Thursday, November 1, 2012

    1. Another example of things that cheer me.
    2. American Conservative POTUS Symposium.
    3. “Paleo-Evangelicals” on The Porch?


The New Urbanism blog shows some good – maybe even great – inexpensive parks and reconfigurations of existing infrastructure.  One very traditional, some very innovative. Wouldn’t you like to hang our or walk in some of these places?


The American Conservative has a symposium on how its writers are voting for President and why.

This is not “movement conservatism,” which is Enlightenment liberal activism and warmongering. Those who plan to vote for Romney almost universally have qualms about his hawkish foreign policy. But few are easy on Obama, largely because of his drone assaults, kill list and attacks on religious liberty. A few would like to vote for Virgil Goode, who the establishment kept off ballots, while others (correctly – I have spoken!) fear his Constitution Party’s theocratic tendencies.

My alter ego is posting some of the best quotes on Facebook, but it’s worth reading the whole lot of ’em. Here’s a summary of the the bottom line.


Someone suggested that paleo-evangelicals are frequenting places like Front Porch Republic. Darryl Hart is puzzled at the suggestion. He traipses through the short history of evangelicalism and finds not one strain of the species – not Billy Graham “ne0-Evangelicals,” nor Second Great Awakening Evangelicals, nor First Great Awakening Evangelicals – that’s congenitally friendly to Front Porchy thought.

Because of these changes within Protestantism, some scholars (okay, me) refer to evangelicals as neo-Protestants, that is, Protestants who disregarded the forms, structures, and devotion taught by the likes of John Calvin and Martin Luther. Here is how Mark Noll put the difference between evangelicals and Puritans:

Although Puritans stood against Catholic and Anglican formalism, salvation for the Puritans was still mediated by institutions — family, church, even the covenanted society; in evangelicalism (at least in American forms), salvation was in principle unmediated except by the written Word of God. Puritans protested against nominal ecclesiastical life, but they still treated institutions of church and society as given; American evangelicals created their own communities, at first ecclesiastical, then voluntary. Puritans accepted authority from designated leaders; American evangelicals looked to authority from charismatic, self-selected leaders. Puritans fenced in enthusiasm with formal learning, respect for confessions, and deference to traditional interpretations of Scripture; American evangelicals fenced in enthusiasm with self-selected leaders, individualistic Bible-reading, local grassroots organizations, and intuitively persuasive reason. (Mark A. Noll, America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln, 173-74)

… But because evangelicalism has since its beginnings been a religious movement based on calling into question tradition and looking for the most up-to-date ways of promoting Christianity, it is infertile soil for cultivating conservatism.

 I suspect that if there is such a thing as a “paleo-Evangelical,” he’s a confused soul in transition, whether he knows it or not, from Evangelicalism to some form of ecclesial Christianity – Christianity where faith in Christ and faith in the Church is one act of faith, not two.

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Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.