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Why Modernity is Not a Christian Heresy

In the comments of the last post, someone brought up the question of whether or not a good way to describe modernity is as a “Christian heresy.” I don’t think this is a good way to describe modernity. The notion of modernity as heresy is just too easy. It places “Christianity” safely insulated from the horrors of modernity under critique, even as it give a nod to modernity’s roots in Christianity. By rendering modernity as a Christian heresy we acknowledge the (undeniable) historical link between Christianity and modernity while simultaneously saying that true, orthodox Christianity (i.e. those who think and act like us) really had nothing to do with it. Like saying, “Well yes, the Crusades sure were awful, but after all none of those participating in it were real Christians.”

The problem is not that modernity is a Christian heresy, it is rather that it is precisely the outworking of Christian orthodoxy. This is an important point. Modernity does not stem from an aberration within orthodox Christianity, but from the triumph of Christian orthodoxy itself (i.e. Christendom).

The problem with labeling a modernity a heresy is that it renders Christianity entirely innocent by defining Christianity in an ahistorical and ideological way. “True Christian orthodoxy” is just never to blame for anything and anything that is bad in the world has to be some deviation from this pristine (Platonic?) Christian ideal. If we take the history of Christianity seriously, however, we have to say that modernity does not arise from the denial or mutilation of Christianity, but rather from orthodox Christianity itself. This is why the more fruitful way to critique the ideologies of modernity is not to strive to go back to some premodern past when things were allegedly still orthodox wonderful. Rather it is to look back to the very particular reality of Jesus of Nazareth, whose life, death, and resurrection stands in perpetual judgment of all ideologies. And all orthodoxies.

78 Comments

  1. roger flyer wrote:

    I get it. But I don’t believe there is a one ‘true Christian orthodoxy’ within Christendom. Is there?

    My point (taken from Carter’s post) is that modernity’s ‘heresy’ is that belief in the progress of man leads to many of the various -isms that now bind and constrict.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 9:38 am | Permalink
  2. Halden wrote:

    One true settled orthodoxy? No. But there certainly have been dominate orthodoxies, such as that which defined medieval Europe and birthed the modern age.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 10:10 am | Permalink
  3. Nate wrote:

    I can see some versions of modernity as stemming from some sort of Christian orthodoxy. I also can think of ideologies that I’d call modern that set themselves very openly and vocally against the particulars of Christian confession. Would you call such atheistic and anti-religious, deistic ideologies other orthodoxies or something else?

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink
  4. Hill wrote:

    There is a crapload of equivocation going on in this post. So much so that I can’t go in to details about without mortal transgression of my blog fast.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  5. Dreg wrote:

    What is “orthodoxy” anyway?

    After all, it seems to me that a Western orthodox Christian understands orthodoxy quite differently from an Eastern orthodox Christian, the former of which is much more influenced by the tendencies and categories of thought of Scholasticism, whereas the latter seems a bit more suspicious about the primacy given over to cognitive analysis and appropriation of Christian belief, etc., etc.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  6. Theophilus wrote:

    Why does labeling modernity “heresy” require a belief in “some premodern past when things were allegedly still orthodox wonderful”? I see a package of heresies that come with modernism, but another set of deviations that go along with the pre-modern Medieval period, for instance. I guess I just don’t buy that the conception of an ideal/Platonic Christian orthodoxy requires that we actually believe that this orthodoxy was ever fully, widely, and perfectly achieved in Christian history.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 11:58 am | Permalink
  7. David wrote:

    cf. Jacques Ellul

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink
  8. roger flyer wrote:

    Of course Hill is right. Carter threw a bone and Halden fetched it. Go read that blog.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink
  9. roger flyer wrote:

    Carter’s quote:

    “Behind the new account of the Promethean, infinite will of the human subject lies the dark and foreboding vision of the unpredictable God of sheer will of nominalism. So if the autonomous, willing self is the central thread of modernity, behind the anthropology lies a theology. This means that modernity is essentially a Christian heresy. It is a heresy which has led to materialism, atheism and the culture of death. It is not something new in history (as for Hans Blumenberg) or a logical development of Christianity (Karl Lowith), but a heretical doctrine of God and a heretical doctrine of man. It can even be understood as a revival of ancient heresies in a new historical form. If this analysis is correct, then modernity is a dead end and the only way forward is the recovery of classical, Christian orthodoxy…”

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  10. Wilson wrote:

    I think you are right in seeing modernity as not aberration of Christian orthodoxy. Yet, even if you were wrong and modernity was this great heresy, I think it would be more faithful not to think that way. Blaming heretics for the problems of the world shifts culpability away from the Church and from Christians and so then we don’t have to change, or even convert.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  11. Halden wrote:

    See, that’s the problem. Saying that the horrors of modernity can be traced back to the heresy of “nominalism” ignores the (to my mind) clear fact that nominalism is utterly derived from the very “classical, Christian orthodoxy” that it is supposed to depart from.

    In fact, nominalism could not have come to exist except for the conditions set by classical Christian thought. That’s why Carter is patently wrong to say that modernity is not a “logical development of Christianity.” It very plainly is exactly that.

    Which is why we need to attend to the witness of Jesus in allowing “Christianity” to be rightly critiqued.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
  12. tom wrote:

    Surely it is more than just orthodox Christianity. what about stocism, gnosticism, the double revolution, etc. On my reading it seems as though narratives of modernization have totally rejected simplistic renderings of modernity and now see it as a complex, reflexive, open-ended, and creative process. Europe has never been orthodox. read Carlo Ginzburg’s The Cheese and the Worms or The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults. Counter reformers were apparently shocked to see what average folks really believed.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  13. tom wrote:

    “The best thing about religion is that it gives birth to heretics”
    Ernst Bloch” in Atheismus im Christentum

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink
  14. Hill wrote:

    You are going to be extremely hard pressed to demonstrate that nominalism follows necessarily from the Christian thought that precedes it. This is likely (logically) impossible to do. Even if it weren’t, it’s so messy as to be effectively impossible. This is just making the same methodological mistake of the declension narratives, except pushing the founding error back to the emergence of institutionalized Christianity (which ends up being more or less impossible to historically interrogate, and is therefore disingenuously insulated). That error being an attempt to demonstrate that bad modern X-ism follows necessarily from an earlier mistake Y-ism.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink
  15. Brad A. wrote:

    Halden, it seems to me that something could be logically derived from Christianity and yet be a heresy. Various ancient histories were logical extensions, though containing problematic elements that were considered by others to be erroneous to a dangerous degree.

