Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Formula for Christian Life

June 24th, 2014 by G.

There is no formula for Christian life – extremes are corrupt, and the middle ground is slippery.

-thus Bruce Charlton.

There is a human tendency for the means to become the ends. I suspect its because most means require submeans, and on a day to day basis the submeans are what require the most adjusting and evaluation. Which means that on a day to day basis, you are functionally treating the means as the end to be achieved. That being so, it is easy to forget the bigger picture.

What Dr. Charlton calls correctness, or even what He refers to as ultracorrectness, is a help to most people. Most of us, maybe all of us, need what we get from obeying in exactness. The path is always strait. But the straitness of the path isn’t what defines the path. It’s the destination.

I believe the theological liberalism for most people probably starts innocently enough as a means to correcting the problem of pharisaism and “ultracorrectness,” but it soon also becomes an end in itself and therefore a poison.

Comments (3)
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June 24th, 2014 07:44:52
3 comments

Bookslinger
June 24, 2014

Is scrupulosity also the correct word?


Bruce Charlton
June 24, 2014

@Adam – My impression, as a reading but not directly-observing outsider, is that ultra-correctness is NOT really an LDS problem – or, at least, it is dealt with by the two level system of Temple recommends, so that proper observance is rewarded, but failure is not punished by expulsion.

I see ultra-correctness as mainly a problem in the devout mainstream Christian churches – both Conservative Protestant and old style (eg SSPX, or old calendar Orthodox) Catholic.

The equivalent (or perhaps analogous) Mormon problem is (I think) the overwhelming *busyness* of the active LDS life – the lack of unstructured time, of scope for spontaneity, lack of what Thoreau calls a ‘broad margin’ to life.


Zen
June 24, 2014

If even the middle ground is slippery, it is because on a very deep level, we are still lost. Lost meaning, we don’t understand perfectly how to return to God. We need Christ, not only for the sins we know we to repent of, but also for the ones we didn’t even realize.

This reminds me quite a bit of CS Lewis’s parable of the house being repaired.

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