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Started by peter_speckhard, August 29, 2018, 04:24:58 PM

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Dave Benke

Quote from: Pasgolf on September 03, 2018, 09:32:26 PM
http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/new-life-to-a-dying-world/

Thanks for this, Mark - connects the dots for me by including the thoughts and process of RR Reno and Esolen as well as Dreher, and contrasting the types of engagement or non-engagement with the culture.  It's well-written, book-ending then Cardinal Ratzinger's prediction of a shrinking Church catholic with the thoughts of the three above-named and Archbishop Chaput, who brings a counter-proposal to Dreher's: 

Chaput's point is that Christians today must resist the temptation to retreat from the world because the world is after all in great need of them: "If we want to follow Jesus, we must love the world too and remain in it, as he did, to work for its salvation." In a passage quoting a column by Dreher that calls for "intentional separation from the mainstream," Chaput cautions that Christians cannot "give up on the good still present in American society," while also working to preserve Christian community and, as Esolen exhorts, rebuild American culture. To do that, Christians today must rediscover the spirit of the early church, which based its claims on nothing but the fact of the Resurrection.

That captures my personal position.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Dave Benke on September 04, 2018, 08:47:11 AM
Quote from: Pasgolf on September 03, 2018, 09:32:26 PM
http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/new-life-to-a-dying-world/

Thanks for this, Mark - connects the dots for me by including the thoughts and process of RR Reno and Esolen as well as Dreher, and contrasting the types of engagement or non-engagement with the culture.  It's well-written, book-ending then Cardinal Ratzinger's prediction of a shrinking Church catholic with the thoughts of the three above-named and Archbishop Chaput, who brings a counter-proposal to Dreher's: 

Chaput's point is that Christians today must resist the temptation to retreat from the world because the world is after all in great need of them: "If we want to follow Jesus, we must love the world too and remain in it, as he did, to work for its salvation." In a passage quoting a column by Dreher that calls for "intentional separation from the mainstream," Chaput cautions that Christians cannot "give up on the good still present in American society," while also working to preserve Christian community and, as Esolen exhorts, rebuild American culture. To do that, Christians today must rediscover the spirit of the early church, which based its claims on nothing but the fact of the Resurrection.

That captures my personal position.

Dave Benke
Again, I think it is too broad a brush to paint Dreher as falling for the temptation to retreat from the world as though the world is not in need of of the presence of Christ and Christians. The idea of intentionally separating from the mainstream (not from the world, but from the mainstream of American culture) simply means to recognize that we are and are called to be different, that we can't make a goal of fitting in or be dismayed when we don't. That isn't hard when and where Christians are mainstream. It is hard when they are counter-cultural, which is why we need to be more intentional than ever about building up Christian communities that sustain us as Christians.






Rev Geminn

Quote from: peter_speckhard on September 04, 2018, 12:22:59 PM
Quote from: Dave Benke on September 04, 2018, 08:47:11 AM
Quote from: Pasgolf on September 03, 2018, 09:32:26 PM
http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/new-life-to-a-dying-world/

Thanks for this, Mark - connects the dots for me by including the thoughts and process of RR Reno and Esolen as well as Dreher, and contrasting the types of engagement or non-engagement with the culture.  It's well-written, book-ending then Cardinal Ratzinger's prediction of a shrinking Church catholic with the thoughts of the three above-named and Archbishop Chaput, who brings a counter-proposal to Dreher's: 

Chaput's point is that Christians today must resist the temptation to retreat from the world because the world is after all in great need of them: "If we want to follow Jesus, we must love the world too and remain in it, as he did, to work for its salvation." In a passage quoting a column by Dreher that calls for "intentional separation from the mainstream," Chaput cautions that Christians cannot "give up on the good still present in American society," while also working to preserve Christian community and, as Esolen exhorts, rebuild American culture. To do that, Christians today must rediscover the spirit of the early church, which based its claims on nothing but the fact of the Resurrection.

That captures my personal position.

Dave Benke
Again, I think it is too broad a brush to paint Dreher as falling for the temptation to retreat from the world as though the world is not in need of of the presence of Christ and Christians. The idea of intentionally separating from the mainstream (not from the world, but from the mainstream of American culture) simply means to recognize that we are and are called to be different, that we can't make a goal of fitting in or be dismayed when we don't. That isn't hard when and where Christians are mainstream. It is hard when they are counter-cultural, which is why we need to be more intentional than ever about building up Christian communities that sustain us as Christians.

