Weekend Reading

Richard Beck calls it being a Winter Christian. Here is Rod Dreher talking about some of the same things and in some ways the same things I was trying to express at the end of my last post. I’m pretty sure (I better be, I took an oath to it) that true orthodoxy, doctrine wise, looks an awful lot like the Lutheran confessions. The closer you try to live those the better. But I also know how big a sinner I am. So we sin boldly.

I prefer the evangelism and works of mercy those Christian brothers and sisters do to the evangelism and works of mercy that I do not do. And I know that I need to do something about that. Like, repent.

That’s a difference the Scandal made in me. Again, it’s not that orthodoxy, as many liberal Christians would say, can and should be tossed aside. It’s only that it must be understood from a broader perspective. Life is a shipwreck, and we’re all staggering around on the beach, trying to help each other make sense of it all, and get through this catastrophe and find our way back home.

Here is Wesley Hill, who wrote the best book on Homosexuality that I’ve read, Talking about how he describes himself (other than a Duke Divinity Professor). He has a deep theology of the cross at work as he writes…

Claiming the label “celibate gay Christian” means, for me, recognizing my homosexual orientation as a kind of “thorn in the flesh.” When the apostle Paul used that phrase in his correspondence with the Corinthian church, he made clear that his “thorn” was indeed an unwelcome source of pain (2 Corinthians 12:7). But he also made clear that it had become the very occasion for his experience of the power of the risen Christ and, therefore, a paradoxical site of grace (2 Corinthians 12:8). Paul, I think, would have had no qualms about labeling himself a “thorn-pricked Christian”—not because he recognized his thorn as a good thing, in and of itself, but because it had become for him the means by which he encountered the power of Christ. Likewise, living with an unchanged homosexual orientation may be for many of us the means by which we discover new depths of grace, as well as new vocations of service to others.

Something that if you’ve heard me in bible study I’ve had a feeling about for a while. I’m usually quoting Ecclesiastes and saying we want is to be a time to gather, but it seems to be a time to cast away. Peter Leithart at First Things reflection on “not peace, but a sword”.

And here is Cardinal Dolan setting out an important vision for a core asset, the Catholic School. Encouraging in the fact that: a) he sees it as a necessary asset, b) he’s not lying to himself about the size of the task and c) he’s sketching out something bold.