The Christian Cosmology of C.S. Lewis- The Imaginative Conservative

https://i1.wp.com/www.theimaginativeconservative.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/medieval-cosmology-2.jpg

C.S. Lewis, who knew and loved the medieval “cosmos”, describes it as “tingling with anthropomorphic life, dancing, ceremonial, a festival not a machine”… It was an organic whole, ordered from within, animated by a hierarchy of souls, perhaps even by a “world soul.” This is not pantheism, although it could become so once the transcendence of God had been forgotten.

Source: The Christian Cosmology of C.S. Lewis- The Imaginative Conservative

“Ecologists tell us that the interdependence of all living things makes the world more than a mechanism, more than the sum of its parts, perhaps even in some sense organically alive in its own right. But this is little more than a rediscovery in scientific terms of what had already been understood “poetically” in all previous civilizations. They may not have had (or needed) the term “ecology,” but the ancient writers were deeply aware of the inter-relatedness of the natural world, and of man as the focus or nexus of that world, which they expressed in the doctrine of correspondences. It was, of course, not scientific in its formulation, but it expressed a profound insight that remains valid, and the present ecological crisis could only have developed in a world that has forgotten it, or forgotten to live by it…

“C.S. Lewis, who knew and loved the medieval “cosmos”, describes it as “tingling with anthropomorphic life, dancing, ceremonial, a festival not a machine” (cited in Ward, Planet Narnia, p. 24). It was an organic whole, ordered from within, animated by a hierarchy of souls, perhaps even by a “world soul.” This is not pantheism, although it could become so once the transcendence of God had been forgotten. It meant that nature possessed a sacred and spiritual value, by virtue of its creation by God and the immanent presence of God within it. The world was a book, pregnant with meanings that God had placed there. All things, even the conjectured world soul, were creatures. The stars and planets in particular were angelic creatures, participating in their own way in the cosmic intelligence, the movements of their high dance helping to determine the pattern of events unfolding below.”

We have lost much, when we traded an ensouled, living Cosmos – sacramental, Incarnational, God-inspired and God-permeated – for dry and mechanistic scientism. And we have gained… stuff. Including some stuff that attacks our very humanness. But some of the better elements of that “stuff” we might well have gotten even if we had remained in the ensouled, God-driven Cosmos (which we are in, whether we like it or not, whether we recognize it or not – I simply mean “remained within” in the sense of conscious recognition). So we have traded God for Walmart and the internet, for Playstations and smartphones. It is possible to wonder whether this is really progress, or something else…

Ladies, Remember Men Are Dangerous. Now Share A Bathroom With Them And Don’t Carry A Gun. | Daily Wire

Source: Ladies, Remember Men Are Dangerous. Now Share A Bathroom With Them And Don’t Carry A Gun. | Daily Wire

I have been saying for some time, now, that Leftists are accidental masters of unintentional irony, double standards, and for that matter, double-speak. This essay illustrates in hilarious but pointed fashion! You just can’t make this stuff up…

“It’s important, I’m told, to be respectful of opposing beliefs. We mustn’t be dismissive of viewpoints that differ from our own. We mustn’t condescend.

“I agree.

“It’s just that I have trouble putting this into practice. God forgive me. The problem is that the Left’s arguments are often so convoluted, absurd, and self-defeating that I couldn’t take them seriously if I tried. And I have tried. But when I follow one of their philosophical threads to its logical conclusion, I discover that the thread has no conclusion. It suddenly splits in another direction, and another, and another, and when I step back all I see is a tangled web of contradictions. What choice do I have but to be dismissive? All that one can do with nonsense, in the end, is dismiss it.”

All too sadly true. So, my question is: are they truly insane? Or are they “crazy like a fox,” and is all of this just part of an elaborate plot to drive the rest of us insane…?

Divorce is a disaster. Don’t let’s make it easier | The Spectator

It is true, whether we like it or not: children are best brought up by their genetic mum and dad, who are married, not merely cohabiting.

Source: Divorce is a disaster. Don’t let’s make it easier | The Spectator

“It is true, whether we like it or not: children are best brought up by their genetic mum and dad, who are married, not merely cohabiting. They are the ones who have the best outcomes. No matter how inconvenient this fact might be as regards our wish to have sexual intercourse with as many people as is humanly possible, it is still nonetheless a fact. And we should not ignore it simply because it cramps our style a little and does not give us the non-judgmental freedom we crave. It is one of the few areas where science agrees with the church. And yes, I’m a divorcee — but it doesn’t alter the facts” – from the linked essay.

