For Lent (because I am totes Liturgical™), I decided to take a break from the endless, somewhat meaningless work I do on the computer in the realms of Reddit and the Breath of the Wild modding Discord in favor of writing. Writing is a better use of my time, I believe, and better orients me toward what kind of life I really want to be living. It pressures my thoughts with Scripture and ethics, plus it enables me, by some insanity of divine grace, which almost seems to function ex opere operato, to be of some use to fellow Christians.
However, I have not spent very much time writing lately, so getting back into the right mode is difficult. To ease myself back in, I thought I would start with something low-effort but nonetheless, hypothetically, capable of generating stimulating conversation. To this end, the rest of this post will be a simple list of views I hold on various matters which are not commonly held in the circles with which I am most well acquainted. Questions and comments are welcome, hopefully as material from which I will be able to produce further content in the near future. Without further ado, here's the list (in no particular order):
- A major horizon of New Testament eschatology is the conquest of pagan Rome by Christ through the suffering witness of the martyrs. Contrary to common forms of preterism and to almost all forms of futurism, this is the Big Deal of NT eschatological anticipation, and it shapes apostolic ethics and theology in a number of ways. Christendom is the initial fulfillment of this prophetic hope, and the God's promise includes the political submission of the nations to Christ. The fall of Jerusalem and the eventual remaking of heaven and earth are both anticipated in the New Testament as well, but neither to the same extent as the public conversion of the Mediterranean world in ongoing history.
- In connection with the previous point, I tentatively suspect that the current place of the Church in history is typologically connected to the Exile. The Church entered the Promised Land as Christ took over the rule of the world from the demonic beings which formerly ruled through pagan imperialism, but she was beset by ongoing sins that eventually meant led to her being largely expelled from the arena of public influence. This is a tragedy which will be undone in time, after we have repented of whatever sin led us here. My highly speculative suspicion is that this sin is the abuse of authority. While Christ warned His people not to lord it over each other like the demonically-inspired pagan rulers, the Church over the course of the Middle Ages did come to wield power in a tyrannical and abusive manner, continuing until well after the Reformation. The development of classical liberalism, for all of its faults, may contribute to the way in which God will eventually restore the place of His people under very different terms.
- "Complementarianism" has largely run its usefulness and course. Christians will ultimately have to choose between a robust account of the natural ordering of the relation between the sexes and commit to something which would probably be denigrated as "patriarchy" or give in to egalitarianism wholesale. The chances of most mainstream denominations going the latter route is high.
- Those basic freedoms promised by classical liberalism which are actually legitimate will require theocratic grounding long-term. They cannot be maintained without explicitly grounding them in one, uncompromising philosophical or theological system privileged in law.
- Evangelicalism will fade into irrelevance if evangelicals are not willing to largely give up on pop culture, which has very few redeeming qualities. "Cultural engagement" is, properly defined, good and necessary, but is no excuse for mindlessly consuming everything the entertainment-industrial complex throws at us.
- Calvinism is basically correct, but a large number of the usual proof-texts are not.
- The weakest point of TULIP is the P, which is ironically the most popularly held of the 5 points. It might be true (I think it has a pretty decent case), but the case against it is not trivial. This doesn't bother me too much, because P was the only point at which the Reformed tradition noticeably departed from the prior Augustinian/Thomist tradition. TULI has a respectable claim to being the most catholic soteriology.
- Classical theists and classical Trinitarians, I think, are generally more correct than any of their revisionist opponents, but I also think they overstate their cases in every major area, i.e. philosophy, history, and dogmatics. There may be more middle ground here than most are willing to concede, but, being realistic here, just how far can we extrapolate about the divine nature from human language?
- The evangelical obsession with abortion and gay marriage in socio-political discourse is entirely justified, even if not always rational, and evangelicals who pooh-pooh it are usually just virtue signaling toward progressives they want to respect them.
- Evangelicals should recovery robust and meaningful liturgy, but without giving into Liturgy™ as a fad and without losing their characteristic energy. Imagine a black Charismatic pastor leading his flock through a recitation of the Nicene Creed and the Heidelberg Catechism, for example.
- Doug Wilson is usually correct, whatever else may be said about him.
- One of the most important and worthy investments for church funds in the West is classical Christian education, which is probably a more fruitful enterprise than most forms of local mission work.