Enter Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Bob Jones fundamentalist turned Anglican priest turned Catholic priest.
Fr. Dwight took a creative turn at Orthodoxy. Since he was speaking on the Romance of Orthodoxy, he gave us, not a literary analysis or an academic parsing of the text - he gave us his own tale of romance. As anyone who has read Fr. Dwight's blog will tell you, this is a man with a strong literary gift and the heart of a poet.
Among Father's praise of Romance, we gleaned the following ...
"Heroes must take the risk to be admirable and laughable. Since all heroes are human, all heroes are like Cyrano de Bergerac, noble and ridiculous at once."
"The spell of the storyteller makes all of our cynicism happily melt away."
"Despair and depression come from the disappointment of losing the hope that truth, beauty and goodness are possible."
"Despair is the compliment paid to the romantic (for without frustrated ideals we would not despair)."
"When a heretic settles on Mere Christianity he should push on toward More Christianity."
"Heresy kills curiosity, not the cat."
"Dogma is not a goal, it is a map. The rubrics and doctrines are the map for the journey, the journey of the hero, the great adventure."
He quoted the Little Flower - the Little Flower of all saints! - who said, "Sanctity must be won at the pont of the sword," and "I will die with my weapons in my hand."
"The challenge [to essay forth into heroic adventure] comes to each individual in a totally unique way. But the challenge is always as Christ's was to Peter - to step out of the boat onto the water. This challenge may come in your life in a large thing or in small things. But the hero who steps forth will say, 'By God's grace I was able to take that step and everything has been Provided.'"
But the conference - and the great adventure - is not yet at an end.