Some Words on the Church
by S. M. Hutchens
As I age, the impression intensifies that one's best work has never been original, even that there has never really been such a thing as true human originality, for what is good, true, and beautiful originates in God, so that artful, kairotic recapitulation (even in technology, for every functioning use is imitative) is really what we are about, and is in fact the chief element of theosis. The rage for originality is a kind of spiritual sickness, for the more one tries for it, the more the attempts seem to produce the ugly, irrational, and inhumane—whatever good may be found in the oeuvre usually turns out to be an accidental and unacknowledged tribute to the timeless and transcendental.
I bring to witness the generality of modern art, music, architecture, theology, and every field of endeavor in which novelty is regarded as a virtue—for new goods, that is to say, goods well-recapitulated, are only produced in synthetic harmony with the Timeless Good from which they are derived. That all human art is procreative, all invention imitative is, I believe, the insight that separates conservative from liberal. This is why the "liberal," who believes himself to be the master of his own spirit and ground of his own being, does not believe in God—or at least in any God he hasn't invented himself.
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more on church history from the online archives
more from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor