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

Arlene M Stiebel amstiebel at verizon.net
Thu Jan 21 14:13:00 EST 2010


Dear Colleagues,

I believe that C. S. Lewis'  book "Mere Christianity" is a most  
helpful discussion of some of the issues you raise.

-- Arlene  

Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 21, 2010, at 10:27 AM, James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>  
wrote:

> 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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