Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What is orthodoxy and why does it matter?
I think a useful distinction between progressive and traditionalist religionists and their approach to religious truth is as follows. Progressives think that religious truth is indefinite and subjective, and can change according to the perceived needs of people in a given time and place. Traditionalists believe that religious truth is definite and objective, and can be known with some degree of certainty.

Put another way, progressives tend to think that religious truth claims are statements of an individual’s thoughts and emotional state; trads tend to think that religious truth claims are statements about metaphysical reality.
A punto.

Daniel Larison’s big-O Orthodox take on this
The C20 Parisian school of Russian Orthodox thought can skid into Modernism like mainline Protestantism; as Christopher Johnson wrote of this ‘I feel this’ school, ‘Yes, I know what the stuffy old Bible and (the rest of) church tradition say but look at all the nice _____s I know’. Sed abusus non tollit usum.

Like Rod Dreher I thought Obama’s weak profession of faith was much like moral-therapeutic deism, the self-help Pelagianism that Robert Schuller and Joel Osteen are accused of. ‘Possibility thinking’ or ‘word of faith’ for a different demographic I suppose but all part of the same happy hunting-ground of sectarianism as Mgr Ronald Knox said.

More on this
From Ross Douthat

Mr Larison’s take
Relating it to civic religion or the Americanist heresy (again moral-therapeutic deism)

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