    This seems to me too either/or of a portrayal of the situation. I wonder about your construal of “orthodoxy” if you consider Christendom to be its triumph. It seems like we have some ambiguity here that leaves me still wondering exactly what you’re saying.

    And forgive me if I’m just being dense.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
  16. Halden wrote:

    I never mentioned anything about necessity.

    And I don’t find the idea that nominalism just dropped in from nowhere in the middle of Christian Europe with no antecedents convincing.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink
  17. Halden wrote:

    Brad, I understand what you’re saying and obviously one could use the term “heresy” in distinct ways. What I’m trying to say here is that modernity did not emerge from anything, philosophical, theological or otherwise that can easily be termed “heretical” in the sense that it departs from the broad canons of orthodox Christianity.

    The idea of heresy that I’m working with here is that it radically departs from what the church as a whole has settled on as “right doctrine.”

    My point is that the intellectual and philosophical roots of modernity do not come from anything like that. They are rather found within Christianity itself—in all its complexity and internal arguments.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  18. Hill wrote:

    Heresies come from within Christianity itself too? I think there are still some serious terminological issues here.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Permalink
  19. Halden wrote:

    If we mean by “heresy” simply something that is at odds with the Gospel, then sure, modernity, or major aspects of it are “heretical” in that sense. But I don’t think that’s what heresy is really about. Tons of things are wrong and at odds with the gospel that aren’t rightly considered heresy.

    To put things differently, none of the alleged culprits—however one narrates the theological roots of modernity—were ever actually considered heretics in the way we normally use that term. Maybe I’m wrong here, but even if we really can neatly trace the emergence of modernity to nominalism (and I’ve got serious doubts about that, but that’s another discussion), that doesn’t make it heretical by derivation. As far as I know no one’s ever declared nominalism a heresy. Rather it was a live “Christian” option in philosophical circles.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink
  20. kim fabricius wrote:

    Roger Flyer’s dog-and-bone metaphor is apt. Halden’s critique (it seems to me) is there or there-abouts, but if it lacks precision, that’s only because it too readily accepts Carter’s terms of reference. I’m not sure which is more amusing, the preposterousness of Carter’s thesis or its ironies.

    The preposterousness derives from its implausibly monolithic account of modernity and its Milbank-like insistence on a villain of the piece. (I imagine that some proper medievalists would have a cavil or ten to raise here.) All that’s missing for a good farce is for Monty Python’s Inquisition suddenly to appear in Duns’ or William’s study and make an arrest.

    As for the ironies: Carter’s is a metanarrative to end all metanarratives (modernism) – and presented with such an apocalyptic tone (postmodernism)! A Girardian analysis of his scapegoat of a thesis awaits.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  21. Hill wrote:

    Heresies are only acknowledged as in response to specific advancements of heretical doctrines. Since nominalism does not operate on the level of doctrine, it couldn’t really be considered a heresy. Nonetheless, I think it would be relatively straightforward (for someone with the time to do it) to trace a number of actual pronouncements of heresy to the outworking of certain nominalist strains of thought (e.g. many of the Protestant heresies regarding the Eucharist, etc.). So while it may be technically incorrect to refer to nominalism as a heresy, it’s relationship to heresy, and hence it’s function as a kind of metaheresy (which simply may have taken 600 years to recognize) is not all that difficult of a leap to make. Arianism was a “live Christian option” until we said it wasn’t. I just don’t find your account of heresy very compelling, conceptually or historically.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink
  22. Halden wrote:

    Thanks, Kim. Again, to clarify for all concerned, my point about not wanting to talk about modernity as a heretical version of Christianity is because it too readily excuses us from seeing the very real complicity of “true Christianity” (speaking historically) in the advent of modernity. By calling modernity a heresy we cordon ourselves off from its errors and attrocities and reify ourselves as possessors of a settled and stable orthodoxy that is beyond critique or question. To do that is simply to give ourselves over to ideology.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Permalink
  23. Hill wrote:

    We do not need to define what orthodoxy is in order to define what it is not. This seems to be the actual historical shape of the development of doctrine from the beginning. Just because an argument pointing out the heretical character of certain dominant modern ideologies makes illegitimate reference to “classical Christian orthodoxy” does not imply that certain dominant modern ideologies are not in fact heretical in character. If you think about it… most responses to heresy actually required defining new doctrines or new formulations of old doctrines, and so establishing the heretical character of modernity by reference to a stable, preexisting orthodoxy seems misguided anyway.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink
  24. Hill wrote:

    My concern is the way in which “true Christianity” works as a cipher for “everything about historical Christianity that is bad.” The process of recognizing and pronouncing heresy is precisely the process of removing “the things about historical Christianity that are bad” in the same way that Arianism is a HUGE part of the early Church and could easily be considered part of historical Christianity had it not been defined to be outside of it. There are ways of recognizing heresy that do not require making the mistakes you rightly criticize. In fact, all heresy is the Church’s fault, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon the concept of heresy. One can at the same time say that certain ideologies characteristic of “modernity” are heretical while maintaining one’s complicity in that heresy. Such is the nature of sin.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink
  25. Halden wrote:

    “There are ways of recognizing heresy that do not require making the mistakes you rightly criticize. In fact, all heresy is the Church’s fault, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon the concept of heresy. One can at the same time say that certain ideologies characteristic of “modernity” are heretical while maintaining one’s complicity in that heresy.”

