Sunday Thoughts 8/18/13

I don’t know that I’ve ever repeated a blog before, but I stumbled across this Saturday evening, and it still expresses what I think.

I’m writing for Evangelicals, so don’t be shocked if you “don’t get it” coming from somewhere other than Evangelicalism.

  1. I am a former Evangelical. I was on the conservative end of 1950s and 1960s Evangelicalism, which by today’s standards would be “Fundamentalist.”
  2. What I was taught at home and in the Evangelical Covenant Church of my childhood didn’t match what I was taught in a Wheaton-affiliated Evangelical boarding school in my adolescence; which didn’t match what I was taught at Wheaton College for 40 semester hours; which didn’t match what I was taught at John Brown University; which didn’t match what I was taught in IVCF and through InterVarsity Press when I went to Bradley University; which didn’t match what Campus Crusade was teaching when I dabbled over there; etc.
  3. Everyone claimed that their version was simply Biblical.
  4. Have you noticed, by the way, that all the Hal Lindsey/Late Great Planet Earth crap, very mainstream Evangelical, has proven to be false prophecy? The same fate awaits “Left Behind.”
  5. Seeing Evangelical disagreements (and extra-Biblical taboos and shibboleths) lowered my enthusiasm, but I knew nothing better than Evangelicalism and toughed it out.
  6. Through diligent reading, I stumbled onto Calvinism, which was better and brought back much of my enthusiasm. I then considered myself maybe sorta kinda a fringe Evangelical.
  7. Through dumb luck, I later stumbled onto Eastern Orthodoxy, where I’ve been for 14 years [now 16+] and [where] I expect to die.
  8. Orthodoxy is the continuation of 1st millenium Christianity; it never adopted indulgences or the other stuff that led to the Protestant Reformation. Darn shame (and long story how) y’all didn’t come back to Orthodoxy then instead of starting new “churches.”
  9. I’m not alone in journeying to Orthodoxy.
  10. You’re a little old to become Orthodox because all the cool kids are doing it, aren’t you?
  11. You’re not too old to be uneasy with the contradictions and inherent foibles of Evangelicalism, and to go to a better, saner place, are you?
  12. You really don’t need the Sisiphean task of fighting Evangelical entropy, do you?
  13. If Evangelicalism isn’t based solely on the Bible, its boast and claim to fame (and disagreements among Evangelicals pretty well proves that it’s not), what is left of Evangelicalism?
    • What good is it?
    • How, if you know that returning to historic Christianity is an option, dare you not investigate in depth?
  14. If you are a disenthralled Evangelical, who is still is drawn to Jesus, you really need to look into Orthodoxy.
    • You may say “Wow! This is it!”
    • Likelier, you’ll say “Wow! This is kinda beautiful, but really strange.”
    • If you say the latter, it’s only because you’ve been in historically strange worship for too long. (I believe that if some Christian were teleported from the first millenium to your Evangelical Church at 11 am Sunday, he would not know it was a Church. Nothing he expected from Church would be there.)
  15. If you’re still enthralled with Evangelicalism, God bless and have mercy on us both.

Suggestion: Put on your Sunday best, get out the Yellow Pages, and look for “Churches – Orthodox.” Do it today.

Forgive me for any offense I’ve given by my many snarky comments about Evangelicalism. I’m trying to find the magic words that will disenthrall a reader or two, so they can discover what I’ve discovered.

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.


Did you hear the one about the two gay Hoosiers (one of them, Rev. Daniel C. Kostakis, an “Open Episcopal” clergyman) who went to Manhattan and had a liberal gay Lutheran pastor conductor sham Greek Orthodox wedding? A swell time was had by all.

This, of course, is the kind of precious content that makes the Huffington Post the great newspaper it is not. Continue reading “Orthomockery”

60 cubits

The arrival of “Fall” for me has always been marked by the resumption of school, not by the autumnal equinox. In my youth, school waited respectfully for Labor Day to resume.

No longer. Fall is here and it’s not quite mid-August.

Although I neither attend nor teach school, another change has arrived, not entirely coincidental, and my Monday evenings will be occupied for a period roughly corresponding to the school year. Accordingly, I’m writing this Monday morning, not expecting to return to it and not expecting to add to it.

It’s a fool’s errand to try to stop language from evolving. But your dictionary is about to get a makeover, and not by evolutionary linguistic change. “Monogamish,” “throuple,” and “wedlease” are coming. We are not adding them by choice, but by the demand of liberal groin piety, which prescribes prostration of language before the 60-cubit monument to sexual liberation it has erected (if I may be allowed the double-entendre) in the city square.

So my advice for the day is to read James Matthew Wilson’s “Monogamish” at Front Porch Republic:

Having dissolved so much, all its advocates seem now to require is to render the word marriage not a reference to a natural formation within human life but as a word that can mean anything the voluntaristic fiat of the modern state proclaims.  No wonder that critics of all this, when they do not cite Orwell, wind up citing Lewis Carroll.

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.