A thanks for Fr. Rose

Jeff W. writes:

This is just a short note of appreciation, to thank you for introducing me to Fr. Seraphim Rose.

His four stages of nihilism have given me much to think about. I appreciated his insight in saying that liberals do not think of God as a being, thinking of him as a force or a principle. Christians know him as a being who deserves and requires our love.

I myself made very little progress as a Christian until I tried to understand God and Christ as beings, to try to understand their motivations, habits, etc., to study them carefully, along with the Holy Spirit, which is another separate being who is part of the unity of God.

Another thought I have gotten from Seraphim Rose is that the four stages of nihilism are spiritual states. Just as there are three states of matter—solid, liquid, and gas—I believe there are several describable spiritual states. As one moves down the progression towards nihilism, the spirit is increasingly filled with hate, or so I believe.

Thanks again. Don’t let the fools at Mangan’s blog bother you.

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Murray Love writes:

I’d also like to add my thanks for the nudge to read Fr. Rose’s essay, which is excellent. I would also recommend a complementary work by his fellow Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart: Christ and Nothing, which further explicates the phenomenon of modern nihilism. I believe you’ve mentioned it on VFR before, but it is worth bringing to the attention of newer readers, especially since it obliquely addresses some of the issues raised in the HBD discussion. Hart writes beautiful, quotable prose, and the first time I read the essay (out loud to my wife, as it happens), I found myself very much moved by his concluding paragraphs. The quote below is especially apt for VFR!

To have no god but the God of Christ, after all, means today that we must endure the lenten privations of what is most certainly a dark age, and strive to resist the bland solace, inane charms, brute viciousness, and dazed passivity of post-Christian culture—all of which are so tempting precisely because they enjoin us to believe in and adore ourselves.

It means also to remain aloof from many of the moral languages of our time, which are—even at their most sentimental, tender, and tolerant—usually as decadent and egoistic as the currently most fashionable vices. It means, in short, self-abnegation, contrarianism, a willingness not only to welcome but to condemn, and a refusal of secularization as fierce as the refusal of our Christian ancestors to burn incense to the genius of the emperor.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 03, 2009 02:06 PM | Send

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