I have long admired Roger Scruton. But I’ve also perceived a likely dose of self-deception, or at least error, in his otherwise admirable philosophical expositions.

The fact is he appears not to be a Christian in any traditional sense, despite his kindness towards much of Christian culture. And he does not hesitate to call one and all back to it in various and sundry ways in very many of his books and lectures. The Christian ethic provides us with social cohesion and a sublime aesthetics he rightly insists. But does he accept the traditional doctrinal foundations for such an ethic? In many places he suggests not. In fact he says so explicitly, often enough.

He does believe in God in some transcendental sense. But it would seem to be a God congenial to his own way of thinking which is arrived at by specifically Enlightenment philosophical reasoning. Whether or not this God is Personal in the Scriptural sense I rather doubt. It is more like the God of Kant, or even Spinoza  (whom he likes) I think. And recall that Kant defined Enlightenment as freedom from the constraints of religious dogmas. Scruton I think agrees.

In any case, I think Scruton is a powerful ally to Christians in almost every other respect. And we can take that wheat, which he offers in abundance, and leave the chaff.

That’s my summary take on him. You might like to listen here and decide for yourself.

The CofE, which he openly loves (High Church) is a “wonderful invention”? Only? It “requires no belief in doctrine”? Except to be nice and “quiet while others are at prayer?” And he chose “culture” to replace what he perceives to be the absence of credible Christian Truth, traditionally understood? This I think is otherwise the great Scruton’s Achilles heel. He’s a conservative Liberal.

Is it any wonder he quotes the (ultimately) incoherent Enlightenment philososophers as a kind of Scripture? Leftists will not fail to note this. Alas.

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