Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
This looks like an interesting book, so long as its result is not to (re?)introduce this religion into the university.
Regarding the apparent deathwish of mainline "liberal" Protestantism, I wonder if they care. Rapidly declining adherents dont seem to concern them, and they (meaning the Episcopalians and Presbyterians) almost go out of their way to scandalize true mainstream Christian belief. Perhaps the destruction of these grand old denominations IS the final point.
I was raised an Episcopalian, and I feel a lingering loyalty despite all.
To me there is something unseemly about casting aspersions, at least in public, on somebody elses religious views. If we want a reinspired public square, a certain decorum would seem to be essential.
Not all Dain, not all. I am and have been a loyal Presbyterian. As much as I dislike the decisions on overtures passed at the recent General Asssembly I do know that according to the Book of Order all decisions really fall to the individual churchs Session. At our last meeting we had quite a spirited discussion on the ramifications of these decisions on a national and not a local level. We were resolved to maintain much of the tradition despite the GAs decisions. My minister still refers to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We will not ordain an individual with nontraditional sexual practices. Engaged couples have to take a class on marriage led by a lay person. We have a tradtional sanctuary (with a great organ) -no power point, no rock and roll. And our membership continues to grow (especially teens which seems odd in this day). However, one of my biggest fears is how the media is spinning these decisions to make it look like our tradtional denominations are wavering. To most who do not attend church their reasons for not going are being supported by various stories challenging churches. But once inside I have found that many of those opinions change. But back to the topic. Would we even have these issues if our univeristies required students attend chapel?
Dont worry about it, Steve. The mainline Episcopal church doesnt have religious views, it has social policy. This liberal "clergy" inflirated an orthodox church and proceeded to steal our church properties, steal our endowments, steal our colleges and seminaries, and then punish and marginalize the remnant of priests who wanted to stick with the original program - you know, the Catholic Faith. These new "reformers" dont deserve the millions in real estate and endowments that they looted, but they richly deserve the empty pews. As to their Sophia worship, their refusal to acknowledge Christ, their incessant dumbing down of the liturgy, and their insipid and stupid modern hymns - who new apostasy could be so tacky and hilarious? I thought Lucifer was a man of "wealth and taste?"
The church of my youth was not Catholic; it was Elizabethan - low church with its marvelous admixture of Calvinism. My ears still ring with the old Book of Common Prayer and the old hymns. My home church introduced me to good organ and choir music, learned preaching, and fine architecture (including Tiffany stained glass). My theology had a strong aesthetic component. Is all that truly and uniformly gone? The active Episcopalians I know certainly do not reject Christ.
I gather this is/was your church. An old friend of mine was in Columbus to lobby the delegates on behalf of a decent policy on the Middle East. At one point, a bishop wearing a Palestinian flag on his lapel cursed out my friend. Dark times.
I am sure there are faithful Episcopals remaining in ECUSA pews, just like a hijacked plane still has innocent passengers in the seats. Nevertheless, the plane has been stolen and is now being steered by evil people. Unlike passengers on a hijacked plane, the faithful Episcopals could leave, though. I have always wondered why they complain vigorously, but stay...
I see that you are at the other end of the via lata - I am Anglican Catholic, but latitudinarian within basic orthodoxy. It tells you something that the low church and high church could tolerate their differences for over a century but that the leftists who run the church now stifle and marginalize conservative dissenters be they high or low church.
My family left the church when the new- grooving progress corps started doing things like endorsing abortion on demand, supporting the communists in Nicaraugua, worrying more about nuclear freezes than sin and individual salvation, and purging the phrase "miserable offenders" from the confession - musnt hurt anyones feelings! Get with it, man! Now the "bishops" will not even allow the 27 prayer book to be used in most dioceses, even if the congregation is unenlightened enough to want poetic language and rigorous theology instead of therapy speak and the church of whats happening now. So much for tolerance!
You are right about the profound aesthetic appeal of the old Episcopal churches - high or low. Aethestics is theology; you cannot debase the one without endangering the other. Id go to Rome, but among other reasons I cannot is that their liturgy, post Vatican II, is a permanent time capsule of the worst of the 1970s - groovy accoustic guitar, faux folksy language, hymns by lefty Jesuits. Ugh. At least they have not butchered the doctrine, try as some of the more vocal American bishops might. Perhaps the liturgy will change under Ratzinger. Eastern Orthodoxy is always tempting, but I do not want to bail on the tiny continuing Anglican churches I have been attending. They can barely keep the doors open and the heat on but they soldier on renting rooms from protestants or buying disued churches and starting over. Dark times is right. Almost makes one nostalgic for the days of burning heretics, rather than promoting them Bishop of New Hampshire.
Although I suppose its an unliturgical thing to do, I gotta add a hearty A-MEN! to preacher wms brilliant Stones-quoting riff about the tacky banality of apostasy.
Ashbrook Center at Ashland University | 401 College Avenue | Ashland, Ohio 44805 | (419) 289-5411 | (877) 289-5411 (Toll Free)