“The Problem of Christian Passivity” on Staseōs
Posted on 01/01/2020
A lot has been said about contemporary Christian witness in the current cultural climate. And while I have no intention on wading into public “discourse” on politics and the like, a corrective is sorely needed for those who think Christians should always comport themselves in a meek, mild, and generally weak manner. I shared one of Ed Feser’s posts on a related issue. Here’s another. The following is from the recent post on the Staseōs blog, “The Problem of Christian Passivity.”
One consequence of Christian passivity is that contemporary Christians cannot be at home in almost in any period of church history. If a present-day Christian attempts to read the work of almost any Christian leader from before the 19th century, he is likely to be shocked by the leader’s supposed rudeness and “unchristlikeness.” For example, in an article on Athanasius—one of the most formative leaders in Christian history—a Gospel Coalition writer observed that modern Christian readers are likely to “sniff at his angry style of writing.” In a preface to a translation of Luther—by two Lutheran academics—the translators remarked that “Luther was a person of his time, and his language expresses the roughness of the age.
Of course, it is only people in the past whose choices are explained away by their social context. Nobody reads a Christianity Today editorial and says that, after all, the author “is a person of his time, and his language expresses the gentility of the age.” Instead, it is 21st-century, middle class evangelicals who are implicitly assumed to have finally gotten christlikeness right after all these years.”
If you haven’t yet perused Staseōs, please do.