Late Sunday fare

Bad Tipy! Bad bad Tipsy! I should have posted this about 10 hours ago.

Faith versus Ideology

She came from rough people but she had a natural love for poetry, history, and politics. She wasn’t ideological—ardent Catholics don’t need an ideology, they’ve already got the essential facts.

Peggy Noonan’s Thanksgiving Day reminiscence.

The tainting of Christian (perhaps others, too) faith with ideology seems to be a persistent risk, even if Peggy Noonan’s great-aunt escaped it. The relationship between religion and ideology is one I’ve been pondering for around 25 years now, and I’m not certain I’m any closer to an answer I can articulate. If only I were a fiction writer, maybe I could put it in a story! (I’ll bet others have.)

Not even half-converted

There is no point in converting people to Christ if they do not convert their vision of the world and of life, since Christ then becomes merely a symbol for all that we love and want already –without Him. This kind of Christianity is more terrifying than agnosticism or hedonism.

The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann (quoted elsewhere).

This is more or less what I always thought St. Paul had in mind in Romans 12:1-2.

Amuse-bouche

A couple years ago, my daughters and I found an online recipe for a raspberry swirl pound cake. Wishing to surprise my wife, we decided to bake one for her. We failed miserably. The inedible monstrosity that emerged from the oven bore no resemblance whatsoever to the cake photographed on the recipe’s webpage. What went wrong? After all, I found a recipe that was profitable for instruction on how to bake the cake in order that I would be complete and thoroughly prepared for this good work.

As sufficient as the recipe was, I had very little experience with baking, and no one with the necessary experience was around to guide me so that I would be able to apply these instructions correctly.

Dr. Amir Azarvan, How to Test the Protestant Doctrine of Sola Scriptura

Reading a different critique of sola scriptura was an eye-opener on my unexpected journey to Orthodox Christianity a quarter-century ago. But I found in this short piece several more very good points — beyond this appetite-whetter — points that make it worth reading even though it is not very well-written.

On my wish list

His Grace has taken theology … out of the[] hands of sterile systematic dogmaticians, and returned it to its proper artistic home. And as Mr. Gleason noted about the music of his day, this also “has begged to be done for generations”. This book is a work of theological art.

By “art” I mean the work of those who see a vision of beauty, truth, and insight, who are filled with wonder at what they have experienced, and who strive to communicate it to others.

Father Lawrence Farley, on Wonder as the Beginning of Faith by Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic.

You better believe it’s on my wish-list.

“Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.”

Mary Oliver

Wordplay

Thought and speech I used
as weapons.  My words are now
judges at my trial

To teach us union
and separation: this is
what bodies are for

Joshua Alen Sturgill, Eighteen Death Haiku


“The Hubriscene Age.” Substacker Caroline Ross’s characterization of our times.


We must believe in free will—we have no choice.

Isaac Singer via the Economist


[S]ubordinating truth to politics is a game which tyrants and bullies always win.

Jonathan Rauch, The Constitution of Knowledge

To believe that wealth is the only significant measure of the worth of an individual, a family, or a community is to reject the teaching of nearly every religion and wisdom tradition that ever was.

Mark Mitchell and Nathan Schlueter, The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry

The Orthodox "phronema" [roughly, mind-set] cannot be programmitized or reduced to shibboleths.

Fr. Jonathan Tobias

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