Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fred Noltie, For The Win!

I had a few thoughts on this. In the first case, they are likely responding to liberals, or some other "bad people" who disagreed. In the latter case, I suspect it's a set-up, to convince broad evangelicals that they need to be Reformed (and that an appeal to scholarship will settle the interpretive disagreement). But everybody has their Captain Jack. We're back to the original problem. And pointing out the potential problems in the Catholic way of thinking doesn't really do anything against the Noltie Conundrum, which stated essentially is, "What is the doctrine of God on these essential matters of faith, given the fact of interpretive disagreement, in spite of the mutual appeal to the Holy Spirit?" A tie goes to the papists, essentially because the Reformation promised doctrinal and moral certainty and clarity, against the backdrop of the Papacy's "failure," both real and imagined. It doesn't make Catholicism true, but it gives a reasonable person a reason to re-examine the Catholic interpretive paradigm.

Trueman would have us believe that it is foolish to believe the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded because...people are sinners? Really? That's what you're going with, Violin? [You just tweaked Carl Trueman with a "New Girl" reference. I'm so ashamed.--ed.]

The only question that matters is, "What did God say, and to whom has he entrusted that message of salvation?" Once we realize that nothing in the Reformation can actually help us answer that question without begging the question, we are forced to look again to the Church.

There's little point in being an "ecclesial" anything under this Reformation paradigm, because the same suspicion of ecclesiastical authority that gave the movement its driving force could be turned against any of the communities formed subsequently--and this is the point--any of their doctrines. It's a spirit of rebellion and chaos, and it cannot be turned back with ad hoc appeals to consensus or history. If there is no Church--a visible, identifiable community with a rule of faith, then there is, in a sense, no Christ in the world. It's that important. Your choice.


Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that the first one is from CBD, and the second one is from Logos: neither of them is famous for being strictly Reformed. :-)

I can't figure it out. On the one hand, it sounds like Logos is saying "You need our stuff" for one reason, and CBD is saying "You need our stuff" for the exact opposite relation to the same subject matter. The only way they can avoid breaking the rule of non-contradiction is to be targeting different audiences, as you say, but I would be inclined to describe *both* companies as broadly evangelical.

It's just ad copy, but I think it accurately characterizes the two horns of the dilemma: magisterium (of the academics, in this case) vs. primacy of conscience. They can't have both.


Jason said...

That same dilemma is what Stellman has described as the inability to distinguish revelation from opinion, also represented in my axiom. :) Thanks for your thoughts on the trip along those lines.