day Saturday in the presence of Evangelicals at the Reunion of my Evangelical boarding school graduating class.
The four years I spent there were good for me. The people at the Reunion were good friends. The few I’d rather not see apparently would rather not see the rest of us, either, as they don’t come around. I love seeing the ones who do come. For the most part, they’re living too thoughtfully to merit blunt dismissal as Krustians.
They’re not as hostile as I expected, but they do not get Orthodoxy at all – and increasingly I don’t get Evangelicalism as it recedes in my rearview mirror.
But it we took a vote, I’d be the one who won the prize for “Most Religiously Insular and Provincial,” even though I’ve lived Evangelicalism from the inside while none of them, so far as I could tell, have even looked carefully at Orthodoxy from the outside. It makes for some awkward moments, as I want them assured that I’m still a Christian (that’s quite central to all our identities), but I cannot with integrity utter their shibboleths.
So there we are: divided by an ostensibly common faith.
[I]n the divisions of the modern world (more or less contemporary with the Reformation), the re-writing of history was not sufficient. The critical re-writing of one’s opponent’s history became necessary as well. History moved from story-telling to pseudo-science. History became more than the way the tell ourselves our own story: it became a means of ascertaining “facts,” and grounding various truth claims.
We live in increasingly multi-cultural societies with many competing versions of history (and thus of “truth”). Our present experience is that whoever’s history shouts the loudest and longest wins.
The religious tragedy of the West lives within me. Belief and unbelief live side-by-side within a soul that is somedays Russian peasant and other days German Rationalist – and almost always drawn by Scots common sense. I can no longer tell the story of my faith without reference to Byzantium. I hum her tunes unconsciously.
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