A large project of sorts has been keeping me away from web-logging, but I did want to call attention to Rod Dreher’s latest American Conservative entry, “Critics of the Benedict Option.” Why? Because despite my deep misgivings about the “options” fad (see, e.g., here, here, here and here), I want to believe that the so-called Benedict Option (or any other “option”) can be something more than a marketing ploy. This is not to say that I believe Dreher is acting in bad faith, only that the realities of publishing often demand tag lines, catch phrases, clever wordplays, and so forth. Moreover, there is a more fundamental question to consider that Dreher still seems to struggle with, namely, “What is the Benedict Option?” He rejects narrowing it down to a formula, a move that is incredibly unhelpful. Granted, perhaps the Benedict Option could or would manifest itself in different ways in different concrete circumstances, but surely it needs at least some minimal unifying elements, yes? I pray that we don’t have to simply “wait for the book” to discover what they are.