    Ok, I agree with that. The problem, which prompted my initial writing is that “heresy” works in quite the same way as a cipher for “everything outside of Christianity that is bad.” Used in that way, it positions us outside of the realm of complicity, though as you point out, that is not something inherent to the definition of the word “heresy,” simply a feature that I note in too much of its use these days.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  26. Brad A. wrote:

    I can certainly go with that, though I’m not entirely convinced Milbank, RO, etc., go quite as far as you characterize them as going (Milbank’s “style” notwithstanding).

    Depending on one’s definition, we are probably all complicit in some heresy, even if it does not extend beyond ourselves. That said, I think it is important to be able to mark heterodox doctrine, if for no other reason than communal self-assessment. The identification of heresy need not be an exclusionary activity, exempting ourselves from complicity over against the other. Heresy, by definition, occurs within the church – not against the church from outside – and if we take ecclesial community and reconciliation seriously, we’ll be taking ownership of it ourselves.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Permalink
  27. R.O. Flyer wrote:

    Good post, though kind of a frustrating discussion here. Hill makes some good terminological points and asks good questions, but to me they are somewhat beside the point. Let’s be honest, the reality is that many of the prominent “modernity is heresy” advocates do in fact cordon off “true orthodox Christianity” (some form of Thomistic participation metaphysics) from the nominalist heretics. They do not tend to go for the idea that “heresy is the Church’s fault,” as Hill puts it. Instead, something like nominalism is conceived as a sort of infiltrating position that poisons true Christianity. You see, I tend to wonder (perhaps with Halden) whether a particular conception of participation metaphysics a la the analogia entis may have been more problematic (heretical?) than nominalism. Of course, the whole narrative I find to be incredibly historically naive.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Permalink
  28. dbarber wrote:

    There is something vaguely interesting about what RO sets up: Scotus and nominalism are two tendencies that fall away from true Christianity (ie analogia entis), and pretty much all of modernity belongs to Scotus and/or nominalism, so we need to go back to Aquinas in order to reboot.

    Ok, this could be innovative — the problem, however, is that most of its energy seems to be gained not by the innovation that RO makes with pomo-ized Thomism, but rather by a negation of these caricatured enemies. The Christianity vs. modernity (Scotus/nominalism) trope thus ends up being very reactive, engendering all kinds of sad, vengeful affects.

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm | Permalink
  29. ccollinswinn wrote:

    Nuff said! The problem is not that modernity is or is not a heresy; it’s that its no more and no less heretical than any other age. Keep fighting the good fight!

    Monday, June 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Permalink
  30. adhunt wrote:

    perhaps you should re-name your blog “Bitchin’ bout Milbank”

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:35 am | Permalink
  31. Doug Harink wrote:

    Halden, I wonder about your ‘back to Jesus behind orthodoxy’ move. You write:

    “Rather it is to look back to the very particular reality of Jesus of Nazareth, whose life, death, and resurrection stands in perpetual judgment of all ideologies. And all orthodoxies.”

    Is not “orthodoxy” precisely the church’s way of affirming, against all proposed reductions, the truth of the first sentence of that quote? And then, apart from all narratives about the role of Christianity in the rise of modernity, does not “orthodoxy” provide us with real critical leverage vis a vis the ways in which modernity (whatever its origins) erodes our claim about the lordship of Jesus? In other words, whatever the validity of Carter’s narrative about the rise of modernity, his ‘back to orthodoxy’ call could be construed as identical to your ‘back to Jesus’ call.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink
  32. d stephen long wrote:

    Doug’s thought echoes my own reflections and why I find Halden’s post troubling. Is it not a version of Harnack’s theology? The tradition of orthodoxy is an accretion — husk — from which we can separate the true kernel — Jesus. How do you get to do this Halden without any historical mediation? What aspects of orthodoxy are you going to jettison — the doctrine of the Trinity, Chalcedon? If orthodoxy is so problematic and responsible for modernity then why? Tell us more if you are truly calling us to be revisionists about the Christian faith and not just trying to provoke. Most liberal protestants assert that orthodoxy’s errors lie with its ultimate claims for a particular person and the community formed in his name. Do you agree? Is this why orthodoxy is so problematic for you as well?

    How does this Jesus-against-orthodoxy-move’ also not assume the now defunct hellenization thesis with the quip about ‘platonic ideals’? Moreover, why is it radical to see Jesus primarily as an iconoclast who “stands in perpetual judgment of all ideologies and orthodoxies.” Is this just another version of the vulgar hermeneutics of suspicion which asserts its own dogmatic certainty to call into question any claims for truth by others (dismissing them without argument) all the while protesting against any dogmatic certainty? It has always been a shell game.

    Does Jesus truly “stand in perpetual judgment”? Did he not establish any truth, found no community in that ‘apostolic’ truth that can be preserved even against the gates of hell over time, offer blessing rather than judgment alone?

    With respect to nominalism — I’m sure these narratives of decline sometimes tend to rhetorical excess and an over-determined causality. But too much good historical work has been done to dismiss so cavalierly any relation between nominalism and the rise of modernity-captialism-scientism. (Milbank didn’t make this up out of thin air.) Both those who find the latter a true advance and those who don’t agree about the pivotal importance of Ockham’s razor. I’m confused if you are offering a new declension narrative because I can’t figure out if modernity is a ‘symptom’ of a problem ‘orthodoxy’ creates, or an achievement to be affirm; you seem to suggest both. If it is a new declension narrative, then could you explain how the heart of orthodoxy that in Jesus we find the fullness of God and humanity, worship Jesus, and yet do not confuse divinity and humanity — leads to modernity? Heresy is always a ‘swerve’ within orthodoxy not a complete opposition to it.

