At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Leon Wieseltier, in response to some gauzy praise of syncretism: ”On the question of what is true or false about the universe, Americans are not interested anymore.” (H/T Rod Dreher)
Also at the Aspen Institute, Molly Worthen on something more than whether to be a good Catholic, one must believe in God:
Call me old fashioned, but yes, I would say, to be a good Catholic you have to believe in God …. There’s a problem with the hyper-individualization of Millennial religion. The advantage of an institution is that it forces you into conversation with people you might not agree with. It forces you to grapple with a tradition that includes hard ideas. It forces you to have, for at least part of your life, a respect for authority that inculcates the sense that you have something to learn, that you’re not reinventing the wheel, but that millennia have come before you. The structure of institutions, for all their evils, facilitates that. And we may be losing that.
Attributed to a Fuller Seminary Protestant professor, whose name I didn’t catch in the podcast, in a Q&A session after giving a talk on what the Orthodox Church believes. Kevin Allen, now Orthodox (but not then) was the questioner, and the attributer:
Q: What I hear you saying is that the Orthodox Church is the Apostolic Church. Am I hearing right?
A: Yes. The question, though, is whether Apostolicity matters.
What Worthen said was happening in Evangelicalism however long ago Kevin Allen converted to Orthodoxy, it appears.
Or am I misunderstanding the Professor: is there a case to be made, not just a shrug to be shrugged, that discontinuity from Apostolic Christianity simply doesn’t matter? For now, it sounds like gibberish to me.
Can I get a lifeline?
“When the Missouri Synod became baptist and the ELCA became Methodist, I became Orthodox.” Attributed to Lutheran-to-Orthodox convert, and preeminent Church historian Jaroslav Pelikan.
* * * * *
“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)