Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Is Christendom finished?
There should be a link in this list explaining why not to give up

Also, friend Paul Goings notes and AFAIK I agree even though I haven’t done the reading:
It may come as a surprise to those here that, in spite of my extreme liturgical conservatism, I am still quite interested in some of the current theological thinking. Two areas where work is being done seem to have certain natural points of convergence: the Radical Orthodoxy* (of Milbank, Pickstock, and Ward) and the Emergent Church movement (popularized by Brian McClaren in the U.S.).

Radical Orthodoxy purports to be, in part, a reclaiming of Augustine and Aquinas. It is a conscious rejection of the postmodern assertions that objective truth (religious or otherwise) does not really exist, and that a laissez-faire relativism is the only way to approach life; a kind of "post-postmodernism," if you will.

The Emergent Church movement is many things to many people, but one of its core aspects is the acknowledgement that, to a large extent, the Church needs to find new ways to present her message to the people of the twenty-first century (especially in the industrialized West) and that it is necessary to adapt our way of life as churchmen to the realities of a thoroughly post-Constantinian world.

I happen to agree with much of this, but what does it say about the catholic teachings regarding the Church? How can she be both a visible, discernable, body, with a visible head, and at the same time increase her accessibility to the diffuse communities and networks that we exist in today? Is there a period in history that we can look to?

The answer, I think, is both yes and no. With the Christians of the early Church, and with those through the centuries who have lived in pagan lands, we can share the experience of living in a culture which is indifferent to, and at times openly hostile towards, our beliefs and way of life. At the same time, I think that it is safe to say that society is fluid and tentatively connected like never before in history, both benefiting and suffering from a glut of easily available data and almost instantaneous communication.

Most of us
[to whom Paul was writing] are Anglicans, and so we have always been a part of an established or semi-established church. This provides certain comforts and aids to ministry, but we all know that it can be a trap as well, if we are not willing to see it as a tool for the building up of God's kingdom on earth, and not a supreme goal to be attained or preserved. This is the real danger of any bureaucracy-bound ecclesiastical structure, although I admit that structure and order is entirely necessary.

As Anglo-Papalists we should look to what Rome has done, and is doing. The many "new ecclesial movements" which we see springing up all over the place (e.g. Communion and Liberation, the Neo-Catechumenal Way, the Charismatic renewal movement, the Focolare Movement, and the S. Egidio Community) have the full approval of the Holy Father, who will again celebrate Pentecost with them this year in Rome. In a way, the traditional (Indult and S.S.P.X.) communities which are increasing in numbers throughout the world are very similar to these other movements in several ways. They are using extra-normal (in today's world) theology, liturgy, and piety to reach those who are seeking to love and serve God.

I would argue that Traditional Anglo-Papalism can see itself as another of these movements, and that this is both helpful to us, and perhaps also helpful to others in understanding what it is that we are about. We do not wish to appear separatist, sectarian, or schismatic, and I don't think that it's necessary for us to. We are upholding a valuable tradition, not as a museum piece, but so that it can serve as a light (one of many!) to the nations in this age of darkness.

If there is any interest in this topic, I think that there's much more to discuss; but I'll leave it there for now.
Post-post-modernism or pre-modernism by choice as ‘gathered community’. I see it.

*Which I understand describes modernity as essentially a heretical reconstruction of Christianity.

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