    I’m increasingly convinced that a staunch commitment to Reformed theology without any catholic sensibilities can finally only make common cause with modernity. Your last two posts have not done much to convince me otherwise.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  33. roger flyer wrote:

    d stephen-I think this is a very well thought out comment and would like to hear Halden’s (and others’) responses!

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  34. Halden wrote:

    Steve, I’m sorry you’re so troubled. I think I can clear up some of the worries, though perhaps not all. In other words, I think part of your reaction to the post is due to my own terminological imprecision (which Hill and I have explored above already). However, I think there is also a more substantial difference in our perspectives here. I’ll try to deal with both of these in turn.

    First, regarding terminology. I acknowledge that my use of “heresy” and “orthodoxy” in this post was imprecise and probably far too simplistic. I certainly did not have in mind the ridiculous notion that Christological and Trinitarian doctrine created modernity. I strongly affirm both of those things and consider myself an orthodox Christian.

    Perhaps part of this stems from the way “heresy” has been used throughout my own ecclesial life, coming out of conservative evangelicalism. Heresy was always the falsehood of the “other” who is “out there.” So the Mormons are heretics, or the Jehovah’s Witnesses are heretics, as opposed to us Christians. That is the sort of usage that guided my thinking in this post. If by calling modernity a heresy we fall into positing it as this villainous other that we set over against and outside ourselves, I think that is problematic. That’s what I was going for here. I think the Milbankian narrative of modernity posits Christendom as this binary opposition, this “other city” to the secular. It is this sort of bifurcation, of seeing modernity as the demonic creation from somewhere else “out there” that I am against.

    Now, if heresy, as rightly defined by Hill and yourself, is seen as a “swerve” within Christianity, then I think we may be able to helpfully talk about modernity as a heresy. The problem is that I don’t think that language usually functions in that way in theological discourse. Rather I see it generally functioning in the way I describe above, as a method of bifurcation and distanciation rather than accountability. RO Flyer’s comment above states this very nicely.

    I’m sure I confused things by using the term “orthodoxy” at all. What I meant by that was not orthodox doctrine, but rather, as I’ve tried to fill out in the comments since, the idea that church, not some outside force bears responsibility (or a least a good measure thereof) for modernity. In other words, what I am saying is that modernity did not come about because people stopped being the church in the proper way that they had been doing before that. Rather the seeds of modernity springfrom the very way the (orthodox, Catholic) church had long been. In short, I think Christendom is the problem, and this brings us beyond my terminological carelessness to the more substantial difference that may be operative here.

    At the heart of your reaction to my post seems to be a supreme disturbance about the idea of Jesus being set, in any significant sense over against the progressive historical unfolding of the church. Here you start lapsing into some rather extreme binaries that I have to chose from. Either I accept that church, given its founding by Jesus can never be wrong (or far wrong, I assume) or I become a protestant liberal who wants to dismiss everything in Christianity on the basis of a half-baked hermeneutic of suspicion. I hardly think that binary does justice to what’s going on here.

    To tease this out, let me first take up your reference to Jesus’s statement in Matt 16:18. As I have written about here, I do not think that Jesus’s statement indicates that the church will be preserved from all error. The notion that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church seems to me to indicate that the church’s mission will not be stoppable by the principalities and powers. After all, gates don’t assail anyone. People assail gates. Jesus’s claim, to my reading is that the powers of darkness that the church confronts in its participation in the messianic mission will ultimately be defeated. That is a far cry from being promised in advance that the church will always be in perfect concord with its Lord.

    This brings me to what is really the operative issue here and relates to your disparaging comment about Reformed theology. On the one hand, I by no means consider myself part of the Reformed tradition. I am a Free Church Anabaptist and Yoder deeply informs my thinking on these matters. This is where the difference of sensibility lies. I do not agree with the “catholic sensibility” that insists that the only way for us not to be adrift in the winds of modernity is to know in advance that the church will always be on Jesus’s side and therefore all we have to do is re-assert our tradition to be faithful. Rather—and I think Scripture is on my side here—I think the people of God can, as a whole go horribly wrong and need to be called back to the way of God. This is ubiquitous in the story of Israel being called back to Torah and in Jesus’s own call to Israel in the gospels (which always involved the elevation of God’s Word over the community’s subsequent process of traditioning, cf. Matt 15:2-6 for example). In short, I don’t believe that Scripture is a wax nose. I likewise believe that Jesus truly is an agent who acts, not merely an object for our own historical-traditonal rendering process. That is why I am comfortable with seeing Christ as judge where you are not. I think Rev 2-3 really bears out this dynamic. Jesus is not simply reducible to the church’s own animating principle. Jesus does stand in judgment on the church. This judgment is not to be set in opposition to blessing and grace, for that is exactly what it is. Christ’s judgment is our very own liberation for life in God. We should not strive to posit ourselves as not needing that judgment, seeking to establish some form of righteousness that the church possesses in and of herself. Rather we need to recognize that it is precisely in being judged that we are saved, transformed, and commissioned with Christ.

    To come at it from another angle, I am not afraid that I will be seduced into making common cause with modernity unless I fall in line with simply re-asserting the church’s tradition precisely because I believe that Jesus is a real agent who really acts among us through the Holy Spirit, through Scripture, and through the voices he raises up in and outside the church. I think the quest to find within the church the resources and assurances of our own correctness and longevity are misguided because the church’s existence and extension through time is always the gift of Christ and the Spirit to it, not its own possession.

    In other words I don’t need a theoretical way to assure myself of the church’s own correctness and indefectibility to be confident in believing that the mission of God in Christ will be victorious.