There has long been argument as to exactly when “the rot set in,” as far as the American expression of Anglicanism – then almost exclusively represented by the Episcopal Church – is concerned.

Some say it was when the ordination of women fundamentally changed how the clergy (and especially the priesthood) was viewed and understood; others, that it was Prayer Book reform, sacrificing solid, orthodox theology, reverent, dignified language, and traditional morality in exchange for more “relevant,” contemporary language and a wider range of choices. There is undoubtedly truth to both of these.

Some argue that it was the “death of God” movement, and the failure of the Episcopal Church hierarchy to discipline Bishop Pike for not only holding, but teaching, doctrines about God and Christ that were theologically unorthodox, to say the least. That was clearly a major contributor: when the theological underpinnings of a religion are effectively kicked out, one cannot expect the moral framework to hold for long.

But one that only gets mentioned occasionally, probably because so many people are affected by it, is the decision of the Episcopal Church, in 1973, to permit remarriage of divorced persons in and by the Church. Annulment by the bishop was still required, but it had by that time become basically pro forma, and was unlikely to be denied as long as the parties concerned were divorced by civil authority.

In this, the Church did no more – and no less – than conform to the standards of civil, secular society. But is that that what the Church is called to do? Certainly, it set the stage for conforming to civil, secular society in other ways, to the point that it has become extremely difficult to detect any distinction between the two, when it comes to issues of marriage and/or human sexuality.

But while this may be concerning, on a number of levels, the consequences to the children of divorced couples is tragic. As Ron Liddle, author of the linked piece, points out, divorce can be catastrophic in the lives of children, and the effects can follow them for the rest of those lives.

I myself know a child of divorce who sadly commented, “There’s mom’s house, and there’s dad’s house, but there’s no MY house.” This poignant observation encapsulates, in my view, the lack of security, stability, and reassurance experienced by the children of divorced couples. The psycho-emotional effects can be severe, and long-lasting.

Now, I am very well aware that there can be worse things – for both the couple and their children – than divorce: persistent patterns of abuse, neglect, and infidelity, for example. But that does not make divorce benign, nor should it be easy.

Marriage is intended to be a life-long union; going in with the idea that you can always get a divorce if “it doesn’t work out,” or bailing the first time you hit a rocky patch, is almost a guarantee of failure. Marriage is a commitment, and it requires commitment, from both partners, to succeed. And just as the benefits are great when it does succeed, so are the pitfalls, if it does not.

Something to think about BEFORE tying the knot, rather than after. As the old saying used to go, “Marry in haste, repent in leisure!”

Why the Left Hates Thanksgiving | Frontpage Mag

The militant lefty is an overgrown brat who never made the emotional transition from the funk of total unfairness that teenagers inhabit to the appreciation for life of the mature adult.

Source: Why the Left Hates Thanksgiving | Frontpage Mag

I am coming to increasingly dislike the use of the word “liberal” to describe the American left-wing: there are very few authentic “liberals” out there. Most of what claims the mantle of “liberalism” these days is anything but; it is, rather, statist authoritarianism implacably opposed to everything that has contributed to the American ideal, and American success, for more than 200 years. As this essay accurately puts it,

“Resentment is the force that gives the left meaning.

“What animates the left is the conviction that everything (except their own tastes, preferences and opinions) is terrible and must be reformed until it too is like them. America is racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, arachnophobic and claustrophobic.”

Resentment, the essay continues,

“doesn’t just color the politics of a militant leftist. It encompasses his entire outlook on life. The personal conviction that the world is an unfair place fits neatly into an ideology that claims to be able to prove using science and history that the world is a truly unfair place…

“The left isn’t actually fighting for anything. It’s fighting against things. Big things and little things. It’s fighting against America. And it’s fighting against families sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner.”

In contrast, as the linked essay also points out, “the best antidote to leftist resentment is conservative thankfulness.

“There are plenty of problems in our country and the world. But if we can’t stop to be thankful for the good things, we will sink into the same swamp of resentment as the left.

“To be thankful is to be reminded of what we are fighting for. The resentful left doesn’t really fight for anything. Its resentful causes have no end point. There will never be a time when race relations, the environment, social mobility and caloric intakes are good enough for them to hang up their hats. The left maintains a perpetual state of crisis because it justifies a perpetual state of resentment.”

