I'm the last stop on Chuck Colson's blog tour for his book The Faith. Here's the question I asked Chuck and his answer and after the jump I'll share a quick response and a recap of the whole blog tour for you to catch up on any posts you have missed.
Mr. Colson – thank you for your ministry and for this book, I think I have read all of your books, and this one continues the tradition you have established of depth and practicality and I am honored to be a part of this blog tour. Since several of my friends in the blog world already took questions I would have asked you I would just like to ask you to elaborate a bit on a passage in the book. On page 223 you write:
This is why orthodoxy matters, for a renewal and strengthening of the orthodox Christian faith can provide not only joy and meaning for Christians but a bulwark of sanity and reason against barbarism. Do we want
Abby and the Houses of Parliament facing one another? Or do we want to leave it to the merry pranksters of café society to confront an evil they cannot understand, appreciate, nor defend against? This is the great battle of good versus evil of our time?
I am just curious as to who you mean by “the merry pranksters of café society” and whether or not you see any groups on the horizon who are working effectively to re-establish orthodoxy in our day?
“The merry pranksters of café society” is a reference to chapter 15 in the book, and the discussion about Theo Van Gogh. (See page 216). He was the toast of café society, and he could not understand why a Muslim would want to kill him. His response when his assailant stood over him was, “Can’t we talk about this?”
That is symbolic of exactly the way European intellectuals are responding to Islam. They don’t get it. And that’s the point that was meant by the “merry pranksters of café society.”
There are lots of people working hard for biblical orthodoxy, and some churches where it is really practiced very faithfully. I think of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York as a classic example. I’ve also been at Rick Warren’s church and I know that he is thoroughly orthodox in his theology and his belief, and is working hard to get people in his congregation to understand it. There isn’t an organization per se committed to biblical orthodoxy I suppose, but there are certainly lots of academics, many pastors, and an increasing number of church leaders speaking on the question. I’m hoping my book will inspire a lot more discussions and questions.
My only response is to say thanks to Mr. Colson for taking the time to answer this question as well as the other questions offered by the others on the blog tour. Also, I now realize that I asked the question in a way that was, in effect, asking what "institutions" or "organizations" are protecting orthodoxy in our day. While it is great and necessary that churches like the ones he mentioned are holding to orthodoxy, and while it is essential that our institutions maintain orthodoxy, my sense is that, with the anti-institutional cultural climate we live in, it won't be the institutions that will hold down the fort.
The internet and other forces of decentralization (see The Starfish and the Spider) will continue to weaken the influence of "institutional" Christianity in the days to come and so it will be more and more necessary for voices of orthodoxy to be in and engaged on the internet. I just offer that as something to think about. I am not advocating abandoning the institutions, just acknowledging the reality that most folks have and many more will. So orthodoxy needs to speak from outside the institutions to those who have abandoned the institutions.
Now, for in order to help you catch up on the blog tour, here's a link to the tour information at Zondervan and here's the tour itself, with yours truly coming in last and late.
March 5 - Acton Institute PowerBlog
March 5 - The Dawn Treader
March 6 - Reasoned Audacity
March 7 - Challies.com (thank you to Tim for this book blog tour model)
March 10 - Adrian Warnock
March 11 - Tall Skinny Kiwi
March 12 - Mark D. Roberts
March 13 - Rebecca Writes
March 14 - Jolly Blogger