...are the ones that make the biggest difference


Loudest voices?

Not much time this week - been busy trying to re-finish the floors in our new home, and to say the least, it has not been going at all well. We'll be lucky to get a couple of rooms done before we have to move in, and then we'll have to work on the last room once we're in, and even that scenario may be pushing the envelope considerably.

I was poking around on an "emergent" blog today and found a comment that struck me as rather, well, peculiar.

I think back to those who were considered heretics in the 2nd century. Funny, how the largest, loudest, and most powerful voice usually gets to define orthodoxy. ( 21st century translation: Think white dudes with pot-belies, surfer shirts, and goatess with degrees from "bible" colleges. sorry if I singled out a reader. I know this is a generalization.)

Yeah, its a generalization. A generalization that flirts with all manner of apostasy, but I'm consistently struck by the unwillingness of people, particularly in the liberal or emerging churches, to assign any actual activity to God. Attempting to pin down what was true about God, the nature of Christ and the Church, etc, is apparently an entirely human work wherein the most obnoxious jerks "win." While I applaud their movement towards a more whole faith, one that is not as cut & dried as modern evangelicalism can tend to be, I cannot help but be alarmed at this lack of spiritual imagination. Does God do anything anymore?


Benedict Seraphim said...

Regrettably, ever since Walter Bauer's thesis on how the Church "became" orthodox (later discredited, but then revised and revived by one Dr. Bart Ehrman), this has been the prevailing view of how the Church "developed" her doctrine. It is blatant historical revisionism.

In point of fact, orthodoxy didn't "win out" over other "Christian" interpretations. There is a discernible objective line of teaching stretching from the present right back to the apostles, a teaching not only exemplified in the writings of the Church Fathers, but also in the liturgies, canons, and hagiography of the Church (categories these scholars all to often ignore).

More to the point, if one just simply looks at the Arian conflict, one sees that the majority faith of the Church was not orthodoxy, but was Arianism. However, thanks to the Holy Spirit and the activities and networking of a handful of believers, orthodoxy ultimately "won out." But it hardly won out by being obnoxious and "jerky." Take Athanasius, for example, he was exiled several times and "deposed" from his clerical office because he refused to take the Arian line. Now who's being obnoxious and all "white-dude-with-the-political-power-machine"?

Historical ignorance, especially ignorance over our own Church history, ought to be a punishable offense.

Nathan said...

I experienced this revisionism first hand in some of my religious studies classes. I actually had a prof who was a member of the Jesus Seminar, but was one of the better teachers - at least I knew where he was coming from. I also had a prof who radically reinterpreted the OT. Cain's murdering Abel was turned into a ritual sacrifice in order to "remind" God to send rain for his crops, not an act of jealous violence.

There seems to be a strong impetus to deny even the possibility that things may have happened as the Church or the Bible says they did. It is not enough to deny any divine inspiration or activity, but they cannot even stomach the possibility of mere historical accuracy. What surprises me, though, is the fact that Christians embrace this type of thinking.

"Historical ignorance, especially ignorance over our own Church history, ought to be a punishable offense."

To the whipping post! :)