    I offer all this in the service of trying to bring some clarity where perhaps I had brought some confusion initially. What I really think is operative in the difference between us is, as you say a contest between a “catholic sensibility” and my own Free Church/Anabaptist convictions. The difference being largely centered on whether or not Jesus is an agent over against the church or not. For the one who thinks that the church, by its very nature stands in a relatively seamless concord with the will of Christ, the more “catholic” view will be compelling. For those who believe that Jesus is in a vital sense independent of us and our efforts to follow him and who also believe that the church as an historical community can get things very, very wrong, the latter view will likely be held as correct.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  35. Chris Donato wrote:

    —Not slogging through all the comments here, but I’m surprised Halden’s notion is at all controversial. If we know anything about our shared reality, we know it’s socially constructed just as it has been for every previous era. The dialectical nature/relathionship between people and their world is unavoidable. “Christianity,” therefore, isn’t the sole producer of modernity, but Christian people have certainly helped to create it. A more interesting question might be, contra Carter, if not nominalism, then what?

    Have I missed something? Because it really does seem that simple to me.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
  36. d stephen long wrote:

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply; it lessens my troubled spirit about the theological direction you are pursuing. Still I’m not sure you have named the difference yet. Yoder always had a “catholic sensibility.” For instance, he takes Barth to task for refusing to acknowledge that Christian ethics can be as consistent over time and have a “general validity” that admits no exceptions as does Christian dogma (see Karl Barth and the Problem of War, pp. 42-3). Otherwise he could not call for a catholic commitment to pacifism. Switzerland does not get a contextual exemption from the call to Christian discipleship. The argument is over what constitutes catholicity, not if we should be. (A truly Reformed theology would also have to have a catholic sensibility, understanding itself as provisional until the Roman Catholics reform such that we can be one as Jesus wants us to be.) So i don’t think that names the difference, but I do think your statement about the relation between Christology and ecclesiology starts to name it.

    I don’t doubt that Jesus stands over the Church. He is the head; we are its body. Nor do I doubt he judges us in the judgment taken upon himself. I said he also blesses us, giving us his own being. For that reason I would affirm the traditional threefold form of Christ’s body: his risen historical body (1) given to us in Word and Sacrament (2) that makes us also his body as the church (3). The church’s being is always a received being. We must hear, consume and follow him again and again to be made his body. But nor do I doubt that he truly gives himself to us such that we are indeed his body. Even in the liberal Protestant church I attend, and have attended for over a decade, where we would never say the Nicene Creed nor have a confession of sin, even in that church Jesus is present and makes his truth and goodness manifest in us. Even there I’ve seen him give himself. He has promised us this and accomplished it by the sending of the Spirit: “Lo I will be with you always”This, I think, is less a “theoretical way” of assuring the church’s correctness (although I’m by no means opposed to theory), and more the result of Jesus’ work — what he has accomplished in his body. Although I would affirm some understanding of infallibility/indefectibility, it would be based on what Jesus accomplishes not because the church has the proper epistemology, or even the correct office. Of course the church errs. Even Catholics admit that. They even have a doctrine that recognizes some things should simply be forgotten. But it is the relation between Christology and ecclesiology that divides us, and I think, your position may be more Reformed than ‘Anabaptist’ on that score. (Being fallible myself, I could be wrong.)

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  37. Chris Donato wrote:

    On the other hand, reading Long’s reply and Halden’s subsequent response, I may misunderstood Halden. “Christendom” was the problem? Tell that to the folks who were once deemed outlaws pre-Christendom (whether or not this is “better” for the church is beside the point). “Christendom” is all too often the spit bucket these days. Isn’t it more simple than this. Can’t depravity, i.e., sarx, be the locus of where problem lies?

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  38. Brad A. wrote:

    Halden, I am very sympathetic to your view of the church and of Jesus over the church, and likewise from a formerly evangelical, now largely Anabaptist-informed perspective (though attending a Catholic university). The doctrine of indefectibility, which I find somewhat questionable to begin with (particularly on Scriptural grounds), is too often broadened to cover a host of matters in which the rightness or righteousness of the church (or “churches”) properly should be questioned.

    Two points, however. First, I think you should revise your impression of how “heresy” operates in theological discourse. In my reading and conversations, heresy always operates within the community of faith, and always with the potential for correction and reconciliation. There are undoubtedly many evangelical or fundamentalist churches who use it in a broader and more damning sense, but I hardly consider those within the mainstreams of theological discourse.

    Second, I think at least one of Steve’s points is well taken. While Jesus does, in part, stand over against the church as judge (and, contra Steve, I don’t think you implied that this was the only or even primary capacity in which Jesus is related to the church), it is unclear how you think we know what his judgment is without some sort of historical mediation. If we can say with conviction that such-and-such constitutes heresy, are we not automatically affirming an orthodoxy in the process? From what does that orthodoxy derive, an unmediated word from God? Even Yoder’s notion of the Holy Spirit active within the community of faith (a la “The Hermeneutics of Peoplehood”) requires a preceding orthodoxy. Thus the “Jesus-against-orthodoxy” move isn’t really that as much as an orthodoxy vs. (lesser) orthodoxy move.

    I think Scripture is clear that the church is the bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, but also under the lordship of Christ. I’m not sure the dichotomy in your final paragraph of this post is really necessary. Clearly Jesus is not ultimately bound by the church in the sense you’re referring to here, but it is unclear how you think the church is thereby corrected when in error. It seems to me that he uses the church itself.

    The Holy Spirit uses a church that is an often messy pilgrim community (Yoder, Hauerwas, Cavanaugh all affirm this); this requires humility on our part, which does not however negate a confidence in our hope, and in our Lord.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  39. Halden wrote:

    Thanks to you as well for this and the last comment. To continue the process, I agree that we should all have a “catholic sensibility” in the sense that being a Christian requires “catholic” commitment. What I thought I detected in your initial post though is a sensibility that I take to be far more of a distinctly “Roman Catholic sensibility.” I guess what I mean is that if “catholic sensibility” has to include an affirmation of infallibility, I can’t get behind that. I don’t want to be anything less than catholic in all things, though. And I firmly agree with Yoder’s commitment to “radical catholicity.” I absolutely agree with that.

