Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
November 1st, 2016 by Joel Watts

moral judgment meant to make us think critically

Don’t worry, St. Symeon and St. John Damascene are still my favorites… but…

task of moral judgment is always to prompt the soul’s incensive power to engage in inner warfare and to make us self-critical. The task of wisdom is to prompt the intelligence to strict watchfulness, constancy, and spiritual contemplation. The task of righteousness is to direct the appetitive aspect of the soul toward holiness and toward God. Fortitude’s task is to govern the five senses and to keep them always under control, so that through them neither our inner self, the heart, nor our outer self, the body, is defiled. – ST. HESYCHIOS THE PRIEST I, ON WATCHFULNESS AND HOLINESS, SEC. 341

I was reading this and then this. So, I went to the Philokalia and looked for the Priest’s writings. There is a book connecting ancient Christian practices to CBT, for those interested.

This got me to thinking, tho, that maybe the loss of logical discourse in this country, and in many segments of Protestantism, is that we refuse to exercise moral judgment and as such, our critical thinking skills become completely mundane.

  1. Allyne Smith, Philokalia: The Eastern Christian Spiritual Texts: Selections Annotated & Explained (trans. G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware; SkyLight Illuminations Series; Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2012), 38–39.
Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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