This is another “connective reading” post. These come about when I am on a trip with time to think through well what is in front of me. The last time was a 10-hour layover coming back from Michigan — a series of cancelled flights. Southwest. In that post I was connecting a book I read many years ago on the effects of marijuana with a totally unrelated book on apologetics.Marijuana | Doing Some Connective Reading In An Airport
This connective reading lies less far apart timespan wise. Before heading to Utah for a family hike through Zion, I came across this FEDERALIST article about Russell Kirk and the foundation for conservatism. Here is the excerpt:
Hang with me here, there is going to be some biographical info coming up.
My professor of missions was Ray D. Arnold… he was one of the 1,000 missionaries that General MacArthur called to go to Japan at the conclusion of WWII. One blog notes this about the endeavor:
- Perhaps General MacArthur didn’t succeed in bringing Christianity to Japan in the institutional sense. But he did bring mercy, forgiveness and respect for human dignity–the heart of Christianity–and these the Japanese graciously accepted.
Here is more via TIM SHORROCK:
Of course, in today’s ever more politically correct world, would you ever fathom a well-known general today calling for missionaries to, say, Iraq? However, the main point here is that both Russell Kirk and General MacArthur had a keen sense of the extent of Communism and that void it fills.
As does the author of the book I brought. The author was introduced to me through a class I took on missions with Dr. Arnold as the professor. Dr. Arnold used a smaller quote from Lit-Sen Chang’s booklet, but you can see the keen awareness of the extent of this “do-goodism,” Communism and Socialism give people:
Now, for some more biographical background to Lit-sen Chang, it fits well with the drive of this post.
Again, hang in there:
So, Dr. Chang was very familiar with Maoist Communism.
Okay, what is the foundation then for a Christian life in response to all the “isms” offered to man?
Roger Scruton Quickly Defines American Culture
Here is the short excerpt followed by a scan of the page it came from:
- We will conquer the strong with meekness; our victory is based on Christian virtues, winning the relationship, and not just the argument. Love is the greatest power in apologetics. Even if our opponent attacks unreasonably, let us keep our peace. If we move forward emotionally, we may win with words, but not with our lives.
CHRISTIAN virtues [character, really of Christ]. Not our virtues.
Of course, this reminds me of John Adams quote:
Our form of government is set up to incorporate this character and virtues assuming the Judeo-Christian ethic. Without those we are a ship without a sail.
This quote from an article my Pastor posted on his FB notes (more currently) the issue:
- Either way, it does point to an emerging problem within the United States: the collapse of a shared moral consensus that saw as a source of public good the broad moral contours of a Christian ethic, even if detached from the religious claims of Christianity. (WORLD MAGAZINE)
Yep. Apologist! preach the totality of our view, and how our virtues differ in their foundation from other views.
More Russell Kirk:
Russell Kirk’s Ten Principles of Conservatism