[Milton-L] "the only great Christian writer this nation has produced"

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Thu Jan 21 13:27:24 EST 2010


I wouldn't say the label is useless from an objective standpoint, especially
by Milton's time.  Christian orthodoxy can be defined in terms of the major
tenets of its major branches as expressed by creedal statements (Roman
Catholicism, Reformation Churches, Eastern Orthodoxy), and then further
defined in terms of what these major branches of Christian belief have in
common.  So long as we're only talking about specific points of doctrine, a
few major points of orthodoxy aren't hard to define.  But once we start
talking about outlook, practice, emphasis, lesser or more particular
doctrinal points, etc., orthodoxy becomes very hard, if not impossible, to
define.  It's not hard to see that all major Reformation churches, the Roman
Catholic Church, and the Eastern Orthodox church are all trinitarian, all
believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, etc.  But then we have to deal
with differences between the RCC church and EO churches on the procession of
the Holy Spirit, the RCC church and Reformation churches on iconography,
etc...

Jim R

On Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 12:37 PM, Carol Barton <cbartonphd1 at verizon.net>wrote:

>
> Not to belabor the point, gentlemen: but would someone please tell me the
> meaning of "orthodox Christian"--particularly in this context? It depends on
> who is defining the second syllable, I think: Milton would certainly not
> have seen O'Connor as an "orthodox Christian," any more than those who
> attacked his divorce tracts considered him one. Is a Lutheran more
> "orthodox" than a Methodist (or a Mennonnite, or a Baptist)? To hear them
> tell it, you'd think so--but what exactly do we mean to convey, when we call
> someone an "orthodox Christian writer"?
>
> The label is a useless one--just like the label "great." (Some rap artists
> may be "great" in the eyes of their fans, but to me, all rap is
> obnoxious--and therefore, in my lexicon "great rap" is an oxymoron.)
>
> In fact, as I've said in the past--most labels are useless, especially as
> applied to an artist of Milton's depth and complexity.
>
> Best to all,
>
> Carol Barton
>
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