A Generous Orthodoxy:
"Our Ultimate Faith"
From where I stand, your thoughts are well worth sharing to say the least.
And, as we might consider what may be called, 'the nature, limits, and boundaries'
of a Generous Orthodoxy, it becomes apparent at once that this is not a short conversation. This is not a question that is limited to even such questions as O.O. and E.O. relations for example. This is not a topic that is without varied implications in relation to many questions (including some that we may be afraid to even ask as it relates to evangelism/missons and other areas).
And as you shared with your son in your last post:
Quote:I said to my son that my poor view was that such matters lay in God's hands for us all, and that I could not presume to make any comments.
I am at once reminded of the title of the last chapter of +Ware's book, "The Inner Kingdom," which is Dare We Hope for the Salvation of All?
And, we are moved, I think, to consider just exactly 'where' our ultimate faith resides!
Yes, I agree John, such matters as these lay in God's hands for us all! It would be foolish for us to speculate on such things, as none other than the revivalist Billy Graham seems to have concluded, as he said last year at the age of 87 years old. When asked whether he believes heaven will be closed to good Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, or secular people, Graham said:
Quote:Those are decisions only the Lord will make. It would be foolish for me to speculate on who will be there and who won't . . . I don't want to speculate about all that. I believe that the love of God is absolute. He said he gave his son for the whole world, and I think He loves everybody regardless of what label they have."
As I consider your words John, and those of Bishop Kallistos Ware, and the above by Graham, I think this really says it all. Who is the one that would presume to speak definitively on this subject?
I understand this subject can be the source of much anxiety for some. I know that for some even just the mere mention of certain words and concepts surrounding this question can be a great source of insecurity. And, this brings to mind another quote by a well known Trappist monk:
Quote:Now, anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity. It is the fruit of unanswered questions. But, questions cannot go unanswered unless they first be asked. And, there is a far worse anxiety, a far worse insecurity, which comes from being afraid to ask the right questions--because they might turn out to have no answer. One of the moral diseases we communicate to one another is society comes from huddling together in the pale light of an insufficient answer to a question we are afraid to ask.
What a picture Merton presents here! Who has seen this before first hand? 'A society marked by insecurity--huddling together in the pale light of an insufficient answer to a question that we are afraid to ask.' Any who have either witnessed this or been a part of this in the past know just what misery this is.
But, moving on here John . . . I must say, as you describe your trip to Wales, I am struck by the beauty of this land, and I am reminded of the rich history of the Protestant tradition that lies here, as well as in England. I am reminded of such things as the Welsh Revival of 1904, and the predecessors of those like Billy Graham; men such as Evan Roberts, and women such as Jessie Penn-Lewis.
As, I read of your travels through Wales, I am reminded of a little book on my shelf which provides a short history of these days (c. 1904) by Eifion Evans. In this book there is a map of Wales and it is somewhat part history part travelogue--a very good book. And, regardless of one's views on the subject of revival as it relates to the Hebrew Scriptures, or the subject of revivalism as it relates to the last 200 years or so, even here we are forced to consider, as D.M. Lloyd-Jones says, in the foreword of this book, regarding a conversation such as ours today (viz. a Generous Orthodoxy):
Quote:It will reveal whether our ultimate faith is in 'the power of God' or in human ability and organizations.
And, as it relates to everything that we are discussing here in this multi-faceted thread, at this point, I can say nothing other than Amen!