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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Death Of A Paradigm

"Derivative authority is a sham." (This is the idea that the creeds have a secondary authority derived from Scripture.) That's what I realized. When I read Mathison's The Shape Of Sola Scriptura, it confirmed that impression for me. Not that I had any warmer feelings for Catholicism (he brought up a ton of potential problems and objections that deserved exploring later), but I saw that he was making a distinction without a difference in his basic thesis. (Sola Scriptura vs. Solo Scriptura)

If there was one thing where I rose in defense of the Catholic Church, it was in his taxonomy of tradition: Tradition I, (Church fathers) Tradition II, (medieval Catholicism) and Tradition III (Pope makes up whatever he wants). Because there was no difference between St. Thomas's theology and Trent, and no substantive difference between Origen and Trent, especially on the crucial issue of free will. The basic Reformed/Protestant storyline of the Middle Ages--the burdensome, semi-Pelagian treadmill that was Catholicism--is a lie.

Moreover, the idea that St. Augustine was some sort of proto-Calvinist is also a lie. It just is. He has enough statements affirming free will that it's a miracle the Reformed didn't call him a Semi-Pelagian. [That's not nice.--ed.] I'm through being nice with people who should know better.

Hey Dr. Confirmation Sponsor Guy! I hear people saying your articles are too long. I totally agree. They're enormous. But if they were shorter, they'd say you make bold claims with no evidence. No win. I just think they're not used to being challenged.

It was Chalcedon that sealed the deal. There I was, reading along, (of course, I already agreed with their conclusions) and I noticed that these bishops acted like they had an independent authority. That the Holy Spirit had given them the authority to adjudicate the question. They did not base their conclusions on Scripture. I can't recall a great many citations, in any case. What an arrogantly Catholic thing to do! So this is how it happened? Uh-oh. Death Of A Paradigm, film at 11.

You don't even have the right to say, "The Council agrees with me," because YOU WEREN'T THERE. Neither was Luther or Calvin. So, the challenge will be to somehow hold on to its truth on some other basis than the context offers, and hope some fundie doesn't say, "We don't need them!" Oh, wait, they have. Shameless ad hockery, still. Rob Bell with a bigger bookshelf, and a degree from Covenant.

If you're going to shatter the whole Western Church, and essentially claim that we've had the wrong soteriology for 1000 years (not to mention that we should ignore all relevant ecclesiastical authorities), you better have a hermeneutic a little stronger than, "We don't know." Actually, they claimed it was, back when. Only when the full horror of the falsehood of individual interpretation and the optional submission to ecclesiastical authority reaches its full flower do you now claim, "We don't know." How nice.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You said, "If you're going to shatter the whole Western Church, and essentially claim that we've had the wrong soteriology for 1000 years.." So this is dating back to the Great Schism that resulted in the Eastern Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church? How did the Roman Catholic church come to be held as the truth?

Anonymous said...

You said, "If you're going to shatter the whole Western Church, and essentially claim that we've had the wrong soteriology for 1000 years..." I assume this is referring to the Great Schism that resulted in the Church being divided into the Eastern Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church? Why would you say that the RC was the 'rightful' bearer of the truth and not the EO?

Jason said...

Because the Pope is the Bishop of Rome, and thus, the principle of unity for the whole Church. Can't even have an ecumenical council without him.