Who We Are
We are Christians all, mostly in our twenties and thirties, and we are committed to the faith as it has generally been received throughout history. The Vincentian Canon of 434 AD is the most useful ecumenical summary of our theological perspective: “that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all.” Our contributors take heart and courage from Christ and his church, and this website is one effort to bring those great traditions, doctrines, and teachings to bear on public life.
What’s With the Name?
Our title is taken from the essay of the same name written by the immortal G.K. Chesterton, that titanic defender of orthodoxy, who argued that real democracy can only be cultivated by the sort of rigorous public debate that banishes aristocratic pretensions of expertise in favor of an equality that grows up from the most ancient form of human association: conversation. We want this website to be a lively, even raucous contribution to public discussion and live up to Chesterton’s declaration that “there were no two nobler words in all poetry than Public House.” Today we’ll have to settle for the internet, but we will endeavor to see that The Common Vision survives even the digital age. The internet is often an uncharitable realm of anonymous slander and unreasoned punditry, but we want to preserve intelligent conversation, plain and witty prose, and the complacent pleasures of learning. This conviction is not doctrinally mandated, and indeed in some past ages it would have seemed foreign to many a faithful believer, but we have grown rather fond of it and hope, through it, to follow the example of Christ who never shied away from reasoned argument with the educated and never abandoned the minds and hearts of farmers, fishermen, widows, and even children.
We are inspired to write here by the ideal that knowledge ought to be enjoyed democratically. It is not our intention to flaunt our expertise on cultural or religious questions—which would be difficult in any case as most of us have none—but to bring our Christian ideals to bear upon them, and from those ideals to persuade, argue, comfort, and inspire our readers to look to the great wisdom of Christ and his Church.