Saturday, October 24, 2020

"raw choice, autonomous choice, choice for its own sake and for private ends, uncoupled from any command."

     "Our 'secular' saeculum has its own gospel. In it we announce choice itself, not choice about something. We announce raw choice, autonomous choice, choice for its own sake and for private ends, uncoupled from any command. We have taken up the idea of the self as the repository of all goodness; but this repository is not, like Mary, full of grace and gratitude. It is, like Eve, full of desires and demands. It is possessed, like Adam, of many rights; but it does not do what is right and just, or even acknowledge what is right and just. It seeks power and authority, not from and for justice, but in order to decide what “­justice” will be. It advocates progress in everything but virtue. It is not interested in virtue because it is not interested in God, the goal to which virtue leads. Thus, the mystery of lawlessness advances under ­cover of an ever-expanding positive law that no longer acknowledges any foundation for law. In the name of liberty, we are making progress in law at the expense of liberty. And so far from being grateful for the gifts of providence, we no longer know how even to make sense of the idea of “the gift,” an idea our philosophers tell us is incoherent. The economy of grace and gratitude is a currency we no longer recognize.

     "In our putative secularity, the rough draft of our response to the heavenly court has begun to take shape. Is there silence in heaven? Very well. Then let there be silence on earth also. That court shall not be named, not in public; neither shall the Christ, whose authority it has confirmed. Our secular silence is not a repentant silence. It is not a mournful silence in sackcloth and ashes like that of the Ninevites, to whom God brought Jonah that he might deliver his reluctant rebuke. It is not a prayer, but a refusal to pray. It is not a contemplation of our sins, but a refusal to allow that there is any such thing as sin—save the sin of honoring God and admonishing one another to heed the commands of God, which is now both a sin and a crime."

     Douglas Farrow, "The secret of the saeculum," First things no. 303 (May 2020):  35 (27-35).

"One must belong to an ecumenical organization in order to fail to understand that Luther was a miserable confessionalist."

"Es bedarf der Zugehörigkeit zu einer ökumenischen Organization, um nicht zu verstehen daß Luther ein elender Konfessionalist war."

     Tom [G. A.] Hardt, of the missiologist Hans-Werner Gensichen (1915-1999), who, at Damnamus:  die Verwerfung von Irrlehre bei Luther und im Luthertum des 16. Jahrhunderts (1955) 45, was apparently scandalized to discover that the doctrine (i.e. principle) of justification by faith alone had never (
nie”) been more important to Luther than the hoc est corpus meum; had never been allowed to turn communion into the merely "spiritual eating and drinking" of the Schwärmer, and thus Luther into a principled "Konfessionalist."  "Keine Kirchengemeinschaft mit Häretikern!  (Nulla communicatio in sacris cum haereticis)," Lutherische Blätter 12, no. 65 (Juli 1960):  67 (62-83).  See also p. 66.