For a while now I've been reading the postings at The Pocket Scroll: Classically Christian. The owner says this about the blog:
- This website is a home for GK Chesterton’s “Democracy of the Dead.”
- A place for musings about the Great Tradition of Christianity.
- A place to look back on the lives of those who have gone before us.
- A place to reflect upon their writings.
- A place to reflect upon their devotional practices.
- So brew some tea, grab a caramel digestive, and enjoy!
As an introduction to a Classic Christian Manifesto, the blog owner writes the following:
We stand pretty much 2000 years into Christianity. The tradition that stretches out behind us is vast (albeit nothing compared to the Eternity that awaits us in the New Heaven and the New Earth). Many voices, Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, are calling us to rediscover that tradition. I believe that the rediscovery of what I call “Classic Christianity” is a task well worth investing ourselves in. ... Classic Christianity — more than just the old books. The poetry, liturgy, prayers, lives, art, songs, hymns, theology, devotional works, mysticism, contemplation, disciplines, worship practices, virtues, and history of 2000 years of Christianity — this is Classic Christianity.
The Pocket Christian is a wonderful resource for rediscovering "Classic Christianity" and thus for moving beyond what Thomas Oden calls the "inveterate modern chauvinism that assumes that human consciousness today is intrinsically superior to all premodern modes of thinking - and, conversely, that all premodern thinking is assumed to be intrinsically inferior to modern consciousness." Put positively, rediscovering "Classic Christianity" entails moving beyond the limited truths obtained via personal experience and the individual's exercise of reason into the conviction that the historic, universal Church is, indeed, the Body of Christ that contains treasures of wisdom and truth that far exceed our capacity to fully understand or rationally comprehend, much less experience in its fullness. It's hard to imagine a more exciting or transformative journey!
As a practical means for rediscovering "Classic Christianity," The Pocket Scroll commends a website called Read the Fathers. Here's the invitation on that website's homepage:
By reading seven pages a day for seven years, you can study a vast library of theology, history, liturgy, apologetics, biblical commentary, and devotion written in the first seven centuries of the Christian church. We provide a schedule of readings, the texts in English translation, and—most important—a community to discuss what you're learning. Laypeople, clergy, seminarians, students, and Christians of all denominations will benefit from joining our community to read the church fathers.
The website offers suggestions for getting started and a calendar of daily readings.
This is a fantastic idea that I hope to take advantage of!