Firing Line Reflections, Pt. 1 - Malcom Muggeridge

Thank you all for your well wishes! My new wife and I have returned from our Caribbean excursion and have settled into our new apartment.

We received as a Wedding gift episodes of William F. Buckley's the Firing Line. And within the first episode we watched we have already been able to extract something immensely useful. WFB is talking to Malcolm Muggeridge, a rather confused European intellectual who calls himself a man of the left. Within the course of the episode, they begin discussing the usefulness of the Christian gospels, and of the appeal of religion without dogma. In this context, Muggeridge brings up an interesting proposition for WFB to consider. He asks him to recall Christ's temptation in the wilderness, when the Devil offers him the Kingdoms of the Earth.

The point Muggleridge is making is actually quite profound, despite his total incoherence in almost everything else. I will let him speak for himself:
"Let's take what is the most fascinating thing: that temptation in the wilderness, when the Devil offered Christ the kingdoms of the earth. He wouldn't take them, of course (interestingly enough the kingdoms of the earth should be the Devil's gift, which I cordially approve of, cordially agree with.) Now you see from the point of view of the sort of Anglicans, other clergyman, and so on, that I am talking about, that was an act of madness. Christ should have accepted the kingdoms of the Earth, and he should have set up excellent socialist, egalitarian, forward-looking, welfare-creating, governments in them - and then mankind would have lived happily ever after. That's the view of the clergy today.
It seems to me that Mr. Muggeridge quite accurately describes the position of many Christians today who favor "immanetizing the Eschaton", so to speak. Our world is a fallen one; it will not be not so until it has all passed.

In other less somber tones, if you get a chance to see this episode of the Firing Line, titled "The Culture of the Left", I highly recommend it. Dissecting the muddled ideas of Mr. Muggeridge is worth many hours of entertainment.

No comments: