For some reason, I have a strange mental association of the Chili Pepper’s song Otherside with Gerhart Hauptmann’s Bahnwärter Thiel. Gerhart Hauptmann wrote works of naturalism that featured the plight of working poor Germans shortly before and at the turn of the twentieth century.
Relative Bloggernacle newcomer, Mark Butler, brings an important perspective to Bloggernacle discussions. I particularly enjoyed his views on a recent By Common Consent thread in which he articulated a position very close to my own:
Even if we do not take the the watershed events at some of the places I have listed as authoritative, their consequences still echo through our Church and throughout the whole Christian world and I have a very hard time conceiving of most of the actors as other than sincere (if sometimes misguided) followers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And in general, I do not think it is possible to understand the history of the Church in the Fulness of Times, unless one understands the doctrines of Methodism, Arminianism, Calvinism, and Catholicism, our immediate theological predecessors by heritage, for both good and for evil – and the debate over which is which.
And many of the places I have mentioned are holy ground where those struggles took place – sincere believers willing to risk all in the pursuit of the truth about the character and majesty of God our Eternal Father and his relation to us.
If I read Mark correctly here and elsewhere in comments in the Bloggernacle and on Defensor Veritatis, then he has an attractive view of our relationship to creedal Christians and through them, or perhaps better with them, to the primitive Church. I think I understand this perspective to approximate my own views of ecumenicalism and how it can best be understood by Latter-day Saints.
Somehow I came across an old post (ancient in Bloggernacle terms) by Kristine at BCC today and was reminded that I was supposed to quit the Bloggernacle on January 21, 2005 at 5:56 p.m. I remember distinctly thinking that comment 54 [click twice in I.E.] on that thread, responding to an unpleasant comment 52, would (or should) be my last word on the LDS blogs. Apparenlty, three and a half hours later (by comment 59), I had forgotten this new resolve of mine.
I am glad I didn’t quit the bloggernacle after that offensive comment. Regardless of any value I might have added to the bloggernacle since January 21, 2005 (this is a highly doubtful proposition of which I have no illusions) I have enjoyed my participation on the LDS blogs and learned a great deal about a lot of good people and their thoughts and beliefs from continued interaction since then.
Conversely, if I have made comments similar to Tom Manney’s that were offensive to others, I apologize and hope that it did not cause anyone to act rashly.