Cain and Abel

These words came into my head as a drove to work this morning. If I could have enlisted a more accomplished vocalist to render the tune that accompanied them, I would have.

3 thoughts on “Cain and Abel

  1. Is someone able to talk to Bruce Charleton about reigning in his anti-Christian Manicheanism? He is now suggesting that demonic powers are especially targeting Western post-Christian nations because of their presumed special chosen capacity for holiness, rather than, as all Christians know, that God removes His protection from nations which deliberately and knowingly reject His laws.

    I respect BC’s intellect, but his blog writing has become increasingly unhinged in the past few months as he apparently has been thinking a lot about demonic powers. I know he has friends here. Someone really needs to try to intervene and pull him out of his obsession with that kind of thing. He is far too into trying to analyze why demonic powers do this or that to be healthy for anyone.

    • I doubt anyone can control Bruce. He certainly will not listen to kindly admonitions from anyone here. I am not a dogmatic demonologist, but I don’t see why demonic assault could not wax and wane. Demons have agency, so they can exploit the opportunity when God withdraws his protection. This is certainly how it feels at the individual level and it fits the demonology of the New Testament. I take a look at Bruce’s notions once a week and usually find one or two things that make me think. He can sound manic, but I’m inclined to take people as they are. I do not think these evil times are fully explained by secular lusts for wealth and power, and unhinged times may call for “unhinged” men.

    • There are different gifts. Some men are really good at examining the details of a given scene, touching up and solidifying the obscure edges of a map. Others are explorers who must venture beyond the confines of said map. Their trailblazing results in a confusing set of marks and blurry regions, but they nonetheless enlarge the map.

      From my perspective as a reader, BC belongs in that second, outward explorer group. He apparently enjoys figuring out the environs of one of his newly discovered territories. He is a scientist, after all. But it looks like he needs to keep wandering. To cage him would be to kill his spirit.

      We’ve had both types in the history of the Church, and both types are necessary for our development and flourishing. We have our Bedes and Lombards, and we have our Origens and Palames. And, naturally, the latter excite more controversy.

      I suppose that one of the roles for the episcopal magisterium and the monastic guardians is to keep these explorers in an orbit around the apostolic tradition without chaining them. Such would have been easier when there was more harmony among Christians, doctrinal, practical, and otherwise. I find it difficult to fault BC for his mistrust of traditional Christianity when its appointed stewards fail — even betray — the faith so ostentatiously.

      With all that said, it is, of course, dangerous to spend too much time thinking about the enemy. Wise in the ways of Middle Earth, BC obviously knows of Saruman.


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