Monday, January 4, 2016

The curse of the via media

From The Living Church-

The cherished Episcopalian notion, that we are a church of right-thinking, reasonable people, is going to be the death of us. Don’t get me wrong: I am all for right thinking and reason in equal measure, and indeed compromise, and some sort of Anglican via media may indeed be found to be the solution amidst the church’s present agonizing over its own identity. But moderation as the keynote of any sort of Christian identity is deeply problematic — ahem, Laodicea — not least because the hidden sting in the tail of the via media is that it demonizes conflict. We don’t fight; we’re right-thinking, reasonable people — who already know the right, reasonable solution to whatever it is that we’re not fighting about. The paradox, and indeed the curse of the via media, is that it is not something you can assume to have achieved, or even assume you will be able to achieve, in advance because you or your tradition has always done so in the past. The surest way not to arrive is to assume that you are already there.

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