[Milton-L] apostasy and apology

jfleming at sfu.ca jfleming at sfu.ca
Sun Dec 30 00:00:44 EST 2007


Father Mike admirably executes the apology for list tangentiality.	

Nonetheless: here is, surely, a relevant and tractable matter of interest.
This is the question of what it means to be a Christian, or, by extension, a
member of any religious or similarly determinative cultural tradition. 

M makes this question break open along a Protestant/Catholic,
dialectic/dogmatic, questioning/dictating divide. His allegiance, always (as
far as I can tell), is with the first term in those binaries. But his
opening of the question is the matter of interest (while also, somewhat
covertly, supporting his allegiance). 

If being a member of a tradition means citing chapter and verse, as dictated
by those in charge of them, then Protestantism is heresy and M is
non-Christian. 

But if M is Christian, and Protestantism cannot be dismissed as heresy, then
being a member of a tradition means _taking responsibility_ for
understanding, and dictating, what counts as chapter and verse. 

This entails an ongoing transformation of the relevant tradition -- but not
relativism, or incoherence. 

Seeing that possibility is difficult work, but work worth doing. In my
opinion as a student of Milton. JD Fleming


 
On Sat, 29 Dec 2007 16:33:51 -0800 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
> > I think there are many definitions of "Christian"
> 
> We think differently.
> 
> > What is "each and every line item in the Christian creed"?
> 
> Some time ago the Rt Rev Spong took each line item in the Nicene Creed 
> and explained publicly why none of them were true.  Pretty non-Christian 
> of him.
> 
> > Milton disagreed with some of the nominal tenets of the "Christian
> religion" (whatever that is, other than theology based on the
> teachings of Christ); does that make him a non-Christian? 
> 
> His subordinationism certainly makes his Christianity questionable.
> 
> This list is no place for a religious dispute, so I apologise for having 
> sparked one.	I'm always somewhat amazed that the average Christian, 
> regardless of allegiance, would find it hard to swallow that an orthodox 
> Catholic wouldn't publicly stand for what his Church officially teaches 
> as true.
> 
> But, then again, this is a Milton list.
> 
> Doh.	There I go again.  No more from me.
> 
> Merry Christmas, all.  Really.
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James Dougal Fleming
Department of English
Simon Fraser University
(778)-782-4713
cell: 778-865-0926


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