5 thoughts on “The “Benedict Option” Versus “Confident Pluralism”

  1. My favorite of the four responses on CT’s site was, unsurprisingly, David Fitch’s (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/february-web-only/benedict-options-false-dichotomy.html).

    Fitch’s response is pure Hauerwas and neo-anabaptist. In fact, I’d guess that Fitch read this interview of Hauerwas in Plough: http://www.plough.com/en/topics/community/church-community/why-community-is-dangerous.

    What I don’t understand is that for years folks like Hauerwas and others have been jumping up and down about the fact that the church needs to be, well, the church and end this unholy marriage of convince between Church and political power, and most on the “right” (for lack of a better term) either laughed or accused folks of being “left,” “liberal,” or worst of all “unbiblical.” I’ll also point out that at least some of us Baptists have been saying this from about the time that John Smyth poured water over his own head.

    But now that a series of things have happened (Obergfell [and all that has come with it], the rapidly growing trans rights movement, even the nomination of Trump over more acceptable religious right candidates) everyone seems to be paying attention and acting like this is the most unique idea ever (note: I am NOT accusing Dreher of this. He’s clear in his writing that this isn’t new to him, just a new articulation of it).

    The whole smells of a “we aren’t winning so we’re taking our toys and going home” temper-tantrum.

    If you love the power when you have it and want to pretend like it doesn’t matter when you don’t, you aren’t visionary or radical, you’re petulant.

    However, if this is a sincere change of opinion and conscience on the part of these folks, I welcome it. The sooner we abandon a pretense of a “Christian America” and put Christendom behind us, the better for the Church.

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    • I also want to make clear that my critique is aimed mainly at people for whom these ideas appear to be totally new, not at Dreher himself. While we would have our disagreements, I appreciate the underlying agreement that the way that we have ordered our society, on the most fundamental levels, simply isn’t working.

      Not many who identify as “conservative” would agree to that. And I also agree with his basic premise that the culture is shaping the Church way more that the Church is shaping the culture.

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  2. It seems like a matter of emphasis – Dreher, Inazu, and Matthewes probably all agree yet believe their point of emphasis is the most crucial.

    The problem with “Benedict option” to me is how it is being peddled as a catch phrase – much like Dreher attempted with “crunchy con”. I think this speaks to his background in journalism.

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  3. Here is Dreher’s response to critiques such as yours – TRENDING: left-wing Christian reviewers do not like The #BenedictOption. Who could have foreseen that?

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    • I would think right-wing (hate labels like this) Christian reviewers would hate it too. He suggests that real change cannot happen through religious-right politics.

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