Bob DeWaay: The Benedict Option

June 11, 2017

Bob DeWaay returns this episode to discuss The Benedict Option. The Benedict Option is a best-selling book by Conservative (Political) author Rod Dreher. It seeks to reshape the Christian outlook on Politics and Culture in America, and around the world. Bob has much disagreement with the book, and recently wrote an article on the problems he sees with it. Our discussion is based on his article.


Outline of the Discussion
  • The theme of The Benedict Option is that Christians need to withdraw from the culture to a secluded Christian community where we can regroup to engage the culture at a future point in time.
  • Dreher, author of the book, is Greek Orthodox. He does not claim to be an Evangelical. He sees the medieval monastics as role models.
  • Dreher, as a former Roman Catholic convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, rejects the doctrine of Sola Scriptura in favor of religious traditionalism.
  • Greek Orthodoxy, being more mystical than Roman Catholicism, has a doctrine they call Theosis. It teaches that man eventually ascends to divinity.
  • Dreher pins the problem of American culture on “Moralistic, Therapeutic, Deism.”
  • Bob disputes the view of American culture subscribing to Moralistic, Therapeutic, Deism. He asserts that America subscribes rather to Romantic Panentheism.
  • It's impossible to objectively know what practices and traditions are God-ordained and which are spiritual desceptions when you reject Scripture-Alone (Sola Scriptura.)
  • It's inconsistent to reject the Scripture as “unknowable,” yet hold to Conservative political views that regard the US Constitution as “knowable.” Doug Pagitt, an Emergent leader that Bob debated years ago, is at least consistent in rejecting both.
  • America is not Israel, and America has no covenant with God. We cannot unilaterally declare a covenant with God, only God can issue unilateral covenants.
  • Our engagement with culture and politics is found in Romans 13. We are to pray for our leaders, follow the laws (unless they contradict God's commands,) pay our taxes, and be good citizens.
  • The heart of the problem with the Benedict Option is a rejection of Scripture-Alone.
  • So many groups who reject Scripture-Alone end up adopting the same, or similar, unbiblical practices.
  • Mysticism is spirituality for the unconverted.
  • We spend a bit of time discussing the liberty we have in voting. The Scriptures don't address voting, and so it's very hard to make a firm case in individual races that Christians MUST vote any certain way.
Scriptures Referenced
  • Romans 13
  • Acts 17
  • Deuteronomy 32:8
Additional Resources
Related Episodes

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