    And I certainly think my position is far more Anabaptist than Reformed. For the Reformed Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist was never in question in the way it was for the Anabaptists. Not that I go the way of Schleitheim on that issue, but I think the desire to preserve discontinuity between Christ and the church’s action is more of an Anabaptist than a Reformed point. Or at least the Anabaptists are really the ones who go through with it. But you’re right that that doesn’t get to the heart of the difference.

    I also agree with an affirmation of Christ’s threefold presence, though I continue to disagree about infallibility/indefectibility. I do think you’re right about the issue being one of the relation between Christ and the Church (not Christology and ecclesiology per se, I suppose). I would say, though, that I don’t think my views on this “separate” Christ from the church in any way (not that you said it did, I just know it could be taken like that). Rather, in affirming the threefold presence of Christ, I would want to make some very specific claims about the sort of meaning that that presence has, depending on the shape of any given church. Christ is present precisely in judgment in probably most of the Eucharists that go down in the U.S. I’d say. Again, not saying we disagree about this, but just filling out what I mean when I talk about Christ’s presence.

    This is, I think quite like what Rowan Williams says in Resurrection when he claims that the church is Christ’s body in the sense that is the place where he is continually present, precisely as a stranger who continues to confront, challenge, reshape, and transform his disciples.

    Perhaps all of this just goes to how supremely difficult it is to even talk about what “Christ’s presence” really means.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  40. Brad A. wrote:

    Steve, I’m intrigued by this notion of Reformed theology (all Reformational churches? – not just the Reformed tradition) as provisional until the RC church reforms itself. However, I wonder to what degree the notion of the RC church requiring reform should likewise place the RC in the “provisional” category, given that many of those things we Reformational Christians consider in need of reform many Catholics consider as constitutive and in firm continuity with Tradition. This, of course, depends on one’s view of the RC church as “home” and the rest of us as “separated,” versus all of the churches requiring reform to some degree to the end of being other than what they are currently. I’m not convinced unity means merely Protestants returning to the fold.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  41. Bobby Grow wrote:

    Isn’t what you’re talking about, Halden — in re. to ecclesiology — what the “Reformation” mantra semper reformata is all about? Maybe not in practice, but in principle.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
  42. Halden wrote:

    Sort of. Ultimately I think that only the Anabaptists really put and continue to put that into practice as a form of theological method.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink
  43. Chris Donato wrote:

    It would seem to require some kind of Branch Theory that retains some semblance of Catholic ecclesiology. But the question is, can Protestants who think thus continue to be Protestant if they see themselves truly as a “provisional” schismatic?

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:09 pm | Permalink
  44. dbarber wrote:

    Clearly Halden is concerned, at least on some key level, with the politics effected (or perhaps at the heart of) a certain discursive strategy: whereby an opposition to modernity functions to present Christendom (as what is prior to modernity) and modernity as the only two games in town.

    What is necessary is to get free of the idea that one must think and act in terms of this opposition and binarized possibilities.

    Frankly, the attempt by some here to cast this simply as a question of Christology vis-a-vis Ecclesiology, or of catholicity, is an evasion of this meta-theological question, this question of the politics of framing theology.

    In other words, matters of a “troubled spirit,” and whether one can truly say that followers of Jesus belong to his body, are epiphenomenal.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Permalink
  45. Brad A. wrote:

    Isn’t protest inherently provisional?

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink
  46. Chris Donato wrote:

    My eyes are rolling right out of my head here. Isn’t Scripture supposed to provide the trajectory, or charter, upon which semper reformanda is practiced? And the Anabaptists, as a collective, are known for this?

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink
  47. Halden wrote:

    Um, yeah.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  48. Halden wrote:

    “Clearly Halden is concerned, at least on some key level, with the politics effected (or perhaps at the heart of) a certain discursive strategy: whereby an opposition to modernity functions to present Christendom (as what is prior to modernity) and modernity as the only two games in town.”

    Thanks, Dan. This is quite well put.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink
  49. Chris Donato wrote:

    I would think so. But the act of protest carries such weight. The “provisional-minded” protester, in this case, seems to understand that he or she is the foot severed from the body. Yet the body’s still alive. So much for the foot. How can a protester survive knowing/believing this?

    I mean, you’re absolutely right: “…those things we Reformational Christians consider in need of reform many Catholics consider as constitutive and in firm continuity with Tradition.” This doesn’t bode well at all for our hope in Protestantism’s provisional nature.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  50. Bobby Grow wrote:

    I think ecclesiologically I’m “Free Church;” soteriologically I’m probably Reformed — and in this a consistent Evangelical.

    I think if we are tied to Westminster orthodoxy, then I totally agree with you, Halden; but there are certainly other streams (not to mention Barth and Torrance) within the Reformed tradition that “I” think follow the “always reforming” principle quite faithfully (think of the ‘Scots confession’ and the so called “Spiritual Brethren” in the English strain of “Calvinism”).

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink
  51. Bobby Grow wrote:

    I meant to put a ;-) face at the end of “consistent Evangelical.”

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  52. roger flyer wrote:

    Everytime someone references RO in a theological post, I think ‘What the…?’ Why are they referencing my son?
    RO Flyer ;)

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  53. roger flyer wrote:

    Once again, Halden, you bear more fruit when you engage others critiques after a few Portland beers.
    Thanks for this–what I hear is a Kierkegaardian lament.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Permalink
  54. Hill wrote:

    That’s just because most of us know what Halden is talking about even when he does a poor job of being clear about it. Of course that’s what he’s concerned with. I think the important point is that he said some pretty reactionary and imprecise things which did no real service to this (admirable) cause.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  55. Halden wrote:

    What are blogs for if not imprecise gestures towards important points?

