Friday, February 05, 2016

Christians in the modern world

  • Princeton’s Robert George: Are you ready to pay the price? The days of socially acceptable Christianity are over. It's Lifesite and Legatus; arguably there's some implied conservative Novus Ordo self-congratulation and playing at martyrdom but this is essentially true. Western society's still Christian-based but the Protestantism (a Christianity long compromised) has turned into secular humanism, Christian ethics minus Christ. Mainline Protestantism is completely owned and on board with this but, quaintly to the new breed in charge, keeps the Jesus talk and the trappings of church. The Orthodox are just an innocuous ethnic club, too little in the West to be taken seriously anyway. Nominal Christianity is still fine, even encouraged; "socially acceptable Christianity": Professor George added that people can still safely identify as "Catholic" as long as they don’t believe. In America, the church being reducing to being Irish, Italian, etc., celebrating Christmas, drinking on St. Patrick's Day, and cheering for Notre Dame football. Evangelicals and real Catholics ("real" as in believing, practicing, and putting their lives on the line) are now targets.
  • Why not negotiate with the world? That seems the approach of thoughtful liberal high-church people, namely, Episcopalians (women priests and gay weddings), such as the writer of Tract 91, "Firmly I believe": The Manifesto. What Vatican II was trying to do, since after all the church isn't tied down to any one culture. (We normally don't tear down our own cultures either; that was crazy.) There's a bit of self-importance here, and/or begging to be liked with all the try-hard pop-culture references and "Generation X" clichés (o sweet young prince, Kurt Cobain). While these Christians aren't Modernists like their grandparents often were (the second- and third-generation "Enlightenment" skeptics, people such as Spong) — they believe the creeds, meeting the world on its terms isn't a winning plan; you end up owned, driving away the really religious, and not converting the cool kids you're trying to impress. Look how well Vatican II worked out for us; learn from our mistake. At least the Episcopalians don't hate high church like our liberals do. And the first Catholic Modernists, such as George Tyrrell, started with good intentions trying to defend orthodoxy to "a changing world"; they ended up out of the church in spirit and in fact. To give the few, the cool, the semi-orthodox credit, I like to say this is like something I'd come up with if I were starting a church; God has other plans.
  • The Daily Beast: Religious fundamentalists are losing. Sure. The unstoppable march of progress. Just you wait: the liberal Protestant and Novus Ordo Catholic churches will be filled every week with enlightened believers including grateful Middle Eastern convert refugees because the liberal Christians are just so gosh-darned nice. Churches you yourselves don't go to.
  • A modern Anglo-Catholic I respect, Will Brown. So close to the church.
  • "Church is not something you go to; it's a family you belong to." Yes, in a way that is far more profound than you and the local warm, charming religious people gathered together. Which church? The local parish or the church as in the Body of Christ? I mean the church. Socially I don't expect jack from my parish so I'm pleasantly surprised sometimes.


  1. I get tired of articles like that "Manifesto" that assume that everyone of a certain age cares about the same celebrities. Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse meant nothing to me and I'd never heard of them until they died. I didn't own any of those things either. If the writer had wanted to mention a shocking famous death my generation remembers whose impact was more truly universal, he or she could have mentioned Diana Princess of Wales (even though I was not an uncritical admirer of hers).

    1. Thank you; you articulated why it annoyed me. I'm like you. This person doesn't speak for me just because of the year I was born in. It's arrogant of him to assume he does.

    2. "This person doesn't speak for me just because of the year I was born in." You speak for me too. Do you think I have anything even remotely in common with anyone else born in 1988?

    3. Right; you understand. 1988 feels like about five years ago to me. When you get older, your perception of time changes. It starts whizzing by because less is new to you.


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