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Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Consideration: The Legend Continues

Does anybody remember Evangelicals and Catholics Together? Reading that thing was uncomfortably hilarious. The good part about being evangelical is the freedom from whatever theology Dr. Live In The Moment decides is a buzzkill to his theological free love session. On the other hand, being ad hoc about it all is more than slightly not in character for the God of order.

Comedic generalizations aside, I need to warn you about these Catholics. They were and are setting you up. They took the dogmatic declarations from the sixth session of the Council of Trent, put them in evangelical-speak, and dared you to affirm them. And God bless you all, that's exactly what those evangelicals did. I'm telling you, that's exactly what happened. You've got to decide what even unwittingly agreeing with the Council of Trent means for you, but for me, that meant the war is over (if you want it). Sorry; I couldn't help myself.

In fairness to the Reformers, R. Scott Clark is completely right about that. Imputed righteousness and Sola Fide is the Reformation. Of course, they didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, in many respects. But if they weren't right about that, there's no reason to fight. That's why I asked rhetorically in one essay, "Does this protest still have merit?" You may think it does, but when I wrote that, it was because I had no reason to believe those assertions accurately reflected the life of faith within our communities, much less in the light of historical and theological continuity.

Now, it's all over the place, a historical amnesia born of equal parts hasty sentimentality, and fruitful biblical reflection. Because of this, I don't mind people calling a spade a spade, and despite whatever nuts His Holiness "The Blind Squirrel" may happen to find, it's still a false gospel, in their view. But when Rome re-raises, (let the reader understand) trust me; she's got the cards. It's possible in the abstract that Luther/Zwingli/whomever got the gospel right, but realize the problem this creates. It means that God, the Lover of Mankind, was playing "Where's Waldo?" with the only hope of mankind for a thousand years. Does that sound like something God would do?

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