Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Unity Fail

I've got a hope for unity, too. I sought communion with the Catholic Church in order to realize it. And the reason--indeed, the only reason I did--is because my hope absolutely could not be realized on the "Reformers'" terms. The big lie of the fig-leaf of "derivative authority" is that there is a difference between "me and my Bible" and Sola Scriptura. There isn't. Leithart is the perfect embodiment of the more perfect fundamentalist; his interpretive skills are better than most. And he appears to take history seriously. That's a major step forward. But it makes it harder for someone like him to realize that, after all the shell games, he's submitting to himself. I must be able to tell the difference between a fallible opinion (like my own) and the Word of God. And on Protestant terms, if my community does not have a charism of infallibility, there is little point in pretending submission in the first place. And if the Church is fundamentally invisible anyway, the determinations of any one visible community mean precisely 2 things: Jack and Squat. If God didn't say it, it doesn't matter. You need also to distinguish between heresy and schism, and you can't really do it, because you can't say, "Your separation from this visible manifestation of the invisible Body of Christ is a horrible sin!" Obvious Retort: "According to Scripture passages, etc. this doctrinal determination is incorrect, and we're leaving!" ad infinitum. "If I submit only when I agree, the one to whom I submit is me." This insight kills Protestantism, and any possible legitimacy for "cafeteria" Catholicism. [You gonna break it to the Anglicans?--ed] No. They know. They've known since at least the 1890s that the party's over.

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