This is where I resonate with Dreher.  I respect his initial impulse.  The problem that I have is that, imo, this has always been a need for Christians in all times and in all places.  It's taken a sort of cultural upheaval to make him and others realize that this is what is needed.  In large part, what really inhibits Christians from following Jesus seriously is our hyper-individualism.  Dreher is reacting to what guys like Judge Bork categorized as radical egalitarianism and radical individualism, and rightfully so, BUT I would argue that the Gospels have always spoken in contradistinction to such things.  What I think is the great error of Western Christianity is our overemphasis on the individual.  Now, we are reaping what we have sown.  I hope that makes sense.

Weedon

Actually, Scott, I think the fundamental insight of Western society was given by the Incarnation and the Crucifixion and it is the realization of the infinite worth of each human being, of each unique and unrepeatable life.

peter_speckhard

Quote from: Rev Geminn on September 04, 2018, 01:35:55 PM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on September 04, 2018, 12:22:59 PM
Quote from: Dave Benke on September 04, 2018, 08:47:11 AM
Quote from: Pasgolf on September 03, 2018, 09:32:26 PM
http://www.claremont.org/crb/article/new-life-to-a-dying-world/

Thanks for this, Mark - connects the dots for me by including the thoughts and process of RR Reno and Esolen as well as Dreher, and contrasting the types of engagement or non-engagement with the culture.  It's well-written, book-ending then Cardinal Ratzinger's prediction of a shrinking Church catholic with the thoughts of the three above-named and Archbishop Chaput, who brings a counter-proposal to Dreher's: 

Chaput's point is that Christians today must resist the temptation to retreat from the world because the world is after all in great need of them: "If we want to follow Jesus, we must love the world too and remain in it, as he did, to work for its salvation." In a passage quoting a column by Dreher that calls for "intentional separation from the mainstream," Chaput cautions that Christians cannot "give up on the good still present in American society," while also working to preserve Christian community and, as Esolen exhorts, rebuild American culture. To do that, Christians today must rediscover the spirit of the early church, which based its claims on nothing but the fact of the Resurrection.

That captures my personal position.

Dave Benke
Again, I think it is too broad a brush to paint Dreher as falling for the temptation to retreat from the world as though the world is not in need of of the presence of Christ and Christians. The idea of intentionally separating from the mainstream (not from the world, but from the mainstream of American culture) simply means to recognize that we are and are called to be different, that we can't make a goal of fitting in or be dismayed when we don't. That isn't hard when and where Christians are mainstream. It is hard when they are counter-cultural, which is why we need to be more intentional than ever about building up Christian communities that sustain us as Christians.

This is where I resonate with Dreher.  I respect his initial impulse.  The problem that I have is that, imo, this has always been a need for Christians in all times and in all places.  It's taken a sort of cultural upheaval to make him and others realize that this is what is needed.  In large part, what really inhibits Christians from following Jesus seriously is our hyper-individualism.  Dreher is reacting to what guys like Judge Bork categorized as radical egalitarianism and radical individualism, and rightfully so, BUT I would argue that the Gospels have always spoken in contradistinction to such things.  What I think is the great error of Western Christianity is our overemphasis on the individual.  Now, we are reaping what we have sown.  I hope that makes sense.
Make perfect sense to me. And Dreher acknowledges in his book that the most common criticism he gets is one he agrees totally with-- he isn't saying anything new. All he is really advocating is that we be more serious about being Christians and about all that that entails in our context.


Rev Geminn

Quote from: Weedon on September 04, 2018, 03:03:14 PM
Actually, Scott, I think the fundamental insight of Western society was given by the Incarnation and the Crucifixion and it is the realization of the infinite worth of each human being, of each unique and unrepeatable life.

Yes, but isn't it fascinating that that insight has been abused to the point at which we find ourselves?  Just like one could say that opposite of the East and the individual being subsumed to the collective. 

I think the big challenge for Christians in America is resting in the ambiguity of the Christian life which comes with both individual and collective demands that can be good, bad or other.  That, at least to me, seems to be the challenge in a culture that lacks a compass of sorts.   

Rev Geminn

Will,

One more thing before I get out of here.  I can't help but think of what NT Wright notes which is that our great error has been to assume that the Scriptures are about us when in reality they're about God via Christ. I think that's an important distinction.

