Minister's Blog

The Boniface Option

By Steve Jeffery, 09 Jun 2017

My friend Andrew Isker has written a quite brilliant piece reflecting on Rod Dreher's book The Benedict Option. It's over at - take a look. Here are a few extracts to whet your appetite:

"Nearly thirteen centuries ago, my ancestors, the people east of the Rhine, were tribal, pagan savages. They were not nice people.  They worshipped the Norse gods like Thor and Odin and had tattoos all over their bodies marking their devotion to him and their devotion to their tribe. Like most tribal societies, anyone who was not part of the tribe was more or less subhuman and fit for being robbed, murdered, and/or raped. They practiced human sacrifice. They weren’t all that different from ISIS today.

"Into this world went a humble Benedictine monk named Winfrid. He left the cloister to become a missionary. Pope Gregory II appointed this missionary monk as bishop of then-pagan Germania and gave him a new name: Boniface. Boniface went through Germania preaching the gospel and destroying pagan idols and shrines and leaving churches in their place. The pagans he converted were my ancestors.


"Boniface was preaching to other pagans many years later when he finally poured out his blood for Jesus Christ. A band of raiders attacked Boniface and his large group of companions. Though he and the 52 others who were with him could have resisted, the elderly missionary ordered them all to desist. At the age of 79 he received his crown of glory.


"Today, the West (and the American Empire in particular) like Rome in Benedict’s day, is in a state of slow, seemingly inexorable decline. Soft times have created soft men. So God has given us hard times. These hard times, this great decline is what the big, important book of the moment, The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher, was written to address. ... I see Rod Dreher’s St. Benedict and raise him St. Boniface.


"We need men who would trade the cloister for confrontation. Men who would trade the relative comfort of the monastery for missions and martyrdom. We need hard men for hard times. ... We need to be forming men like Christ. We need to be forming men like Boniface. Men who boldly spoke the truth, no matter the cost. And men who sacrificially laid down their lives for their enemies when the cost came due."

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