some clarifications

Over at Mere Orthodoxy, Jake Meador responds to this post of mine — but I believe Jake misunderstands what my post is about. He reflects at some length on “mere Christianity” idea and whether it is tenable, or whether by contrast it can compromise the strength of particular traditions — but I don’t say anything about that in my post. Jake goes on to say that “Dr. Jacobs seems to suggest that there is an old First Things that essentially lived exclusively in the living room of the Mere Christianity house” — but I didn’t suggest that and I don’t think it. FT was at its best a place where people from different traditions in Christianity and Judaism (and even, very occasionally, Islam) could engage in serious conversation with one another, and what made the conversation serious was the fact that the participants held firm to the convictions arising from their traditions, even when those convictions separated them in some ways from other participants.

The point of my post is much simpler: if a magazine claims to be “interreligious” and yet (a) is run completely by people in one wing of one religion and (b) publishes essays that defend the claims of that tradition over against all the other traditions supposedly represented in the magazine, but never publishes essays that call that preferred tradition into equally serious question, then there is a dissonance between what the magazine says it is and what it actually is. That’s all I am saying.

One more point: Jake says that Comment is Reformed and has a Reformed “spin” on things, but I am not Reformed, and I believe that there are other members of the editorial board who would not describe themselves as Reformed either. So I think Comment at least has the possibility of becoming more genuinely ecumenical than the “Reformed” moniker would suggest.