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Frank Schaeffer - Why I Converted To Eastern Orthodoxy

Interesting talk, touches on many areas of interest to this forum. Discusses the limp-wristedness of Standard American Protestantism (SAP) and the failure of modern education, in addition to an explanation on how Orthodox Christianity offers a solution to moderns dissatisfied with a Christianity stripped of meaning.


I cannot understand how Orthodox religion can be a 'solution' to any ideological dilemma- in a complete sense.

Its ontology would be highly problematic to a complete worldview for anyone interested in such issues, as opposed merely to issues related to 'transcendence' or other nice social, psychological, and ethical offshoots of the theology.

Perhaps more mainstream Anglo-Saxon versions of Christianity have been stripped of meaning, at least in part, because they are no longer compatible with what we know about the mechanisms behind nature, and these denominations have attempted to integrate - awkwardly. Christianity devoid of it's ontology can only result in humanism - helping refugees, universal love, singing pleasant songs in church, etc etc.

I can see how Orthodox Christianity might represent a more 'internally consistent' version of Christianity - but unfortunately internal coherence does not represent completeness, unless you want to live in a metaphysical bubble, grumbling at science documentaries with in semi-conscious non-comfort.

I think religion's misinterpreted; what most people want is:

1. A moral code.
2. A way to raise their kids in that moral code.
3. Some reason to have good feelings about the universe.

The reason orthodoxy is winning is this:


Basically, people want something sacred in their lives, and it doesn't work when it resembles everything else.

Some of the reasoning for wanting religion is touched on here:


I think religion's misinterpreted

Are you suggesting it does not incorporate significant claims about the world, claims that are 'ontological'?

the reason orthodoxy is winning is this

I would suggest another possibility is that only orthodoxy has the balls to go all out and reject a modern physicalist ontology altogether. I.e. It's a matter of All or nothing.

As to the last link, it's true there is more and more research suggesting we are hard wired for religion, whether as an adaptation or accidental side effect of other mental adaptations. More specifically we are hard wired to perceive agency or intentionality behind natural events. There is just a huge tension between this and what we know about the real underlying causes of natural events. There is a real conflict between two ways of looking at the world, the intuitive (who did it?) and reflective/scientific (what did it?), that is increasingly antagonistic. This might well be creating the conditions in which only religions that reject, from the start, explanations of natural events in terms of blind mechanisms can survive - by isolating themselves.

Of course, I could be misinterpreting orthodoxy.