Saturday, August 15, 2015

Christian Reconstruction and Radical Orthodoxy: The Difference

A common Reconstructionist refrain is "All of life is worship," usually coupled with "No square inch."  Is all of life worship?  We'll get back to that.  The underlying theme is "no neutrality" between Christian thought and non-Christian thought.  I suppose there is some truth to that.

Radical Orthodoxy will also defy a "secular reason."  They point out--with some persuasiveness--that the secular mythos is just that--a myth, a story--that is used to buttress power.  Is this another way to say that "All of life is worship?"  I think it is.

So then:  are Radical Orthodoxy and Christian Reconstructionism saying the same thing?  Even worse, has Christian Reconstructionism suddenly become intellectually respectable and morally coherent?  Fortunately, we can answer "no" to both claims.

It is true that both groups deny a secular reason and posit the centrality of the Christian story as the only true one.  However, when Christian Reconstructionists say "all of life is worship," this is implicitly done in such a way to minimize the role of the church.  Imagine a social space in which discourse inhabits.  In this social space--on the CR claim--the church has been relegated to the margin.  Why should the church be central, since all of life is holy?  Since nature supposedly abhors a vacuum, another group will arise to mediate the Christian discourse.  That's right.  You guessed it:  The Reconstructionist Parachurch Ministry (think Chalcedon or American Vision).

This is clearly not what Radical Orthodoxy is claiming.  Radical Orthodoxy, it is true, does posit a social space in which the Christian mythos is the only one.  However, Radical Orthodoxy makes one more move:

P1: The Church is social space.
P2: Therefore, instead of "all of life is worship" we have "all of life is the Church."

I think there are some problems with the RO claim, but it is certainly a healthier claim.

No comments:

Post a Comment