We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Speculative Good Friday

First, the détournement of an another's analysis of another situation:

Liberal strategies and characteristics that led to their victory:

  • Willingness to lie (they had their “fingers crossed” when swearing ...)
  • Intense public calls for freedom of inquiry, tolerance, pluralism, unity while weak or assimilating power
  • Deliberate focus on institutional capture, which included the property, money, and brand prestige
  • Long game perspective ...
  • Far superior skills at bureaucratic maneuvering ...
  • Presence of amenable authorities ...

Conservative strategies and characteristics that led to their failure:

  • They also had “crossed fingers” and did not themselves fully support ... This limited their ability to call out others for heresy
  • They were on the “wrong side of history” ...
  • Initial inability to respond compellingly to key challenges to orthodoxy: Darwinism and Higher Criticism
  • Strategy was purely defensive – nothing on offense (“surrender on the installment plan”)
  • Focused on ideas, theology and church mission, not institutions and bureaucracy, and had a very weak understanding of bureaucratic warfare
  • Were incredibly polite, charitable, and moderate in their rhetoric – they rarely dared to directly confront heretics

Other lessons and implications:

  • The modernists were fighting to win the war; the conservatives didn’t even understand they were in one
  • High standards people tend to lose out vs. low standards people. Key: conflict between orthodoxy and church growth mindset, stay pure but small or grow large but compromise on beliefs
  • The more bureaucratic and complex an organization, the more vulnerable to liberal takeover (Confessional documents and hierarchical structures were perceived as strengths but were – and are – really weaknesses)
  • Confessional documents are irrelevant when faced with liars (cf: today’s US Constitutional law)

Or, in the present circumstance, the Anglo-Unitarians used the Anglo-Presbyterians against the Anglo-Catholics. Rather than fight, these last two groups desperately needed each other (a realization that came far too late in the culture wars, viz. "The Evangelical and Catholic Mission" (1976)): yet, in the end, both of the latter two groups were simply left out in the cold.

Second, a hopeful thought:

‘God himself is dead,’ it says in a Lutheran hymn, expressing an awareness that the human, the finite, the weak, the negative, are themselves a moment of the divine, that they are within God himself, that finitude, negativity, otherness are not outside of God and do not, as otherness, hinder unity with God. Otherness, the negative, is known to be a moment of the divine nature itself. This involves the highest idea of spirit.

Third, an announcement:

This blog is now closed. Its title suggested the 'crossing of divergent streams' and was born in the hopes of the Ordinariate. That process has now reached a kind of conclusion. My own personal aspirations were for something akin to the Uniate churches: this would entail not the creation of new, hybrid forms but the old words simply interpreted as not contradictory of the Catholic faith. The Eastern churches do not say the filioque but it is affirmed that all believe in the same thing, regardless. I submit that something akin to this has not been the outcome.

Blogging will continue, however, in a new location and in the service of a new purpose ... what might be called "Anglicanism's Benedict Option." Salut!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Oh, this is the end / My only friend, the end"

From The Z Man:

Part of what has destroyed the mainline Protestant churches is their full-throated embrace of Progressive lunacy. At my friend’s ordination, three of the people ordained were woman. Judging by the haircuts, all three were lesbians. Gay marriage is a huge issue in these churches, driving off the sensible and leaving only those who see Christianity as a vehicle for Progressive activism. Many of these churches are no longer Christian, as a theological matter. They are just Progressive meeting houses for the deranged.

If you are a normal person, the mainline Protestant churches have nothing to offer but endless lectures about the joys of liberalism. It’s a familiar pattern. First the women take over, then the men leave, except for the guys willing to take orders from the gals. Then the normal women bolt. This boiling off of the sensible eventually leaves the crazies in charge of the organization. Before long the freak flag is hoisted and it is the bar in Star Wars. It’s the pattern we saw with Labour in Britain and the Democrats in the US ...

The demise of the high church in the West was inevitable. Big, highly organized organizations need protection from the state to survive. McDonalds cannot exist without government protection. This is especially true of churches, which often challenge the wishes of the rulers. It’s why the Catholics were willing to cut deals with both communists and fascists. It is why the Orthodox Church supports Putin. No above ground church can exist at war with the ruling class. They always have to cut a deal.

When the the ruling classes of the West began to abandon their Christianity, it was just a matter of time. Students of the French Revolution know that the radical’s hostility to the Church started with economics, but quickly became ideological. As the religion of the Western ruling classes became one version of leftism or another, hostility to the high church was inevitable. It took longer in the US than Europe, but we are well on our way to see[ing] the elimination of the main churches.

You maniacs! You blew it up!
Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I fear that the very continuation of Christianity is doomed to follow the reinvention of Judaism from a public, temple cult to a private, familial memorial. (In this, at least, it would be a sort of return to origins, from the church to the house.) 'Common prayer' is dead as a public phenomenon: can it survive, surreptitiously, as a private one?

