January 17, 2021

Internet Monk Radio Podcast #121

podcast_logo.gifMedia ignorance of the Bible. The “Incomplete” Merton. Aren’t Evangelicals All About “Self-Feeding?” (I think this was one of my best podcasts.)

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Amy Welborn on Merton
Carl Olson on Avery Dulles
Jared Wilson on Evangelicals and “Self-Feeding” There’s several posts on this. Look at them all.

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  1. Related to your question of Evangelicals forcing a self-feeding situation. I am wondering what you think an ideal Evangelicalism would look like? How would it be different than what we have today without being identical to Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy?

  2. I live in the boonies just north of the 55th paralell. It’s -33C here tonight. Not that that is relevant in any way other than we Canucks love to talk about the weather.

    We’ve just recently signed up for high speed internet. Listening to your podcast is a bonus of having that now. After all these years of reading your words it’s nice to hear your voice.

    I like how you throw out questions to make one think. The self feeding question will be one I’ll chew on for a while yet. I’m wondering tonight if self feeding is one of the reasons I swam the Tiber. Not sure. I get smug about that from time to time. Swimming the Tiber. I’m sure it’s better to be self feeding with a good dose of humility than to not with an abundance of arrogance. Sigh. Although one could switch those around and have it the other way, too. I’ve been in both places in arrogance.

    I appreciate that I don’t sense that in your posts or podcasts. Just an openess that I can learn from and hope to be like one day.

  3. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    “He’s ready to jump the Tiber now!”

    Still getting hassled by the Order of St Borg, huh?

    In my experience, the most overboard “Borgians” are usually recent converts from Protestantism.

  4. You know, Michael, the funny thing about evangelical is this self-feeding deal. I don’t know that the body of evangelicalism wants to self-feed; I think that they would rather hear someone else’s thoughts on an issue without thinking about it. I know that sometimes the strongest voices our there on the sea alone come alongside others to tell them what to think, but many actually want to be told.

    I hope that doesn’t sound cynical.

    I also think that a lot of times we lose sight about how awesome the gospel is. Hearing it every Sunday should still amaze us. God coming in the likeness of sinful flesh for our sin is incredible. Having the gospel in common should really be more than enough to hold us together.

  5. I haven’t been exposed to a lot of Willow Creekiosity for about seven years now, but I did attend and work at a church that was a devoted follower of the great WC. What I saw was a saturated emphasis on “excellence in worship,” and “seeker sensitivity.” Yeah. Neither of those has much to do with more mature spiritual growth. So, my completely unfair, un-researched, and unfounded speculation would be that they emphasized music and art and drama so much that they forgot more academic pursuits.

    Of course, if they’re that concentrated on the arts, one would also speculate they don’t have much energy for other directed endeavors like theology-minded classes and carefully shepherded Bible studies. So, self-feeding would work great for them. They could concentrate on music and not be responsible for the spiritual growth of their members.

    But, as I say, I’ve never attended Willow Creek. Just a wannabe.

  6. I’m a new responder here — this is the first podcast I’ve listened to — very interesting. I’m glad to see that there are “fentamostalists” venturing out into the world of thoughtfulness.

    I think you may be suffering from communications with too many of the intellectually spiritual to quite understand true Catholic spirituality. Some of the Church Fathers (givers of Dogma) were actually very young women (I believe Catherine of Sienna was four years old when she started) when they began their expounding of dogma. So these mostly middle aged and older male clerics with their degrees and titles and pomp and circumstance spend at least some of their time studying the words of some very little girls of very lowly estate. I don’t think Protestantism has much, if anything, to match that.

    My point is that we believe that the wisest, most spiritual person could be anyone.

    And as far as “getting fed” only a Catholic who has been “evangelicalized” would think of it in the way you portray it. We don’t “eat” the dogma. Most of us don’t even know what most of that is. We go to Church to eat God at Mass, not the words of the priest from the pulpit. That’s why we look to Mary. There is no human being that ever lived that knew the Lord better — and no important figure in the Gospel or in all of Scripture had fewer spoken lines. And I believe that the message there is that anyone who truly gets to know the Lord realizes that there is really nothing much to say.

    St. Francis put it thus: “We should be preaching the Gospel continually, and sometimes it might even be helpful to actually speak.”

    In the story of Jesus in the desert, the devil tempted Him after forty days without eating to “…turn these stones into food.” Another man had been in the desert centuries earlier for the same period of time and come down with the only words that God had or has ever written with His own hand, written on stones tablets that He Himself had cut out of the mountainside.

    Jesus response is so well known that even most Catholics can recite it by rote. But the original Greek has it in triple confirmation that it is the “spoken” Word that man is to live by, not the written word , even — as I believe the intended message to be — those written by God Himself.

    “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

  7. I meant to say “Doctors of the Church” not “Fathers”

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