As the culture moves further away from traditional Christianity, some propose Christians need to move further away from culture, taking the “Benedict Option.” Is a return to more communal Christianity the answer to what ails us? Also, Americans march for science and against… hmm… what, exactly? And Fox News has a moral crisis, but do conservative Christians care? This week on the podcast!
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Thanks you for an consistently challenging and enlightening podcast. I am an avid listener. I am a convert to Orthodox Christianity. I have to point out that Rod Dreher is also Orthodox, as is Eight Day Books. I feel as though we as Orthodox are often lumped in with Roman Catholics, when we are, in fact, very different. I’ve heard it said that Catholics and Protestants are actually the flip sides of the same coin: both affirm or react against the teachings of St. Augustine. The ask the same questions, but just come up with different answers. Orthodoxy takes into account the breadth of all the Church fathers, and asks entirely different questions. Christopher de Morrow
Guys, read the book first next time. First of all, St. Benedict did not leave Rome to become a monk. He left the city to attempt to save his soul, knowing his own weakness. He spent three years alone in a cave before he was begged to become the abbot of a nearby monastery. He did not set out to save the world, but the “Rule of St. Benedict” he wrote became the founding and guiding text for hundreds if not thousands of monasteries and convents in Europe, and all of this is said to have built Christian Europe after the fall of Rome. So why is it called the Benedict Option? Because we need to withdraw (NOT LITERALLY TO A CAVE) in order to save our own souls. In that process, which you rightly call discipleship, we may indeed transform the world.
Skye Jethani blames premillenial dispensationalism again for a lack of care about the earth/environment. Is there any one influential with this push that he can point to since Hal Lindsey in 1970?
If Skye’s premise about dispensationalists was true they would have also withdrawn from politics and be leading the Benedict Option. He can’t have it both ways. Find a new straw man.
Lehaye and Jenkins come readily to mind as influential individuals. That seems a bad metric to measure a movement that was largely spread among Congregationalists and Baptists by their own preachers. As far as withdrawing from society, that actually seems a pretty good description of almost all the premillennial dispensationalist churches of which I know (I would make a broader statement but that would be unfair). I grew up in this tradition and the “the world out there is evil and seeking to destroy us so we have to hid in our protective arks”-mentality went hand in hand with the belief Jesus was gonna come back and take us away before all the really bad sinners and this dirty world got theirs (its). (In fairness, this may have correlated to the fundamentalist retreat from culture as well).
Not trying to say my experience is/was universal. I think you are also misunderstanding the Benedict Option a bit. It’s not necessarily about withdrawal so much as it is a radical difference in behavior that sets us off against the world. I think the critique of it that says it’s not really doing anything more than asking “Christians” to be Christians and “Churches” to be Churches is very on point.
Global warming- source sexual immorality? End of the world, burning up mother earth.