The crux of our problem is, I venture, the tension of stasis versus dunamis. This is an issue Anglicanism confronted at its very beginnings. An important contribution to this question is reflected in the following passage (follow the link to engage the entire, critical article):

But it is essential to recognize that, except for the accounts of the sayings and deeds of the Lord, the tradition cannot in principle be reduced to the New Testament. The structure and practice of a community are logically and really different from the written word. Rules for the interpretation of scripture and brief statements of what is, at least in part, contained but dispersed throughout scripture cannot be reduced to the scriptures they interpret or summarize ... The scripture is the form which represents to the church what is complete for it ... But, it is impossible that the tradition be reduced to scripture.

It follows from this that the dynamic features of the Christian religion belong not to scripture, which becomes fixed, canonical, but to the other constitutive elements: community and tradition.

This troubling thought casts doubt, I fear, on the GAFCON statement, which stripped of its introductory and (concluding) pastoral dimensions, can be focalized as follows:

6. We affirm that the clear teaching of Jesus, and the Bible as a whole, is that marriage is an estate for all people, not just for believers. It is a holy institution, created by God for a man and a woman to live in a covenantal relationship of exclusive and mutual love for each other until they are parted by death. God designed marriage for the well-being of society, for sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife, and for procreation and the nurturing of children (Genesis 2:18-25).

7. We contend that sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex is contrary to God’s design, is offensive to him and reflects a disordering of God’s purposes for complementarity in sexual relations. Like all other morally wrong behaviour, same-sex unions alienate us from God and are liable to incur God’s judgment. We hold these convictions based on the clear teaching of Scripture. We hold them not in order to demean or victimise those who experience same-sex attractions, but in order to guard the sound doctrine of our faith, which also informs our pastoral approach for helping those who struggle with same-sex impulses, attractions and temptations.

8. In this respect, the Church cannot condone same-sex unions as a form of behaviour acceptable to God. To do so would be tampering with the foundation of our faith once for all laid down by the apostles and the prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2: 20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Jude 3).

As the article linked above notes, Anglicanism can block women's ordination on the principle of stasis, while Roman Catholicism is necessarily open to the possibility of admitting it (by embracing dunamis). Aber, wer hat Recht?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The hermeneutics of sin

The great error of Calvinism is conceiving that election could be discerned through signs of material success (and vice versa). Predestination is an entirely different matter altogether.

From Archibishop Cranmer:

[One]... may apportion his fall to personal wickedness or sin, as though the universal moral order functions like clockwork, meting out rewards to the righteous and punishment to the corrupt, perverted and immoral. But God doesn’t work like that: righteous people are afflicted by suffering (Ps 13:1). Moreover:

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (Jn 9:1-3).

Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay.. (Lk 13:4f).

Jesus separates calamity and suffering from moral wrongdoing: there is no automatic imputation of guilt. Death, disaster, suffering and failure do not damn the victim with the stain of particular sin: none is pure ..., and none is more worthy than another of suffering. To be innocent and righteous, as Job undoubtedly was (Job 9:15, 20; 10:1-7), is not to be exempt from calamity. And to be corrupt, perverted and guilty is no guarantee of retribution:

There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous (Eccl 8:14).

Monday, August 15, 2016

Global concerns

Well, this blog has been reduced to 'not much' and that lesser portion mostly devoted to cultural issues. But when not writing, there is time for thinking. And Denken ist schwer.

Since the Roman Church insists that our anamnesis is defective, I have been looking at numerous actual and proposed wordings.

But the correct wording is surely directly related to our soteriology: and what if that is all wrong?

Furthermore, hasn't the entire structure been twisted to serve precisely our -- and only our -- concerns? One can certainly see that in TEC: religion is all about us. Happy-clappy. Where is fear and awe? My Puritan forebears had a greater sense of the dangers of sacrilege and blasphemy than almost any contemporary Catholic. Isn't this the old problem of "wrong life cannot be lived rightly"?

Ultimately, it is this disconnect that thwarts François’s conversion to Catholicism. Between the Ancient Christian faith he sees within the terrifying majesty of the Black Madonna’s gaze and the banal, pseudo-Arian humanitarianism preached from the pulpits of the contemporary Church. It was hard not to conclude that the Christianity of the Black Madonna was as inaccessible as the very 11th century that had built her. Some event, both catastrophic and violent, had happened between then and now, forever severing François and by extension France itself, from the strength and virility of the faith the Black Madonna represented. She now stood silent, as a simultaneously both a witness to a forgotten past and a judge upon a present that could only be unrecognizable to her. François ends his journey with a bitter realization: “That old queer Nietzsche had it right; Christianity was, at the end of the day, a feminine religion.”

