Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Should be interesting

I read a review of a book over at Sacraments Wholesale called Crazy for God. It intrigued me. I thought I'd share a bit of it. This is all from the blogger's own take of the work:


He was once the fair-haired boy wonder of evangelicalism, there at the creation of the American Religious Right. He helped define the
culture war, especially over abortion. He helped create the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, the Republican majority, the conservative Supreme Court and the New Evangelicals. Now, he's an apostate, a unborn-again seeker, a member of an Eastern Orthodox church, and a a self-acknowledged failure. Which means that, strangely, he's a finally a success. (emphasis added)
Hmm.. sound paradoxical? These aren't categories normally associated with AEP. In fact they're the opposite. It sounds like our Reverend friend is a fan of the anti-hero. But there's more.

There is no scandal here, other than the scandal of evangelical Christianity in America once it got itself fitted into Constantine's vestments.

Again another paradox. AEP is not liturgically high minded, if it's really liturgical at all, but comparing the power of the AEP with two conjoined yet distinct and distasteful (at least to the AEP) that of Roman Power and Catholic Pomp reveals the crux of criticism, or at least allows for a high minded glimpse.

Where he's at his best is also where's at his angriest: about the destructive role he played in American political life and the unleashing of the monster that ate the Republican Party. These days, he's a post-evangelical who rejects "what the evangelical community became. It was the merging of the entertainment business with faith, the flippant lightweight kitsch ugliness of
American Christianity, the sheer stupidty, the paranoia of the American right-wing enterprise, the platitudes married to pop culture." He also considerably more nuanced about abortion, though calling him "pro-choice" would be a stretch.

In this he taps into that ironic vein that has created most of us evangelical apostates: the very success of evangelicalism, its emergence as the dominant religious influence in America, and its naked lust for power have driven us far from our home. One of Francis Schaeffer's most famous works is a film series about abortion and euthaniasia entitled, Whatever Happened to the Human Race? His son wants to know: whatever happened to the Evangelical Church?
Ah the coup d'├ętat. It's something I can definitely identify with, with which many of my other converso friends probably can too. Thanks to the reviewer, it's going on the list..... any one care to give Mattheus a Christmas gift?

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2 comments:

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Ok, I give up: What does "AEP" stand for? (literally, not in an advocacy meaning, Izzy)

Mattheus Mei said...

American Evangelical Protestant(s)/ism