Indeed! As C.S. Lewis pointed out, decades ago,

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

However, the linked essay continues,

“Conservatives fight for the things in our lives that we value. And these are the very things that we are thankful for. Our gratitude reminds us of what we want to conserve. These include the tangible things, our families, our homes and our lives, and the intangible things, our freedoms and our traditions.

“The left can’t be thankful because it can’t admit that there’s anything worth appreciating. Revolutionary movements don’t create, they destroy. But we can and should be thankful for what we conserve…

“If we lose our ability to be thankful for the good things in our lives, we lose everything.”

Amen, and amen!

A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, to those who are celebrating!

O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good

Wishing all my American friends and family a Happy Thanksgiving, and traveling mercies if you are visiting relatives or friends to celebrate! And as we celebrate the blessings and bounties we enjoy, let us not fail to remember and pray for those less fortunate.

Propers for Thanksgiving Day, With Additional Prayers.

The Book of Common Prayer 1928.

¶ Instead of the Venite, the following shall be said or sung.

O PRAISE the Lord, for it is a good thing to sing praises unto our God; * yea, a joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful.
The Lord doth build up Jerusalem, * and gather together the outcasts of Israel.
He healeth those that are broken in heart, * and giveth medicine to heal their sickness.
O sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; * sing praises upon the harp unto our God:
Who covereth the heaven with clouds, and prepareth rain for the earth; * and maketh the grass to grow upon the mountains, and herb for the use of men;
Who giveth fodder unto the cattle, * and feedeth the young ravens that call upon him.
Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem; * praise thy God, O Sion.
For he hath made fast the bars of thy gates, * and hath blessed thy children within thee.
He maketh peace in thy borders, * and filleth thee with the flour of wheat.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.

The Collect.

O MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the return of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Continue reading “A very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, to those who are celebrating!”

Why Beauty Points Us Towards The Existence Of God | Philosophy & Stuff

_MG_8195 - Version 2

Source: Why Beauty Points Us Towards The Existence Of God | Philosophy & Stuff

A most excellent essay from a Christian philosopher, who endeavors – successfully, in my opinion – to make “a brief attempt to formulate some argument for the existence of God based on the existence and nature of Beauty.”

Goodness, Truth, and Beauty – which are classically known as “the Three Transcendentals” – are all attributes of the Ultimate Transcendental, God Himself. Like signposts on a journey, they point us toward the Source.

This is why I do not care for industrial or auditorium-like “worship spaces,” trite, banal, or excessively colloquial “worship music,” or flat, uninspiring, (post-)modernist liturgies: they do not point clearly, and may even lead us astray.

In an Incarnational and Sacramental Cosmos – and one in which Beauty is an attribute of God, and points toward God – ignoring or disparaging the aesthetic aspects of worship is at least unwise, and may actually be a heresy!

“… of the people, by the people, for the people…”

jeff_davis_union_constitution

Notwithstanding Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address, government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” did not “perish from the earth” when the Southern States withdrew from a Union they had voluntarily entered into. It perished when they were driven back into it at the point of the bayonet.

— H.V. “Bo” Traywick, Jr.

 

Just sayin’…….

 

 

What Ever Became of Advent Fasting and Penance? | Community in Mission

https://i0.wp.com/blog.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/121113.jpg

Traditionally Advent was a time we would, [as during] Lent, take part in penitential practices such as fasting and abstinence… But long gone are the days of a forty day fast beginning on Nov 12.

Source: What Ever Became of Advent Fasting And Penance? – Community in Mission : Community in Mission

My sense of the situation is that Advent differs from Lent in that it’s a season of joyful anticipation of the Coming (literal meaning of “Advent”) of Christ: both His First Coming, as the Babe of Bethlehem, and his Second Coming, with power and great glory, at the end of time (whatever form that may take). That said, there is also the aspect of penitent preparation for that arrival that we sometimes do miss… and in so doing, I think we lose something important. A very good article! Giants, indeed.

“The West is abandoning God,” Patriarch Kirill tells new U.S. ambassador to Russia / OrthoChristian.Com

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia met with newly-appointed American ambassador to Russia John Huntsman at the patriarchal residence yesterday to discuss matters of relations between the two countries and of the fate of suffering Christians around the world, reports patriarchia.ru. Photo: RIA-Novosti

The patriarch [noted] that the relationship between believers is one of the human heart, between diplomats—of the mind, and between businessmen—of the stomach. “I don’t think we should exclude the heart from international relations,” His Holiness emphasized.

