Derek the Ænglican has posted an essay entitled “An Anglican Moderate” as part of the project focused on answering the question, what do moderates/centrists stand for.
It’s a very helpful piece. Seriously. Thanks for putting this much thought into it Derek. I’m interested to note that, being primarily a Neo-Platonist myself, I too find myself defaulting to a stoicism informed ethics when there is no clear Christian teaching. My Neo-Platonism grows from my background in Physics and Astronomy – and I’ve found myself often standing alone amongst scholastics… If I wasn’t a Christian and didn’t become Jewish, I’d probably have become a stoic.
I’ve quoted just a few paragraphs here of Derek’s essay:
“There’s another way in which I can say that I am a moderate. That’s because in this conversation there are extremists and I’m not one of them. I define an extremist as someone who won’t listen. Chiefly they are characterized by 1) an inability to acknowledge when someone they disagree with has a valid point and 2) an inability to acknowledge blatant misbehavior or hypocrisy from someone they do agree with. I’m not talking about minor inconsistencies here either. Inconsistencies are bound to exist in any organic (that is, naturally growing and evolving) attempt to work out salvation in fear and trembling. I[‘m sure there are several inconsistencies in this document—and that bothers me not at all. It’s part of the process.
Instead, I stand for listening to those I do and do not agree with and providing room to recognize that you and I can have profound disagreements and yet agree that the other is not part of a malicious attempt to destroy the faith. The point of our discussions may not even be to change minds—though that may happen; I’ve changed mine before and I’m sure I will again—but to share how others are living out their commitments to the Triune God and negotiating the complexities of postmodern life as faithfully as possible. In this respect I will claim the label ‘moderate.'”
As you can see, Derek is (in this small piece of his essay) coming down on the side of process as a defining characteristic of centrism. But there’s much more that he says, and I want to spend sometime thinking and savoring what he has written. I hope you will too.
Read the rest here: haligweorc: An Anglican Moderate