Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Road to Rome, Constantinople, and the Emergent Village

Every now and again you run across a passage in a book that is just chock-full of fodder for potential discussion and debate. I found just such a passage the other day in Scott Clark's Recovering the Reformed Confession. Under the heading "The Virtues of Being Confessional," he writes:

The evangelical and postevangelical discontent is the result of the two quests that have dominated American evangelical religion for more than two centuries. This explanation accounts for the relatively easy movement of evangelicals into what might seem to be foreign territory. With respect to the QIRE [quest for illegitimate religious experience], having grown up with flannel graphs of the Second Person of the Trinity, it is really only a short step to traditional icons. With respect to the QIRC [quest for illegitimate religious certainty], once one overcomes the predominating ignorance of and bigotry against Rome that permeate North American fundamentalism, once one discovers that Roman Catholics love Jesus and read the Bible, it is not a great step to trade the authoritarianism of fundamentalism for the magisterial authority of the Roman communion. In other words, though they occur in a different setting, Rome, Constantinople, and the Emergent Village each offer to fundamentalism and evangelicalism a more ancient and better-looking version of what already animates them.
As the yutes say, "Oh, snap!"