Monday, July 20, 2009

Faddish, ignorant, and easily duped

From DeYoung & Kluck, Why We Love the Church, p. 115:
C.S. Lewis is famous for many things, among them coining the phrase "chronological snobbery." The phrase refers to the all-too-common tendency among Christians to quickly discount what is old and automatically embrace what is new. We tend to think our problems are original to us and our solutions are one of a kind. We are faddish trend-watchers—ignorant of our own history, obnoxiously dismissive of the practices of our spiritual fathers and mothers, and easily duped.

Although there's much talk these days about our lack of Christian community and the need we have to do our exegesis in the community of faith, the one community we seldom look to for wisdom is the community of the dead. Being inclusive toward the communion of the saints—who represent different centuries, different cultures, and different contexts—seems to be the one type of diversity that doesn't count.
G.K. Chesterton:
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man's opinion, even if he is our father.

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