Thursday, August 9, 2007

Welcome to C.Orthodoxy

People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy.

-G.K. Chesterton

We live in a post-modern, post-Christian world. Everything we do and think is colored by this fact, but where does that leave those of us who remain, after everything, Christians? Must we close out the world, cling tooth and nail to a parochial understanding of our faith, and pray not to be lost in the deluge? Or do we give in, allow the secular world to dictate the terms of our thinking, and steadily abandon all that we hold most dear?

Neither of these strategies is tenable. The first rejects the future in nostalgia for the past; the second ignores our history in awe of the present. I believe that if this ancient faith is to play any substantial role in our contemporary world, it will not result from either ignoring, or uncritically embracing, the changes modernity has wrought.

So this blog is my clearing floor. Here I might discuss anything from art to anthropology, evolution to epistemology, society to soteriology. I might ponder history, theology, philosophy, science, ethics, politics, or just the latest TV show. My interests are wide-ranging, but beneath it all lies a simple question: How can Historic Christian Orthodoxy move into the 21st century without abandoning either its soul or its mind?

I do not profess to know the answer to this question, but I want the freedom to consider it. Doing so may carry me far afield, and even I do not know where it will lead, but that is half the fun. For I seek nothing less than a full engagement between post-modern culture in all its diversity, and historic Christianity in all its grandeur. I have no delusions that I will reach that goal, but I hope the journey itself will be worth the effort.

I believe that Christian orthodoxy embraces all aspects of life, but how it does so will remain an open question on this blog. Be certain, I have many opinions, some dearly held, but I am not so convinced of myself that I am unwilling to consider other views. No avenue will be too profane to explore. No doctrine will be too sacred to question.

Save one. I take it as a given that all which exists depends on the self-sacrifice of God. All goodness and love, order and justice, freedom and power flow from Him. He who had the power to control everything, has instead given us freedom. He who needed nothing, gave up everything. I believe that all Christian doctrine hangs on this single point: That God has accepted any cost, even death on a cross, to give us life.

The death of God. There is no more impenetrable paradox than this. That the source of all life could die; this cannot be fathomed, much less explained. It is like the sun – impossible to look steadily upon, yet necessary to view anything else. If false, it is the greatest farce ever conceived by man. If true, it is the most important thing that ever happened. I may not be able to encapsulate it, but I will not hesitate to examine the world by its light.

That said, I am willing to discuss it, and I am happy to converse with those who reject it. I welcome any question thoughtfully presented and will acknowledge any objection respectfully raised. But the self-giving love of God is my premise. All thinking must begin somewhere, no matter where it ends. For every journey, there must be a first step. This is mine.

I call this blog C.Orthodoxy, because, though I hope I am orthodox, I have no finished system. If you are looking for something stable and secure, you will not find it here. If you are looking for the freedom to explore God’s truth wherever it leads (or wherever I find it interesting!), then you have found a kindred spirit. I value honesty and love above all things, but I remain a human being, and a young and na├»ve one at that. I may get things wrong, sometimes painfully so, but I believe the surest way to find what is true, is to abandon any fear of being false.

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

-J.R.R. Tolkien

1 comment:

Charlie said...

Well-said, Ken. Congratulations on your new blog. I'll be back often.