Friday, June 18, 2010

On the Whole, and Why the Gospel is Not an Ideology (as explained by an orthodox rebel)

I do not consider a true Christian to be an "ideologue" because an "ideologue" is someone who holds to a singular doctrine or idea that does not cover all of the bases of reality.

The Gospel is not an ideology; it is the Truth. It covers and answers everything; its elements (God, Christ, the Fall, Sin, Redemption, Damnation, etc.) provide a framework and context for everything and an answer for every argument. The Gospel is, so to speak, narrow; but as Chesterton once put it, "It is as narrow as the whole universe," i.e., it answers everything while still being the one and only objective Truth.

On the other hand, an "ideology" takes only one thing (whether it be a truth or a lie) and tries to make it everything to the exclusion of the rest of the Truth. This is how most heresies start as well as most ideologies.

That is why conversation is impossible (or at least extremely difficult) with ideologues: ideology is a reductionism; it is narrow to a dangerous fault. Ideologues cannot see beyond the nose of their divorced dogma. They cannot even begin to consider the whole; they are too enamored with their pet particular.

E.g., Marxism is an ideology because it reduces everything to economics; Christianity is the Truth because it reduces everything to God, who is the only adequate base for everything.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2010

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