Saturday, July 28, 2012

Excess Eliotica

Heresy may sell books, but they are boring books.  Or as T.S. Eliot put it:
I aim at orthodoxy.  For heresy, which consists in emphasizing one aspect of the mystery to the other, is a natural tendency of the mind; a complete living orthodoxy is (except through the infusion of exceptional grace) almost impossible to the frail human being at every moment of his life; which is the one reason why the Church is necessary (Christianity and Communism, cited in Spurr, 175).
On a related note, Eliot again:
We need to know how to see the world as the Christian Fathers saw it; and the purpose of reascending to origins is that we should be able to return, with greater spiritual knowledge, to our own situation.  We need to recover the sense of religious fear, so that it may be overcome by religious hope (The Idea of a Christian Society, cited in Spurr, 187-88).
Makes one wish there was a Center for Early Christian studies at a place like Wheaton College.  Oh wait.  Now if only folks would see that such matters are not an extra-curricular indulgence for church history nerds, but a matter of - to put it perhaps a bit too firmly - survival