If Jesus' Kingdom Is Not of this World

Does that mean that Europe is heaven?

From a while back, Michael Brendan Dougherty explains that Jesus didn’t die to save western civilization:

Or read Richard Weaver on William of Ockham. Find some of Hilaire Belloc’s wilder statements that The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith. Go page through Warren H. Carroll’s “A History of Christendom.” You can find these notions informing the fiction of Robert Hugh Benson who thought that the re-adoption of a few Christian principles would bring back the colored uniforms and heraldry of medieval guilds. Or pick any number of pamphlets by the enthusiastic prelates of the Society of St. Pius X. The great signposts are all there, Ockham, 1517, Westphalia, 1789 and all the rest. Suddenly you have what Lilla very aptly describes as a “an inverted Whiggism—a Whiggism for depressives.”

I’ve had this view articulated to me even by a Jewish scholar at Bard College, who told me that the Reformation ruined everything after I had given him hints that I was initiated enough to hear this.

There are a couple of fallacies hiding behind this line of thinking. Chiefly, this reverse Whiggism seems to take it for granted that the point of Christianity is Christendom, as if Jesus was born in Bethlehem to build Chartres and compose the Summa Theologica. And therefore everything from 1295 to now is a story of punctuated decline. . . .

But we’re really fooling ourselves if we think the Catholic (or catholic) orthodoxy had a kind of super-hold on Europe, and we just stupidly abandoned it. People now treat the monastic movement like it was some kind of naturally occurring balancing act that just kicked in once Christianity got imperial approval. No, it was the response of certain Christians to what they felt was an age in crisis. Theological competition was not a novelty of the Reformation. After all, the Church councils did not slay Arianism by force of argument. They merely announced a hoped-for death sentence for a heresy that took centuries to vanquish.


3 thoughts on “If Jesus' Kingdom Is Not of this World

  1. your kingdom come. Come where? Here. Come from where? Not from here.

    John 18: “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I would not be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom (here) does not come from here.”

    37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked.

    “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have COME INTO THE WORLD for this—to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”

    The king is coming back here. We are not going away from here.

    John 17: I have given them Your word.
    The world hated them
    because they are not OF the world,
    as I am not OF the world.
    15 I am NOT praying
    but that You protect them from the evil one.
    16 They are not OF the world,
    as I am not OF the world.


  2. Thanks for posting this, DGH. Kind of an evergreen topic, much to my bewilderment, but I had missed Dougherty’s take on the Lilla review of the Gregory book.


  3. less worldview philosophy, more sticking to our jobs

    Stanley Fish—“We can still say that some things are true and others false and believe it….”

    Fish keeps repeating his narrow version of the “job description” of professors —aesthetic wonderment rather than civic engagement.

    “a philosophical position is not a recipe for living.”

    Impatient with the rhetoric of character building, citizenship, or leadership, Fish declares that the only justification (for literature and history) is “the pleasure they give to those who enjoy them.”

    In his contempt for liberalism. Fish claims that liberals are too invested in the status quo, and that their supposed neutrality (“pure procedure) only perpetuates injustice.



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