12 hours ago
Fascinating comments. I have thought a lot about these same issues and the ironies that post-modern society presents the various facets of the church. You, Pageau, Beth More and whoever, essentially disseminate ideas through a medium of competition-based information platforms. The pastor/preacher/laymen that resonates most of all with the spirit of the age receives the views and the influence at the expense of everyone else, whether they are ordained by a denominational hierarchy or not. It is essentially capitalist preaching and most people engage more with the ideas of internet theologians than they do with their local minister. Regarding, the sermon and the homily. Most ecclesiologists agree that the homily played a massively important part in the early church even well up into the late classical, early medieval period. Liturgy is something which developed and changed a lot until it was made a concrete part of the different medieval traditions by various theologians and synods. This is because as the church become civilization itself and the world became a part of the church, the need to disseminate the Christian worldview became less and less important. The church became an unavoidable part of the world. Overtime, however, the people came to awareness and a longing to understand the meaning behind the liturgy and wanted once more to reconsolidate to the precepts of the Christian worldview. This is what the protestant reformation essentially is and in some ways someone like Pageau, is a reformer of Orthodox church. He is seeking to communicate ideas in the Eastern church that have been long forgotten with his own unique take and modern application. This is not dissimilar way to how Calvin or Luther recommunicated ancient teachers such as Augustine and of course. These ideas never escape the spirit of the times and they often take one part of the immensely complicated and rich Christian worldview. Pageau focuses on symbolism, Evangelicals focus on salvation, others focus on righteous living etc. – all of these are indispensable parts of Christianity and none of them should be a framework that we rely on solely. You mentioned how people attending an Orthodox service, would not hear the teachings of Pageau or may not find the Eastern Fathers to teach in a way that Pageau teaches. Pageau takes his approach from middle byzantine Fathers such as Maximus the Confessor and from the Cappadocians fathers. Nonetheless, if one reads Basil’s (a Cappadocian) homilies for the layman on Genesis 1, it will be something more akin to a Ken Ham lecture. Where Basil the Great throws out most of the allegorical method to defend a day by day view of Creation and contend with the alternative Greek theories that may contradict the literal Genesis account – an approach that would excite a much maligned young earth creationist. An evangelical would be surprised to find how comfortable they are with the style of John Chrysostom’s preaching, a fire and brimstone style that focus’ on self-improvement, practical application to scripture and dogmatic theology. A protestant will be uncomfortable with some fathers emphasize on will, self-improvement and a synergist approach to faith and works. Of course, allegory, historicity, dogmatism, Christian virtue are all in scripture and were all apart of the ancient church, each modern tradition has just run wild with a different approach, sometimes at the expense of another. It is peculiar how almost every theology (and heresy) had been developed by about the 4th century and the history of the church has just been a re-emergence of different approaches from this early period, tailored to our own day. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.