Friday, September 10, 2010

John C. Wright's Gospel of the End Times

When I read Orphans of Chaos, by John C. Wright, my first impression was that the author must be some sort of Gnostic pagan, as that sort of philosophy seemed to shine through the narrative. However, when I did my research (okay -- Google) it turned out that at the time he wrote that piece of fantasy fiction, he was an atheist, and the Gnosticism was no more than a backdrop for that particular series of novels. However, since that time, he had converted to Christianity, influenced in a large part by the writings of C.S.Lewis. He's still a fan of C.S.Lewis, and also of G.K.Chesterton. In fact, John C. Wright is now a Roman Catholic (like Chesterton was).

It's rather ironic, in one sense. C.S.Lewis, a Protestant, was converted from atheism through the influence of J.R.R.Tolkien, a Catholic. John C. Wright, a Catholic, was converted from atheism through the influence of C.S.Lewis, a Protestant. I said, ironic, but it's also intensely beautiful in another.

Lest any of my Protestant friends are of the opinion that Catholics are so tradition bound as to obscure any hope of them finding saving faith within their walls, here's a blog post by John C. Wright that will dispel that illusion. He paints his scenario through the medium of Noah, preparing for the destruction of the world. His eschatology is right on, the message is cross centred, and he even acknowledges some of the mistakes made by the Mother Church during the middle ages, insinuating that the church, under persecution, has faired better. Here's a couple of quotes:

The Orthodox Church, the Nestorians, the Copts, the Syrians, and all the Indians instructed by St. Thomas have been ground under the bootheels of pagan kings and paynim sultans for over a thousand years: they have more martyrs to their glory and more saints than earned the palm in the West. When the Church was burdened with worldly power, one thing she ended up doing was corrupting herself, and shattering via Reformation and Counter-Reformation, wars, tumults, and persecutions, into fragments large and small. It was not until the Enlightenment that the keys to the liquor cabinet where the wine of worldly power is stored were locked away from our poor, drink-besotted Mother Church.
And another one:

... So, no, Christians do not need to be in the shoes of Caesar or Pontius Pilot to save the world. That salvation was done by one whose feet were pierced by nails: as far as the world could see, a crackpot agitator who died a traitor’s grisly death. This is because the world sees things backward. The cross the world sees as an instrument of torture, humiliation, and death we Christians see as exalted, and we take it as our labarum of comfort, glory, and victory.

How's that for a Catholic? Read it yourself...

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