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Permalink
  56. kim fabricius wrote:

    A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since I almost completed what follows after Stephen’s excellent comment (I was in the middle of the penultimate paragraph when I had to go to a meeting). Anyway, I’ve finished it off and apologise in advance if it now seems irrelevant (not to say entirely wrong-headed!)

    I don’t think Halden’s point about Jesus-against-orthodoxy can be dismissed (as Stephen puts it) “as just another vulgar version of the hermeneutics of suspicion”. Indeed without it there is a danger of collapsing Jesus-into-orthodoxy – i.e. into the church! – and that is one “commitment to Reformed theology” (pace the totus Christus) that is non-negotiable.

    On the other hand, I entirely agree that orthodoxy stands as a bulwark against the captivity of presentism, and that we must speak of “apostolic truth” in some sense. The question is in what sense. And that sense, I’m afraid, I can only approach (if you like) somewhat apophatically.

    Not, then, in the sense of orthodoxy as a monolith that does not have its own social and political, as well as intellectual, locations, nor that is not susceptible to ideological hermeneutics. All doctrinal statements are irreducibly contingent, provisional, fallible – and reformable. But we should construe this contingency not as a weakness but as a strength: thus may orthodoxy itself interrupt the contingent formulations of “the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about” (Chesterton).

    Conversely, however, it may be that doctrinal innovation preserves “apostolic truth”, while ostensibly faithful repetition distorts it – a point Rowan Williams cogently makes with particular reference to the Arian controversy. But Williams adds: “theology continues to need its Ariuses.” That, I take it, is because they remind us that with orthodoxy there can never be closure, which is deliciously ironic because it is characteristic of heretics that, lacking what Keats called “negative capability”, they impatiently try to do done-and-dusted theology.

    Orthodoxy, that is to say, is always in via. Which is why any cry of Ad fontes! must recognise that the sources themselves direct us to the apocalypse of the crucified and risen One who blesses us not in spite of but through his disturbing us. Orthodoxy, I am suggesting, is ultimately an eschatological concept: it “always,” as Ben Myers puts it, “subverts its own finality.”

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
  57. Hill wrote:

    You do that all of the time and I’m thinkaful for it. This was more of a rant/tantrum without any particularly important points :)

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink
  58. d stephen long wrote:

    Much to ponder — I think I still adhere to what Gerald Schlabach identified as the Hauerwas position: Catholics should be more Anabaptist, Anabaptists should be more Catholic and nobody should be Protestant. I sense that this position is slowly disappearing as an ‘ecclesia project.’ Perhaps it was always too romantic and in the end we must choose one in opposition to the other. The return of neoscholasticism among Catholic converts and the hardening of free church theology against Catholicism leads me to think this is the case. I confess I have little sympathy with the semper reformanda, unless we reform the semper reformanda. Is that possible? Can it be the object of its own practice — a reformanda semper reformanda? As it is, it comes too close to modernity — the ‘modo’ or just now’ that is about to arrive, never quite does, but everything must be changed in order to be relevant to it. I’m sure there are subtle differences between the two, but they bear a family resemblance.

    Some other random thoughts: if reality is socially constructed how would we know it unless we tacitly assume some position outside the social construction by which we could identify it as such? Is the claim that reality is socially constructed itself socially constructed and thus a contingent claim that could be other? It could be that reality is not socially constructed? Likewise, how could we know that all doctrinal statements are contingently fallible unless we (secretly) possess some non-contingent infallible truth that gives us this knowledge? Finally, who sets modernity and Christendom as the only two options? I know no theologian who does that. I dont’ think you can collapse the problems of Constantinianism, papal monarchism, democratic levelling and its voluntarism and various modernities into one common problem. They all need careful articulation, discerning the good and evil in each. Neither would I suggest that any of them are purely evil, since evil is the privation of good.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Permalink
  59. Halden wrote:

    I think that’s a bit harsh, but either way I’m sorry for all the time you’ll have to spend in the hair shirt on account of the transgressive blog comments I’ve elicited here.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Permalink
  60. Hill wrote:

    It was harsh, and I actually take it back. Seriously. And yeah I’m in the hair shirt already.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  61. Halden wrote:

    I’ll chalk it up to repressed frustration that you won’t be here for the bbq on Saturday.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Permalink
  62. kim fabricius wrote:

    I do not think that reality is socially constructed, but I do think that reality is culturally mediated, and that we can only be critically – and modestly – realist.

    As for “some non-contingent infallible truth”, I am reminded of the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov, who, in his pity for human kind, is dismayed that Christ has returned to earth “to meddle with us”, to upset the “authority” of “what is incontestable” that the church mediates to humans wretched in their moral and intellecual chaos.

    Rowan Williams (again!) comments on Dostoevsky’s famous parable in Dostoevsky: Langauge, Faith, and Fiction (2008), in a chapter entitled “Christ against the Truth?” For the Inquisitor, faith is “no longer a response jolted out of the self by the irruption os something that makes possble what had seemded impossible; it is assent to religious power as simply another face of the power that manages and secures the world” (p. 28).

    Of course the only answer that Christ has for the Inquisitor is – a kiss.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
  63. kim fabricius wrote:

    Sorry about the typos. I blame the late hour (it’s just gone 2:OO a.m. here) – not, of course, the large nightcap of Laphroaig. Last sip – and good night.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink
  64. roger flyer wrote:

    Apophatically yours,
    Roger

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Permalink
  65. Chris Donato wrote:

    Kim, I’m not sure I see the difference. People create culture. The culture then, having become reified, shapes her people. And it goes on. And on (still not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg?). This isn’t deduced, Stephen; it’s a result of inductive reasoning, and thus works (ideally) from the ground up. We “know” it because we observe it—over and over and over again. With respect to modernity, and Halden’s point about it being informed/shaped by Christian people (I’m just not sold on his use of “orthodoxy”—unless he defines what aspects of orthodoxy specifically led to that which we call “modernity”).

