A friend near the Beltway writes:

This book was listed on the religion page of the WaPo this morning. You might find food for thought in it– Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture-Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel It is not yet available on Amazon or B&N.; Did get an e-mail saying it should be available this month.

One reviewer’s comments: “Teenagers, for example, should be taught how to act responsibly in any situation, not to isolate themselves by making friends only with Christians or by thinking they should always stay away from rock concerts or R-rated movies.”

In light of the CT ratings of “Christian” workplaces piece, this book appears to address my discomfort with it — since when are we supposed to seek out the “Christian” workplace? I thought we were called to take the Gospel into the world… not create an enclave in which to reside as we await the Second Coming… sorry, the Baptist roots are showing.

BTW, I see this type of sentiment becoming an over-riding concern of the burgeoning suburbanites of both the AmChurch and ‘orthodox’ persuasion. In our diocese, we are building 2 new Catholic high schools and six new elementary schools in the burbs as we wrestle with declining enrollments in the less-desirable, more urban (and browner Catholic) areas — unfortunately, I don’t perceive it as for the right reasons, based on the product and attitudes the existing ones are turning out. Especially when our parish school can only muster 30 to attend the school mass (There are 256 enrolled in the school.). It has little to do with Catholic formation and much to do with making the right caste connections and the right SAT scores. Welcome to the Capital Beltway, I guess!

Which is why, even though we are the second to last house in the “most progressive parish in the diocese,” as we’ve been told, we resist the temptation to jump the creek and register in a more conservative parish — although we’ve been told the diocese does turn a blind eye to those who choose to do so even though they are pretty rigid everywhere else on parish boundaries. After prayer, my husband and I discerned that to go against the directive of the Church as to home parish would make us as hypocritical and enclavish as those whom we see around us.

The homilies are 60s pap and the music beyond Haugen to Amy Grant and Cheryl Keaggy(sp?) but I do believe there is wisdom in “blooming where you are planted.” It’s a pain, there are days I think I can take no more but — then, Jesus is truly present and the Spirit does move where it will. Just have to be open to seeing it. And responding to His call.

I’m afraid I have an allergy to Campolo, a rather tiresome “Beyondist” who imagines himself a prophet of the Third Way between liberal and conservative, but is really just a lackey for people like Clinton (he was part of the absurd group of pastors Clinton played like fiddles while he pretended to do something repentant during Monicagate). I tend to regard Campolo as a poseur. However, that’s not to say your basic point isn’t sound: there is an awful lot Christianity that is really just a sort of baptized suburbanism.

In our case, we decided (partly because our Archdiocese allowed it, but we would have done it anyway) to get out of our deadly suburban parish with its backslapping Kiwanis club culture of sinless smugness and sneers at the Tradition and go to Blessed Sacrament, where the liturgy is celebrated reverently and we didn’t have to wonder what BS our children were being taught in Sunday school. As primary educators of our children, I could not see a minor point of canon law standing in the way of their spiritual welfare. And besides, the diocese says it’s okay to go to Blessed S. So there we are. But I can certainly respect people who make other choices. May God bless your work in the Vineyard!


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