The silver lining in the loss of Christendom
The loss of Christendom gives us a joyous opportunity to reclaim the freedom to proclaim the gospel in a way in which we cannot when the main social task of the church is to serve as one among many helpful props for the state.
Stanley Hauerwas, Resident Aliens
Logical and doxological
To ponder these things makes sense only when we are able without disregarding truth to lift them to the plane of adoration.
Romano Guardini, The Lord.
I don’t have many coinages to my name, but I call this kind of truth doxological (versus merely logical), and if others have used it before me, I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen it.
(The insight was not an easy acquisition for a recovering Calvinist intellectualoid.)
Christian hope entropy
In short, highly devoted Christian teenagers operationalized Christian hope as a generalized trust that God has the future under control, without showing much familiarity with (or interest in) traditional teachings associated with Christian eschatology …
Social scientist Kendra Creasy Dean, Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church
Simulations and metaverses
Tuesday, I felt unusual kinship with Damon Linker:
There is no Big Idea for which I feel greater contempt than the suggestion that we’re all living in a simulation. The runner up is the claim that we should seek fun and fulfillment in a technologically simulated reality — the so-called metaverse or virtual reality.
Though I can’t prove our experiences of the world, ourselves, and those around us are in fact real, I can explain why we shouldn’t waste our time imagining it’s all fake; why our happiness is wrapped up with the presumption that the world around us is, in fact, reality; and how much we lose by spending ever more of our lives interacting with manifestly false, digitally constructed virtual worlds.
Moreover, Linker (who abandoned Catholicism, then Christianity) puts his finger on why I consider the metaverse stuff evil. It’s the latest manifestation of what seems to be the hardiest of perennial heresies, gnosticism.
Reno on German Catholic clerics
R. R. Reno (I know he goes by "Rusty," but I want to keep him at arms’ length as he edges into populism and postliberalism) is not happy with the direction of the European Roman Catholic Churches, especially Germany’s:
- "The ‘future’ is a jealous god."
- Apropos of his own past as an Episcopalian:
"Doctrine changes, but the Episcopal Church’s social role remained constant: to be the chaplaincy for white upper-middle-class culture.
Today, the German Catholic Church is doing something similar, serving as a chaplaincy for the Rainbow Reich—the empire of diversity, equity, and inclusion that flies the rainbow flag."
Is it just me?
It’s probably none of my business, but from where I sit "Innovation Church" is the worst Church name I think I’ve ever seen. It’s either brazen or misleading.
Orthodox Christianity detests little or nothing more than it detests religious "innovation," and I seem to have internalized that pretty completely.
Damning (if you’ll just use your noggin’)
It is not an exaggeration to claim that this nineteenth-century Protestant evangelicalism differed from the religion of the Protestant Reformation as much as the sixteenth-century Reformation Protestantism differed from the Roman Catholic theology from which it emerged.
Mark Noll, America’s God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln, via Mars Hill Audio. Be it noted that today’s evangelicalism is subject to the same critique; it was born in the 19th century (not the first) and hasn’t changed fundamentally.
Pick your poison
[Satan] always sends errors into the world in pairs — pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worst. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight through between both errors ….
That’s how I feel about America’s two major political parties.
Modern poets versus old epics
Modern minor poets are naturalists, and talk about the bush or the brook; but the singers of the old epics and fables were supernaturalists, and talked about the gods of brook and bush.
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
You can read most of my more impromptu stuff here (cathartic venting) and here (the only social medium I frequent, because people there are quirky, pleasant and real). Both should work in your RSS aggregator, like Feedly or Reeder, should you want to make a habit of it.