anglomedved: (Default)

I wonder at times whether we have not got things very wrong in the western church, now that everyone seems to want to be his own spiritual master and guide.

The image that comes to mind is the common garden wood fence, of the type that surrounded thousands of English suburban gardens, including my parents, in the immediate post-war years: solid posts rooted into the earth every three yards or so, joined by two cross-bars, against which were nailed a series of vertical palings. 

This was the basic Christian pattern until the 1950s: one person in twenty or so were posts, solidly rooted in God and the Church. It was their duty to keep the fence up. The rest of us were palings, doing pretty much what we were told in sermons and the confessional.

Those rooted as posts (mature priests, older religious, lay people with serious spiritual lives) were by and large well trained, with a spiritual depth derived from prayer, disciplined lives and experience. The rest of the faithful accepted this situation: their job was to go about their daily work - office, home, school, mass on Sunday - with a sense that both palings and posts were all part of one fence.

This old style, solid wood fence is no longer. I would now describe it as a series of individual posts and palings, all sticking into the ground directly, some straighter and more firmly than others, in a rough line (the cross-bar has gone), and with holes through which cats, dogs and small children can stray in and out. In other words, a fence that is no longer doing its job.

The palings have decided that they should be posts, and the posts are unable or unwilling to bring them back into line.

anglomedved: (Default)

 From an Orthodox perspective (but in a private capacity)

 Comparative theology in the Russian academic mould has traditionally consisted of mapping out one’s theology in certain critical areas of dogmatics - Trinitarian theology, soteriology, Mariology, ecclesiology and others - and comparing it with that of the other main Christian families.  For those who see it as important to restore visible communion between these families the task is to narrow or fill in the gap between them, on the premise that once this theological gap has been bridged, Christian unity is achievable. (1)  

I have my doubts as to this method. Can I suggest that, there is another way, as we say in English 'to skin the cat'.

Let me try and explain... )


anglomedved: (Default)

October 2015

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