James Clark is the Book Review Editor at The North American Anglican. His writing has appeared in American Reformer, Journal of Classical Theology, and Evangelical Quarterly, as well as other publications.
A good number of Christian scholars draw first and foremost on Thomas Aquinas for their accounts of beauty. Desmond, though he’s aware of and engages with the Thomistic tradition, has spent much of his career interacting with the thought of Hegel, perhaps most directly, as it pertains to the subject of beauty, in Art and the Absolute: A Study of Hegel’s Aesthetics.
A number of Werntz’s suggested practices—e.g., regular use of corporate and pre-written prayers, and identifying with a classic confession of faith rather than a mission statement—are already common in many, more traditional Protestant churches and in Roman Catholic churches. Indeed, one gets the impression that Werntz’s argument is aimed primarily at nondenominational evangelicals and Baptists.
The IE is essentially the 1662 BCP of old, but unlike the Cambridge edition it is not just that and nothing more—it is the 1662 judiciously tweaked and supplemented in a way calculated to attract both newcomers to the BCP and long-time Anglicans.
Christian Platonism’s affirmation that we are spiritual beings who will outlive this current life, in one manner or another, lends us powerful impetus to reconsider what it means to spend life here and now in a worthwhile fashion.
I encourage readers to give Dreher a fair hearing and consider the evidence he offers in support of his arguments. The phenomena he cites are real and disquieting, and he should not be dismissed out-of-hand simply because he forecasts a world far darker than many of us believe could possibly emerge.
The poetry in this book captures some of those everyday moments and holds them up in a light that makes possible another kind of clarity, not that of simply worded declarations on a page, but that which concerns our own selves and souls.
Elevated figures in church history have a great deal to teach us, but we should not forget that we can also learn from the early, run-of-the-mill Christians who were as ordinary as we are, yet who, as the collective body of Christ, experienced vibrant faith and incredible growth in an inhospitable environment.