Saturday, 9/2/17

  1. Progressive Christianity
  2. Yesterday’s truism, today’s monstrous heresy
  3. Mattis, grownup patriot
  4. A Beating in Berkeley
  5. Sexual perspicacity
  6. The next great heresy
  7. Counterintuitive – a word really smart people know
  8. Not too big, not too small, just right

1

Progressive Christianity is parasitical on orthodox Christianity, and turns out to be pretty sterile after the first generation. Look at the Protestant Mainline. Look at postconciliar American Catholicism. It’s going to happen to progressive Evangelicals too.

To be sure, conservative Christians of all kinds have a hard future ahead of us. But it’s a different kind of hard than what progressive Christians face. If we live as if we were in normal times, we are not that far behind the progressives on the road to oblivion.

(Rod Dreher, reflecting on an ESPN story about Aaron Rodgers’ spiritual backstory)

2

Still, I understand why super-woke outlets like Salon are comfortable referring to the [Nashville Statement] as “bigotry-filled” and glibly pretending that any real Christian would surely disagree with its claims about morality. These websites also pay writers to insist that wrestling GIFs are threats of violence and that allowing male teenagers to compete in female athletic competitions is unremarkable. For those engaged in such work, clear thinking with rigorous categories and definitions is a professional liability. They accept emotion, feigned or otherwise, as the only genuine moral currency. They are geniuses who can simultaneously maintain that “male” and “female” are artificial socially constructed distinctions to which no meaningful predicates can be attached — that there is no such thing as being a man or a woman per se — and that it is possible for a woman, something that in essence does not exist, to be trapped in a man’s body.

But it’s not just the restless young piling on the Nashville Statement. So too are the bandwagoning would-be woke neoliberal Baby Boomers who insist that a basic assumption which they have held for most of their now-long lives — namely that same-sex marriage is an oxymoron, like married bachelorhood — is now rank bigotry. In 10 years when polygamy is legalized by fiat, they will rail in their creaking voices against “polyphobes” or some similarly monstrous coinage. Their recent decision to call those of us who insist that marriage is a covenant between men and women “bigots” is ludicrous, predictable, and somewhat grimly amusing.

It’s also entirely correct. In the eyes of the world, faithful Christians will always be bigots.

(Matthew Walther, The progressives who cried bigotry) “[T]hat it is possible for a woman, something that in essence does not exist, to be trapped in a man’s body” is a gem.

3

I’m grateful that there are grown-up public servants serving in the White House, if not in the Oval Office proper:

A week or so ago, probably in Jordan, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had an impromptu meeting with what looked like a few dozen U.S. troops. Someone taped it. This is what Mr. Mattis said: “Hold the line.”

“For those of you I haven’t met, my name’s Mattis,” he began. “Thanks for being out here, OK? I know at times you wonder if any of us know . . . but believe me, I know you’re far from home every one of you, I know you could all be going to college you young people, or you could be back on the block. [We’re] just grateful. . . .

“The only way this great big experiment you and I call America is gonna survive is if we’ve got tough hombres like you. . . . We don’t frickin’ scare, that’s the bottom line.

“You’re a great example for our country right now. It’s got some problems—you know it and I know it. It’s got problems that we don’t have in the military. And you just hold the line, my fine young soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines. You just hold the line until our country gets back to understanding and respecting each other and showing it, of being friendly to one another. That’s what Americans owe to one another—we’re so doggone lucky to be Americans.”

He ended: “I flunked retirement, OK? Only reason I came back was to serve alongside young people like you, who are so selfless and frankly so rambunctious.”

This was the voice of true moral authority, authority earned through personal sacrifice. Speeches like that come only from love.

(Peggy Noonan)

4

I would be remiss if I did not note the powerful Weekly Standard article by Matt Labash, that chronicles such things as:

  1. The completely non-violent, almost zen-like, provocateur Joey Gibson, founder of Patriot Prayer.
  2. The contemptible knee-jerk free speech opposition of Queens for Life Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein, who don’t bother ascertaining facts before condemnation.
  3. The “we’re so scary the police won’t stop us from beating up anyone we don’t like” antics of Bay Area Antifa.
  4. The lefty mythmaking power of a “crack reporter” from the L.A. Times.
  5. The pas d’enemi a gauche insouciance of the liberal clergy who had gathered to protest what-the-hell it was they though Patriot Prayer was about due to elected idiots like Pelosi and Feinstein.

The last is the most contemptible, or at least is in a close race with major media malpractice.

But what was most interesting to me was confirmation that Patriot Prayer is not a right-wing or white nationalist group. I simply had not seen any mainstream media until now acknowledge that most important fact, as a consequence of which I didn’t know it until today, though I had wondered about that. The press just seemed to fixate on “this is Charlottesville transposed to Berkeley.” So the Antifa savagely beat a guy whose “offense” is to schedule free speech rallies where he knows Antifa will show up and physically brutalize him with impunity, so far, from police intervention (unless it’s to arrest the non-violent guy). His goal is … to not actually get killed. (No wonder Trump fans hold the media in contempt. They deserve it when they can’t be bothered with basic facts lest it detract from Left hagiography.)

At least in college towns and on the left coasts, the Antifa is a far more powerful and un-American force that white nationalists or neo-Nazis.

5

I was unaware that Evangelicals had been quarreling over the Doctrine of the Trinity, but it, alas, appears to be true. It’s noteworthy that they have greater agreement about whether it’s licit to think of oneself as L, G or B than they were mustering last summer on Trinitarian orthodoxy. (Yes, Wesley Hill “has a horse in the race,” but a valid point is a valid point.)

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* * * * *

Gosh! Did you see what President Donald Trump is up to today? How utterly fascinating he is! I weep with envy when I look upon Melania. He fills my every thought! He surely doesn’t need to start any more stupid wars to get my undivided attention! No siree!

There is no epistemological Switzerland. (Via Mars Hill Audio Journal Volume 134)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.

One thought on “Saturday, 9/2/17

  1. The dust-up among Evangelicals about the Trinity is discouraging, especially the resort to intra-Trinitarian Tritheletism to resolve the merely apparent conflict between the equality and the subordination of the Son. What it reveals is that there is a hidden (?) Monotheletism in their conception of the Incarnation; for otherwise they would see that it is needless to import multiple wills into the Trinity.

    St Maximus the Confessor could sort this out for them in a fifteen minute chat. Alas, I fear that most of the participants in the debate have never heard of him.

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