Source: “The West is abandoning God,” Pat. Kirill tells new U.S. ambassador to Russia / OrthoChristian.Com

“In the patriarch’s view, as he told Ambassador Huntsman, today’s difficulties go beyond the mere relations between states, but involve the differences of values and the different understanding of values. He explained to the diplomat that during Soviet times, the persecuted Christians of Russia had more in common in terms of values with the sincere Christians in America than with the atheists among their fellow Russians. ‘Despite the atheistic propaganda in our country, the religiosity was always very high, and it was, I think, a wonderful basis for the development of relations between the new Russia and USA,’ the primate stated.

“However, what happened in the Soviet Union is now happening in America, as His Holiness observed. ‘The West is abandoning God, but Russia is not abandoning God, like the majority of people in the world. That means the distance between our values is increasing,’ Pat. Kirill said… ‘We would very much like if we could look and find the right answers to the challenges of modern civilization along with the religious American people,’ His Holiness assured the ambassador.”

Once again, this  an outcome devoutly to be wished!

Battle for the West: Hungarian PM Says ‘Silent Majority’ Will Prevail Over ‘Globalist Elites’ and ‘The Soros Empire’

Orban-Speech-640x480

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has launched a stunning denunciation of globalism, declaring that the “true spirit of the age” points to a resurgence of conservative values centred on country, family, and tradition.

Source: Battle for the West: Hungarian PM Says ‘Silent Majority’ Will Prevail Over ‘Globalist Elites’ and ‘The Soros Empire’

Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, is not to everyone’s taste. He can be brash and blunt, has a disdain for political correctness that I by-and-large share, and like many or most politicians, does not seem to be averse to taking actions and making deals that benefit himself or his party. But unlike many – again, perhaps most – European politicians (and many American ones, also), he is committed to his country and his people.

And in a world where billionaire globalists like Soros and his ilk – the “globalist elites, the bureaucrats who serve them, the politicians in their pay, and the agents of the… networks that embody their interests” Orbán mentions – are attempting to inaugurate a “post-Christian and post-national era,” dedication to one’s own people and nation cover a multitude of sins. At least in my view!

Orbán said NGOs tied to George Soros, the billionaire open borders campaigner, “have penetrated all the influential forums of European decision-making.”

He described how they “operate like the activists of the Department for Agitation and Propaganda of the old Soviet Communist Party.

“We old war horses recognise them by their smell. Although the Soros troops use somewhat more refined methods, they nonetheless want to tell us what to do, what to say, what to think – and even how we should see ourselves.”

The former anti-communist campaigner explained: “Migration is not the goal of the Soros Plan, but merely its means.

“Millions of people … are being encouraged to come to Europe; indeed they are even being transported here, in order to debilitate nations and deliver the coup de grâce to Christian culture.”

Looking at the situation from my point of view, as an interested observer here in the U.S., I cannot disagree. Whether it is an organized plan, or merely opportunistic exploitation – or, most likely, a bit of each – the mass migration of the present era is clearly being viewed by corporate globalists, plutocrats, and modern-day robber barons as a golden opportunity to disrupt the ties of nation, culture, social and ethnic unity, and religion that have heretofore stood in the way (though less emphatically, in recent decades) of their desire to transform the world into a hive of drones – producers and consumers, “whose god is their belly” (Philippians 3:19), with the aforementioned plutocrats on top.

As a side-effect of this – collateral damage, if you will – Orbán accurate points out that

“the Soros Plan also seriously endangers the security of our everyday lives… In Europe’s [multicultural] countries, acts of terrorism have become regular occurrences, crime rates are increasing, violence against women has escalated, and anti-Semitism is emerging again.”

“This is what we must prevent, and this is the threat against which we must defend the country. So when we say that we must defend Hungary, we declare that we must defend work, our families, security, the authority of our laws, our achievements … we must also defend our future.”

And not only in Hungary, or even Europe! But he also offers hope:

“We see tens of millions of Europeans working hard and struggling day in, day out to keep themselves and their families afloat.

We see how they yearn for security and order.

“We see how they cleave ever more firmly to their cultural identity, and fight every day for every square metre of their normal European life,” he said.

“Reality, flesh-and-blood people, real-life instincts, real human desires, dreams and hopes will conquer the globalist elite still ruling Europe today. And they will make Europe – and within it Hungary – great again.”

That is an outcome earnestly to be hoped for, in my opinion!