“In the Western world from 1650 on, two dogmas have provided the foundations of modern thought. The first can be called the dogma of materialism:  the insistense that everything that exists in the universe is ultimately nothing more than matter in motion. The second can be called the dogma of mechanism: the insistence that everything that happens in the universe is the result of precise and, at least in theory, predictable chains of cause and effect.  Combine these two—and in practice, they are always applied together—and you get a vision of the universe in which everything that happens must by definition be brought about by some material cause.  Consciousness?  From within that standpoint, it’s an illusion generated by lumps of matter behaving in complex but ultimately mechanical ways. Meaning, purpose, and value?  From within that standpoint, these are phantoms belonging to that same illusion.

Neither of these two dogmas were ever proved, or even subjected to experimental testing. They were simply taken on faith by most of the movers and shakers of the scientific revolution, and they have been taken on faith by most people in the Western world ever since. No other human society in recorded history has accepted both these dogmas—a detail that, to the promoters and believers of these dogmas, simply showed that modern Western society is uniquely enlightened and the thinkers of all other cultures somehow never quite noticed that their beliefs about the world were obviously sheer nonsense.” John Michael Greer

“Revolutionaries are always in the wrong, since, in their juvenile fervor for everything new, in their hopes for a better future, and a way of life built on justice, they always base themselves on theories that are abstract and artificial, making a clean sweep of living tradition which is, after all, founded on the experience of centuries.

Conservatives are always wrong, too, despite being rich in life experience, despite being shrewd and prudent, intelligent and skeptical. For, in their desire to preserve ancient institutions that have withstood the test of time, they decry the necessity of renewal, and man’s yearning for a better way of life.

Both attitudes carry within themselves the seeds of death. Is there, then, a third way? Another destiny for society than of always being subject to the threat of revolutions which destroy life, or reactionary attitudes which mummify it?” Vladimir Lossky

Christianity and Nationalism

“Christians’ view of “cultures” should be that they will be preserved within the church, not destroyed by it. I have written elsewhere about how this reality provides enduring, eschatological legitimacy to a certain morally restrained kind of nationalism.

But that is not all that this reality communicates. Especially for those of us working in cross-cultural environments (and, given a globalizing economy, that increasingly means all of us), it suggests that while, yes, every culture stands condemned and called to repentance, in every culture there is something to be kept. There is a White Horse that needs weeding. Christianity is a big enough tent to house all the creative energies of humanity. If it is God’s church, then it can hold all the imaginative flourishings of God’s people.” Lyman Stone