God, version 6.0
HR tells us about this latest version of God. Check it out yourself here.
It reminded me of some portions of Fr. Schmemann’s book on church history that I have been reading in regards to Christianity trying to maintain its identity and yet relating to the world around it. Theories abound about how compromise entered the Church early in her life, but if you think about it, these claims are next to impossible to prove and amount to little more than conjecture. Discussing politics now is impossible, imaging trying to do so with events over 1800 years ago. One would be tempted to simply throw their hands in the air with frustration and say that no one knows so why bother. Christianity can be and/or mean whatever you want, so it seems to be the case today.
Ahh...but we have the Church. And we have the testimony of those in it at the time. Fr. Schmemann:
The Church had first to protect itself from all attempts to reconcile Christianity too easily with the spirit of the times and reinterpret it smoothly in Hellenistic patterns. If the Church had remained only in Jewish molds it would not have conquered the world; but if it had simply adapted these molds to those of Hellenistic thought, the world would have conquered Christianity.
No doubt, this is a precarious situation the Church found/finds herself in. Who, or I should say what individual or particular group of individuals, could/can feel the authority to decide when we have have strayed too far to one side or the other? Gnosticism was the personification of a compromised and hellenized Christianity; today I think there are many more examples of compromised Christianity.
The answer might be found in the words of my family patron St. Irenaios of Lyon which I offer at the Paradosis library as well as in part here.. Fr. Schmemann comments on St. Irenaios’ approach:
...ultimately, Irenaeus opposed Gnosticism – the seduction of schism and partial interpretation of Christianity – not by another interpretation but by the very fact of the Church as a visible, palpable unity which alone preserves and transmits to its members the whole truth and fullness of the Gospel. The canon of the Scriptures, the succession of bishops, the interpretation of prophecies, are all only outward forms of this fundamental unity, aside from which they mean nothing. The most significant answer the Church gave to the temptations of the second century was its clear doctrine about itself, its “catholic self-consciousness.” Although this self-consciousness had become more precise as a result of conflict, the Church was victorious not by creating something new, nor by metamorphosis, but by realizing and strengthening what it had been from the very beginning.
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 3:36 PM [+]