Ed: Jeanne has become enthusiastic about having people for discussions that people ordinarily do not have in SS or from the pulpit. You have been extensive on this subject in recent emails. She thinks that we could get a group going from the people we know. Perhaps, if such a group were enthusiastic, it would grow. I am not as sure that it would work…

Have I discussed with you my idea of levels of orthodoxy?  How it might differ at the personal, local church, denominational, and “catholic” levels?

I am intrigued about Francis Beckwith’s “journey” (from Protestantism to the Catholic Church).  It entails quite a number of issues, especially since he is a philosopher.  I am thinking of writing an extensive review of it for my philosophy site.  It is central to the issues of orthodoxy.  In all these discussions, I think the most overlooked issue is regeneration.  Regeneration guarantees salvation (John 3, the thief on the cross; infants); it only guarantees orthodox thinking at some level which may be limited by the subject himself.  Thus, Roman Catholics, Arminians, etc. may be regenerate, but not orthodox in the way that we prefer.  But I do not know how far the subject himself and all his experience limit his ability to get to the level of orthodoxy that you and I would prefer.

So, we could discuss this topic.  I doubt that you have the time or the interest to read his book, but this area could be a point for our discussion, as well as the Dropped Head Syndrome of Professionals.

Hilton: I quite agree that some people are not willing or able to develop themselves in theology very far, tending to make their ethical decisions almost moment-by-moment and tied too closely to the circumstances rather than to principles.  Yet, they are Christians.  I believe that the church has catered too much to this group, which should not be allowed leadership positions of any sort.  Also, the church has allowed this group to exist unchallenged and barely mobile, seeing that more developed Christians can become more “troublesome” in asking questions and having different plans….

The motte and bailey castle metaphor for Christian development is closely parallel to the biblical plan for the temple at Jerusalem, with the court of the Gentiles, the court of the women, the inner court, the holy of holies, and the ark itself.  All Christian should have our noses pointed toward the ark, and be moving in that direction at some speed.  Where we are in the progress will differ.