THE FORUM

America’s Christian Conservatives Ponder A ‘Babylonian Exile’ To Save Their Faith (David Gibson)

“We live in a time of exile. At least those of us do who hold to traditional Christian beliefs,” Carl Trueman, a professor of church history at Westminster Theological Seminary, wrote in the latest edition of the conservative journal First Things. Rampant secularism and widespread acceptance of sexual mores once deemed taboo, Trueman said, mean that “the Western public square is no longer a place where Christians feel they belong with any degree of comfort.” Trueman was so convinced of that reality that he didn’t argue whether internal exile was an option. Instead, he wondered which form of Christianity was best equipped to survive this inevitable relocation.

…. As far back as 1981, moral philosopher Alasdair McIntyre’s book “After Virtue” argued that the idea of inevitable societal improvement is an illusion. Amid the ruins of civilization, he said, believers must adapt the model of St. Benedict, the sixth-century founder of Western monasticism, and reconstitute themselves into small, intentional communities of faith largely removed from the surrounding culture. Dreher calls this the “Benedict Option.” Now, that idea seems to be gaining a wider hearing, albeit with various interpretations. Writing in First Things earlier this year, cultural critic Peter Leithart said that what he called “Christian America” is indeed over and “it’s past time to issue a death certificate.” But he cautioned traditional Christians not to “slink back to our churches.” Instead, he said they should try to recreate a civic Christian culture at the local level to foster what he called micro-Christendoms. MORE…

Modernity As An Overlearning Of Christianity (Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry)

Christianity is “a set of contradictions held together by grace.” The history of orthodoxy is the history of trying to hold together, and even of sharpening, seemingly contradictory truths of faith; the history of heresy, meanwhile, is the history of trying to resolve those seeming contradictions by overemphasizing...Read More »


Saint Clare Shows Us How The Path of Simplicity Can Lead To A Greater Love for Christ (Deacon F. K. Bartels)

Saint Clare was born in the town of Assisi around the year 1193. At the age of eighteen, she was deeply affected by the teaching of St. Francis, who so moved her that she later went to see him directly, and asked him to help her fully live...Read More »


On the Memorial of St. Bernard: Lord, Send Us Monks for This New Missionary Age! (Deacon Keith A. Fournier)

Even though he was regularly summoned to leave the monastery by the needs of Church and State, Bernard was above all a monk, a man of deep prayer, communion and contemplation. It was that sincere devotion which made it possible for him to have wisdom to offer the...Read More »


Reflections: Monastic practice enables us to see the Divine in all (Bill Gregory)

These days, any conversation I have about spiritual practice is an opportunity for me to introduce my latest favorite book. At the moment it is Douglas Christie’s “The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology“…. Christie is a scholar of early and contemporary...Read More »


Biblical History Lessons – Heavenly Will of God (Pastor Frank L. Hoffman)

Biblical history lessons are not always in the heavenly will of God; therefore, we need to be on the alert to understand whether the lesson is “don’t follow this example; learn from its mistakes”…. One of these biblical history lessons is found in Exodus 1:1-2:10, which contains the...Read More »


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