My blog posts revolve around my interests and vocation as a historian: the intersection of history and contemporary church life, the intersection of history and contemporary politics, serendipitous discoveries in archives or on research trips, publications and research projects, upcoming conferences, and speaking engagements.
I sometimes blog for two other organizations, the Canadian Baptist Historical Society and the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies.
The views expressed in these blogs represent the views of the authors, and not necessarily those of any organizations with which they are associated.
In the ancient myth of Scylla and Charybdis, ships attempted to navigate between a treacherous sea monster on the one side and dangerous rocks (or a whirlpool) on the other. One small mistake to the right or left meant disaster. And that story has become a modern-day parable about avoiding two looming and equally dangerous extremes.
The crisis facing the Israeli government over the recent terrorist attacks by Hamas recalls (at least to my mind) that ancient myth. There are two dangers facing Israel, both with serious consequences. The first is to do not enough, the second is to do too much.
“The manner of healing must be suited to the form of the illness” – St. Gregory of Nyssa on the Need for Contextualizing Catechisms
It is easy to assume that “one size fits all” when instructing people about the essentials of the faith. Yet the early church leaders and the church fathers knew better. Stated simply, while there is only one apostolic faith, the way in which that faith is communicated must be adapted to different people in different times and in different places.
I was recently reminded of this when I bought a wonderful modern version of St. Gregory of Nyssa’s Catechetical Discourse. This work was a handbook of instruction for those who intended to teach the faith to others.