Friday, July 17, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage and Heresy

Some Progressions are More Progressive Than Others
Ryan T. Anderson:

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, many people have been wondering what do we do now. In my just-released book, Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, I argue that the pro-marriage movement should take its cue from pro-lifers after Roe v. Wade. At The Federalist earlier this week, I highlighted three practical tactics:
1. We must call the court’s ruling in Obergefell what it is: judicial activism.
2. We must protect our freedom to speak and live according to the truth about marriage.
3. We must redouble our efforts to make the case for it in the public square.
In my book I flesh out these three strategies, and then close by suggesting a larger framework for thinking about these challenges as a whole.
The two-thousand-year story of the Christian Church’s cultural and intellectual growth is a story of challenges answered. For the early Church, there were debates about who God is (and who is God). In response, the Church developed the wonderfully rich reflections of Trinitarian theology and Christology. In a sense, we have the early heresies to thank for this accomplishment. Arius’s errors gave us Athanasius’s refinements on Christology. Nestorius’s blunders gave us Cyril’s insights. In truth, of course, we have the Holy Spirit to thank for it all. He continually leads the Church to defend and deepen its understanding of the truth, against the peculiar errors of the age.
A thousand years later, with the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, the Church saw renewed debates about salvation—building on those Augustine had waged with Pelagius, no less. Whichever side you favor in the debates of the sixteenth century, they left the Church as a whole with a much richer theology of justification, ecclesiology, and soteriology.
[...] TB: Anderson doesn't say this explicitly, but part of his point is that theological and philosophical theorizing often does not take place until there is a substantial division in the Church which calls for theoretical argumentation.  Theoria often follows praxis. 
This false humanism in John Paul II’s time was on powerful display in the political order, where totalitarianism grew. Today, blindness to the truth about the human person has led to a crisis of family and sexuality. But then as now, we see clearly the Church’s latest intellectual and cultural challenge: not the nature of God or redemption, but of man and morality. Our task is to explain what human persons most fundamentally are, and how we are to relate to one another within families and polities.
For us, as for John Paul II’s generation, nothing less than authentic freedom is at stake. For a freedom based on faulty anthropology and morality is slavery. Only a freedom based on the truth is worthy of the name.
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