Scott+

peter_speckhard

Trinitarian theology says that one can point to Christ on the cross and say, "That is God." Fully, truly, without qualification. The Trinity, though, is also God, so one can point to an image or symbol involving Father, Son and Holy Spirit and say, "That also is a picture/symbol/representation of God."

Genesis makes clear that the image of God in humanity benefits from this same phenomenon. Setting aside the issue of the fall and simply looking at it in the abstract, each individual human is the image of God. On top of that, "the two-become-one that multiplies" is also, in itself an image of God.

So one can look at a stick figure or a smiley face drawing and say, "That is the image of God." One can also look at a picture of a man, woman, and child and say, "That is also the image of God." Not three images of God in one picture, but one unified image of God.

Individualism rejects this other way of viewing the image of God in humanity and insists that it is always and only the unique, discreet individual who bears the image of God. The hard thing is to add the other image without somehow detracting from the individual one.       

Weedon

Scott,

Indeed. If the genius of the West was the recognition of the infinite value of each person; its downfall was in not knowing how to do exactly what you (and Pete) point out, which I suppose we could describe as avoiding the pitfall of individuation. Persons exist in their infinite value in relation to other persons of infinite value and they do not protect their value in being walled off, but in being integrated.

David Garner

For what it's worth, I have not read Peterson, but I am working my way through C.S. Lewis' "Abolition of Man" for a second time.

IMHO, he is describing the world we live in today. 

"In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

peter_speckhard

Quote from: David Garner on September 04, 2018, 05:29:55 PM
For what it's worth, I have not read Peterson, but I am working my way through C.S. Lewis' "Abolition of Man" for a second time.

IMHO, he is describing the world we live in today. 

"In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."
Such a prophetic book. I believe RJN considered one of the top ten most important books of the 20th Century. And it is little more than a longish essay.

Lewis said the fiction version of it was That Hideous Strength, for all you sci-fi/fantasy fans out there.

Dan Fienen

A kind of companion volume to "Abolition of Man" is C. S. Lewis' scifi novel "That Hideous Strength."
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

David Garner

Quote from: peter_speckhard on September 04, 2018, 05:37:36 PM
Quote from: David Garner on September 04, 2018, 05:29:55 PM
For what it's worth, I have not read Peterson, but I am working my way through C.S. Lewis' "Abolition of Man" for a second time.

IMHO, he is describing the world we live in today. 

"In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."
Such a prophetic book. I believe RJN considered one of the top ten most important books of the 20th Century. And it is little more than a longish essay.

Lewis said the fiction version of it was That Hideous Strength, for all you sci-fi/fantasy fans out there.

Quote from: Dan Fienen on September 04, 2018, 05:40:30 PM
A kind of companion volume to "Abolition of Man" is C. S. Lewis' scifi novel "That Hideous Strength."

Thanks to both of you -- I will check That Hideous Strength out.
Orthodox Reader and former Lutheran (LCMS and WELS).

gan ainm

#73
Quote from: David Garner on September 04, 2018, 08:28:18 PM
Quote from: peter_speckhard on September 04, 2018, 05:37:36 PM
Quote from: David Garner on September 04, 2018, 05:29:55 PM
For what it's worth, I have not read Peterson, but I am working my way through C.S. Lewis' "Abolition of Man" for a second time.

IMHO, he is describing the world we live in today. 

"In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."
Such a prophetic book. I believe RJN considered one of the top ten most important books of the 20th Century. And it is little more than a longish essay.

Lewis said the fiction version of it was That Hideous Strength, for all you sci-fi/fantasy fans out there.

Quote from: Dan Fienen on September 04, 2018, 05:40:30 PM
A kind of companion volume to "Abolition of Man" is C. S. Lewis' scifi novel "That Hideous Strength."

Thanks to both of you -- I will check That Hideous Strength out.

That Hideous Strength will make more sense if you read the first two books of the trilogy first.  Also, FWIW, I found That Hideous Strength to be a rather more difficult read vs. the first two - I could only read a few pages at a time and had to force myself to complete it.  Perhaps I was just having a hard week.  :-\

https://www.amazon.com/Trilogy-Perelandra-Hideous-Strength-Paperback/dp/B00ZAT776G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536146743&sr=8-1&keywords=cs+lewis+space+trilogy

Weedon

No. It's the only book of his I could never read again. It's profound and disturbing. The stomp the crucifix scene particularly so.

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