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rmcrob
rmcrob

@ayjay Straight to Instapaper for later today.

robinsloan
robinsloan

@ayjay I loved reading this, as always, but it left me sincerely confused. Doesn't this:

> People who are deeply grounded in and deeply committed to their faith tradition who are also capable of rising to high levels of influence in government and education

describe a solid majority of U.S. elected representatives? Is their professed faith of a kind or quality different from what you or Vermeule are imagining? Sincere question!

mwerickson
mwerickson

@ayjay This was perfect reading for me today as I just began a preaching series at @EastbrookChurch this weekend on Daniel, beginning with attention to enculturation/socialization and how our double identity as "citizens of heaven" (Phil 3:20) relates to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile" (Jer 29:7).

ayjay
ayjay

@robinsloan And a very good question it is. Here’s what I’d say: that I have no doubt that such people are very sincere in their faith, but they aren’t especially well formed by it. You wouldn’t have to be all that well-versed in the Bible and Christian history to know that Jews and Christians have often suffered to the point of martyrdom because they wouldn’t worship the emperor or the gods of the State — and yet many of these professedly evangelical churches hold Make America Great Again rallies and destroy Nike shoes from the pulpit because NFL players “disrespect the flag.” Leading evangelicals say that it’s okay that Trump has done a lot of bad things because “King David was a sinner too” — without noticing that David repented of his sins, whereas Trump has said that he doesn’t repent because he doesn’t do many things wrong. So what we’re seeing here is people who have a sincere profession of faith but don’t know the basic grammar of their religion. It is the civic religion of America, rather, that they are formed by. And if, like Adrian Vermeule, you want Christians to transform the society from within, then you have to hope that those people have absorbed the grammar of their faith more thoroughly than they have the grammar of their country. And that, by and large, ain’t happening.

ayjay
ayjay

@robinsloan Lots of emphasis in that reply. Sorry.

ayjay
ayjay

@mwerickson That’s exactly the tension we have to keep in mind and heart.

mwerickson
mwerickson

@ayjay The counter-catechesis that you suggest is something that goes so much deeper than most of us realize. Daniel seems to be a perfect primer on this, combining both the narratives of exile faith (chs. 1-6) and the visions of an apocalyptic imagination (chs. 7-12) as two halves of the necessary aspects of living as a people transformed at the deeper level of social imaginaries for more meaningful engagement. As you mention in another response, this is a different grammar flowing from a different imagination. It can sometimes feel like an endless exploration of the rabbit hole.

Bruce
Bruce

@robinsloan @ayjay I'm conflicted about this. How compatible are faith and power? Is the place of the faithful outside to apply spiritual pressure? Would it be possible to maintain Quaker testimonies in government? Especially the peace testimony? Joining Rome did much harm.

robinsloan
robinsloan

@ayjay It happens!

marmanold
marmanold

@ayjay Yes! Thank you for this well-written take.

ayjay
ayjay

@Bruce I’m inclined to think that the cost-benefit ratio of moving inside empire is rarely good. I don’t begrudge the efforts of those who try it, but I think they are rarely aware of either the difficulty or the cost.

frankm
frankm

@ayjay I like the grammar analogy. Christians are meant to be leaven not the bread.

frankm
frankm

@ayjay @bruce The cost is a creedal/beliefs based church (adjectives) versus love based church (verb). We’ve been bearing that cost since Constantine. I think Rome’s assimilation of “the church” was the first schism and their has been a price for each one. Yet still, the Spirit persists.

ayjay
ayjay

@mwerickson Deep though the rabbit hole may be, that’s a great take on Daniel!

Bruce
Bruce

@frankm @ayjay And Quakerism is at the far end of the Love spectrum. No creeds or official doctrines; only queries. There's a good reason the official name is The Religious Society of Friends. Divine Love for the self, love for one's community, love for the world, love for one's opponents. Universal Unconditional Divine Love is the root and the core. Everything else is meaningless without it; even Scripture is secondary. It is empty unless read from within the Spirit of the Life.

Plus, the Liberal-Liberal branch puts intense value on the individual experience of Divine Love. At some point I'll write about the compatibility of my atheism and my Quaker spiritualism. 🙂

toddgrotenhuis
toddgrotenhuis

@Bruce @robinsloan @ayjay Amen. Following Jesus involves putting down the sword and taking up the cross. It's very hard to serve two masters. It is hard, perhaps impossible, to follow both Jesus and Caesar.

mwerickson
mwerickson

@ayjay We're having fun so far.