Does such insight not drive so much of the despair of the Right? After all, how does one revive a “Christendom” without a Christianity?

We, Faustians.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

MoveOn.Org: an analogy

From Jack Donovan:

I’m no longer foolish enough to believe that my opinion, or even my vote — if I were registered to vote — will have any influence on who has been selected to become the next President of the United States.

But I’d still prefer Hillary Clinton.

Specifically because she represents everything I, and most of my readers, hate about what America has become. She’ll really put the nanny in nanny state. When asked about her approval ratings with white men, she has the typically dismissive feminist shoulder shrug that says, “I guess they’d better get used to how things are going to be now.” She’s shown that she will throw any man in uniform under a bus, or a tank, if it serves her own political agenda. She doesn’t care about your rights, or freedom of speech, or the 2nd Amendment, or — apparently — national security or classified information. She and her husband have made their careers pandering to minority (soon to be majority) groups and feeding into race-baiting politics. She gets away with every illegal thing she does, and like her husband, nothing really sticks to her, though she is widely regarded as a career liar of the first order. And if she wins, she’ll ride into office hailed as the first female President, just as her predecessor was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize just for showing up for work and being black.

After Obama, a Hillary Clinton presidency will drive home the reality that white men are no longer in charge, and the United States government doesn’t care what they want, and that it is no longer their country and never will be again. That’s the harsh truth, and Hillary’s the one who will make that truth impossible to ignore.

I want soldiers across the country to grimace and feel a little bit sick every time they salute, knowing that she’s their commander-in-chief. I want men all over America to cry during the national anthem for all the wrong reasons. I want them to become angry and defiant. I want them to get misty during fireworks next July, not because their hearts are filled with Budweiser and Apple pie, but because they are bargaining with themselves.

“If only we’d done something sooner.”

I think most middle and lower class white American men know on some semi-conscious level that America is never going to be great again — at least not for them — but it is going to take Hillary Clinton’s cold, Reptilian resting bitch-face on a Presidential portrait to make them accept it and start working through the rest of the stages of grief, so they can finally move on. So they can finally start imagining a post-American future for themselves and begin developing tribal alternatives, before it is too late. Before there are too few of them left to matter.

Donald Trump will keep them in denial. He will make them believe everything is going to be OK.


“When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Can what is happening in politics happen in religion, as well? I'm neither a Catholic nor a Lutheran but I have more in common with traditional, liturgically minded Catholics and Lutherans than I do with liberal, social activist Anglicans.

Now, I don't think much of America's choice, between a pathological narcissist with no experience whatsoever and a narcissistic psychopath with ample experience (not always counted to their benefit). But I watched the Republican convention, though sometimes with my eyes closed.

What interests me is the effective re-orientation or re-alignment underway. Just as Goldwater spelled the end of the Eastern establishment types (although it took a bypass through Nixon until arriving at Reagan), so Trump spells the end of neo-cons (many of whom were Eastern establishment types, working for the NWO, who simply re-branded (falsely) as political outsiders).

What we have now is the possibility of a new Centre-Right party that repudiates longstanding "Republican" obsessions and replaces them with elements of the Reform party

  • Populism
  • Fiscal conservatism
  • Protectionism
  • Big tent
  • Anti-corruption

as melded to as many parts of the America First party as possible

  • Paleoconservatism
  • Economic nationalism
  • Non-interventionism

What will be the response of the Democratic party? Are other hallowed institutions destined for similar transformations or schisms? Only time will tell.

Stay tuned.

A faded postcard

From AncientBriton:

Exhibiting their profound ignorance of matters spiritual, the response of New Anglicans to traditionalists has been "Go to Rome if you don't like it" or, from the mainly menopausal feminist brigade, "Get used to it, we are in charge now". There have been no concessions in Wales. The only message is keep giving. For what? ...

Sunday by Sunday we are served with helpings of the latest Christian Response from an Anglican Perspective (CRAP) heavily laced with a misguided view of equality that has everything to do with political correctness and nothing to do with Christianity as the Gospel is bent to accommodate the latest alleged injustice. It is indeed very odd that the Bible can be taken literally in circumstances which threaten our very existence while bending other parts to suit a fashionable political stance.

Led by the Archbishops of Canterbury, York and Wales with the Archbishop of Westminster often in step, Christianity is continually being sold short to its own detriment with misapplied views on neighbourliness while giving succour to Islam as Muslims abroad continue to convert non-Muslims by the sword if necessary and in the UK demand more and more special privileges to enhance their status such as opting for Sharia, a legal code that systematically discriminates against women, children, apostates, blasphemers, non-believers (infidels), adulterers, and homosexuals. Imagine the outcry if Christians espoused such discriminatory values.

The CinW is fast reaching the end of the road with extinction predicted in a generation.