ARTICLES & SERMONS
What is Radical Orthodoxy?
a long time ‘spirituality’ and the Church have been displaced to the
margins of our culture. Many
people think of religion as something for ‘those who like that sort of
thing’ - some obstinately held opinions, perhaps, or a solace, but
basically ‘unscientific’ and not part of real life. At school and
university, religion and theology have fallen on hard times. And
religion in church is often considered dull and tasteless because
it’s been watered down.
Orthodoxy is a movement that endeavours to bring the Church back towards
the centre of the cultural map – and even give it back its
can be quite subversive, though, because it doesn’t accept a lot of
present-day assumptions. It dislikes a selfish hoarding of wealth, it
doesn’t think liberal humanism will ever change the world, and it doesn’t believe in the nanny state.
stated in non-technical language, are three important principles of
1. Celebrate your
life as a unity.
Don’t divide it into compartments,
‘spiritual’ and ‘non-spiritual’, or ‘sacred’ and
‘secular’. Politics, love, music and art, work best when they are
given a spiritual spin. There is something spiritual about ordinary
things such as cooking a meal or going for a walk or building a house.
There is no separate ‘God-slot’. Equally, there is no
area of life that exists apart from God, since it is within God’s
energy field that all of us ‘live and move and have our being’.
Therefore the words of the liturgy are not meant to be spoken
with a ‘Sunday-best’ face but should bring beauty and splendour to
the whole of life.
2. Believe in the good things you suspect might be true. Faith
may tell us that chaos will be overcome, and that forgiveness, healing
and rest for the soul are possible. Reason may seem to contradict this!
However, in recent times ‘faith’ and ‘reason’ are generally seen
as separate and maybe incompatible, as in the joke definition: ‘Faith
is believing what you know to be untrue.’
But faith is not illogical or unreasonable, while reason itself
needs faith before it can get hold of anything at all. RO tries to bring
faith and reason back together again.
3. Share your life. We all have to share our lives
with other human beings as well as with nature. This gives many
opportunities to build up beauty and harmony in the world around us.
Whenever we do so, we help to heal the world, liberating it from
anger, fear and triviality.
© ASF 2006
Except where otherwise stated or implied the material on this page is copyright © Lastingham Parochial Church Council 2006. All rights reserved.