The only tough part of a virtual roundtable like this book club series is figuring out how to either respond to all of the good points made or to pick from among them in a way that doesn’t neglect something valuable.
Dreher’s plan is an “option” for certain people, but certainly not for all. I wonder if, after some of the criticism he has received, Dreher would edit anything from the book. I’d be curious to see what changes he would make if he were ever to rewrite it for a second edition.
Much of evangelical culture has been and remains banal. How do we expect adults who grew up in churches to create culture rather than creating a “Christianized” copy of the surrounding culture?
Is this an option for everyone? Dreher calls his idea “the Benedict Option”, but is it really an option for all people? Or is this available only for those with privilege?
There are intentional forms of racism, but race also works as a social force that structures our perceptions, values, practices, institutions, etc. We need to distinguish between the intentional and structural varieties.
Dreher’s choice of the Rule of St. Benedict as the tool to frame his essay on Christian community seems to me a major reason for interpretive misunderstandings of how radically separated he intends this community to be. What he is actually proposing is no different from the basic strategies Christians have employed to create and influence local communities for centuries.