Thursday, May 17, 2012

NYT corrects Andrew Sullivan

A reader writes:
As usual these days, Newsweek, when it comes to religion, pretty much gets it all wrong. Hard to explain outside of spiritual blinkers.

(Note the ironic headline on the Supreme Court ["Will the Supreme Court Betray Us?"]).

The reader continues:
A plummeting fall it has been, from the days of its class-act religion reporter Kenneth Woodward, to the current squad of progressive, Oprah-like scribes found in John Meachem, Lisa Miller, and yes, Andrew Sullivan ...

What is very much *not* usual, however, is to find a sane retort in the NYT of all places ... [Gary Gutting, "Returning to the Sermon on the Mount" (NYT, April 19, 2012)]

To get a feel for [what] the older school Woodward represented, check out this (excellent): [Kenneth L. Woodward, "God is not my Buddy" (Homiletics Online, 2002)].
[Hat tip to J.M.]


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

As I get older, I become more concerned about not wasting my time, so I don't read Newsweek. But Paul Begala is a democrat spin artist, akin to Ann Coulter or Bill Kristol among republicans, so anything written by him will require a suitably biased headline. If he is blubbering about Supreme Court "betrayal," he is probably writing about Obamacare, although being a democrat gay-panderer is one of his semi-regular jobs (don't know if he leans to port or starboard personally).

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

1. "Forget the Church, Follow Jesus" is brass tacks protestantism, leading directly to the modern understanding that ecclesial institutions are irrelevant and therefore separate from "religious freedom," in the American protestant-Christian understanding of the term.

2. If religious freedom and ecclesial institutions are separate concepts, then the practice of Christian religion (as in "following Jesus") is not necessarily curtailed by the State's ability to define the parameters in the "separation of Church and State." So for example, dispensing free contraceptive pills, spermicides, rings, and rubber balloons to students at Catholic universities in no way affects the freedom of those students to "follow Jesus," whatever it may do to institutions with "religious affiliations."

3. Private judgment, the basis of protestantism, and thus for the notion of "forgetting the Church, and following Jesus," is also the basis for redefining religious freedom in a way that does not proscribe ecclesial persecution.

After all, if the modern update of American protestantism is "I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I got my plastic Jesus"; if Jesus words up with me in the park and the office and the shopping mall; if me and the J Man got a high five relationship everywhere I go; then what are all these big Churches doing not paying taxes ? Half of them are boarded up and padlocked anyway.

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

Consider too that Andrew Sullivan is the author of this "think piece," and Andrew Sullivan claims to be a Roman Catholic, but writes things that seemingly no Roman Catholic could possibly write, unless his intent was that of a saboteur.

You know -- like Karl Rahner, without the Hegelian vocabulary.

JFM said...

The new trend that became noticeable when Clinton repented of adultery was to publicly speak of "My God," or "My faith," versus "God" objectively.

As for Rahner, even his brother Hugo said that the theologian's works required translating even when read in their native German. I have learned that if a theologian is close to impossible to understand, that is because he or she is normally then shrouding a departure from orthodoxy.