    But it certainly does seem that something akin to a critically realist position is the only viable option.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  66. Daniel Imburgia wrote:

    Hello, many years ago (early 80’s) at a (un-named for now) Catholic University (in the Seattle area) I was invited to a clandestine ‘popcorn Eucharist.’ Attending were a lot of ‘radical’ Nuns (mostly Maryknollers, some of whom were killed in El Salvador) and women’s studies prof’s and grad students etc. (do they still offer those courses). It all seemed very subversive at the time. As I recall, we all put a kernel into one of those new fangled (modernist?) air-poppers, and named our kernel with one aspect of our lives that needed transformation (I don’t recall what I named my kernel or what needed transforming). Then we passed around the bowl of popped/transformed popcorn and a Styrofoam cup of wine while one of the Sisters performed a Eucharistic liturgy. Well, you can imagine what the ‘Black-robes’ and Univ. authorities upstairs might have made of all this (if this was the 15th century I don’t have to tell you what might have gotten popped). However, the Archbishop (Hunthausen) was thought by many to hold some fringy and un-orthodox opinions. Seems he attended and allowed a RC church to be used for a gay wedding (though the wedding itself was protestant I think), as well as attending some anti-nuclear protests and homilizing what sounded an awful lot like ‘liberation theology.’ Well, all this eventually came to the attention of Cardinal Ratzinger (we used to affectionately call him Luca Brazzi from the God-father), the Popes enforcer, and Rome sent out a minder to shadow Hunthausen around and nip any heresies in the bud and confiscate any air-poppers or somesuch things. Back then was when the whole “fat free” movement got started when all oil was thought to be bad for you, and the Berrigan brothers were ‘paling around with dictators’ like Ortega in Nicaragua (till the evangelical protestants sent in the Contras and ‘restored’ order). Thing is, ironic really, now we’re told that some oils, like olive oil, are actually good for you! (and Ortega was recently elected president! and Luca Brazzi became Pope Benedict XVI!! God bless him). The oil scare of the 80’s ended when the recently deceased Dr. Atkins came out with a whole new diet philosophy and said you could eat all the fat and meat you wanted and still be healthy! I don’t care what they say a fat-free muffin just don’t taste right. I was glad to hear from my N.D. (Naturopathic Doctor) that oats aren’t really good for me either. When I think of all those fat-free, oat-bran muffins I choked down, well, thank God I finally found a Doctor to set me straight. Of course, then micro-wave popcorn came along and everyone tossed their air-poppers out. Although, some people believe (my N.D.) that microwaves aren’t any good for you either, and others say that they render men impotent. I have studied up on it a bit but it seems the scientists and Doctors haven’t reached consensus yet. The micro-wave manufacturers, however, have done a lot of research and they argue that they are completely safe. Well, I am keeping my micro-wave for now (but I put it up on a tall shelf) and now I pop my corn in olive oil; organic, first cold-pressed and… extra Virgin (which is another way of saying ‘indefectible’ I think). Obliged, Daniel.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 8:29 pm | Permalink
  67. Chris Donato wrote:

    Should be: “The same holds true with respect to modernity, and….” Boy, it is late.

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Permalink
  68. Hill wrote:

    /thread

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 11:17 pm | Permalink
  69. Chris Donato wrote:

    But just because the last century betrays a rather static ethos among the Reformed, the Westminsterian Princetonians were all about semper reformanda, holding to their confession loosely enough to be self-critical and even offer correctives when necessary. It was only until American Reformed folk started aligning themselves with the Fundamentalists that this begain to change. Besides, it’s silly to simply assume that a purer form of semper reformanda necessarily eschews confessions. That’s just hyper-modernist gobbly-gook, of which Halden only occasionally imbibes—thankfully (and ironically) .

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 4:04 am | Permalink
  70. Dave Belcher wrote:

    I really wanted to stay out of this conversation, but I feel it needed adding, Prof. Long, that perhaps a deeper plumbing of the true depths of Reformed theology is necessary, then, if this is your conclusion. There is this tacit assumption that runs in so much present theology that Reformed theology is devoid of catholic sensibilities; I really must wonder what sources folks are drawing from, if any, to reach such conclusions, however. I find it to be a truly absurd claim that has hardly any basis in real Reformation-historical scholarship. In fact, the deeper I get into Reformation history and theology, the more “catholic” I find much of it to be…

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 5:10 am | Permalink
  71. Dave Belcher wrote:

    Halden, perhaps a re-thinking of this term “catholic” (small c of course) is what is necessary. I’m not out to berate the Roman Catholic church here, but I think the difference you are drawing on is not truly between Free church/Anabaptist and “catholic” since in my mind the Free church/Anabaptists are all about catholicity…and Yoder seems clear about that. The problem is not with catholicity, but its use, or more precisely, its possession.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 5:19 am | Permalink
  72. Dave Belcher wrote:

    Sorry: both my replies to Steve and to Halden were fleshed out a bit here in these two comments!!

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 5:23 am | Permalink
  73. roger flyer wrote:

    Heretic.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 6:17 am | Permalink
  74. roger flyer wrote:

    I can’t believe this post on modernity (or is it about heresy) has generated a longer string than Mark Driscoll!

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 10:23 am | Permalink
  75. Halden wrote:

    Not longer than the original Mark Driscoll post. That one is still the record-holder.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 10:34 am | Permalink
  76. kim fabricius wrote:

    So combine the two threads: “Why Modernity is Not a Christian Heresy – but Mark Driscoll is”.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  77. Halden wrote:

    And then the internet will explode.

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  78. roger flyer wrote:

    Or ‘Why Mark Driscoll is too sexy for his (hair) shirt.’

    Friday, July 3, 2009 at 9:36 am | Permalink

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