“Radical Orthodoxy” — orthodox or radical?

This account in First Things of Radical Orthodoxy is interesting for a couple of reasons:

  • It makes clear that postmodernism and Naziism are deeply related, since both say that order is nothing more or less than a violent act of the will. The two are the same.
  • It describes the slightness of modern theology, which has abandoned the concreteness of the man Jesus, and of the Church as “a tradition of first-order language and practice,” and no longer considers Christianity a fundamental account of reality. Radical Orthodoxy, it seems, has recovered the latter but not the former. But Christian theology requires both.

The abandonment of concreteness, in which Radical Orthodoxy shares, means that salvation can only be a matter of our own interpretation. That view has some appeal to Radical Orthodox thinkers, since it makes the theologian the real author of salvation, but unfortunately leads back to the deification of human power found in postmodernism and Naziism.

One thing that makes acceptance of concreteness difficult today, most of all for Protestants but also to some extent for Roman Catholics, is that the concreteness of the historical faith and the concreteness of our actual ecclessial surroundings can be hard to reconcile when the latter seems to reject the former.

1 thought on ““Radical Orthodoxy” — orthodox or radical?”

  1. Thanks for posting this.
    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been a fan of Radical Orthodoxy’s critique of postmodernism for some time, but I haven’t been able to understand its positive theology very well. This and the _First Things_ article helped a lot of dominoes fall.


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