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Thursday, September 01, 2016

The Center Will Not Hold: Further Thoughts

Practically, Sola Scriptura goes by another name: ecclesial fallibility. We saw before that a person who has no obligation to believe some ecclesiastical court is correct isn't going to defer in the future, simply because the new authority isn't Catholic. There is no principled position between "me and my Bible" and Catholicism. The purpose of Protestantism is to affirm the individual interpretation of Scripture. The resulting chaos is not an aberration or fluke. The honest Christian begins to question the Protestant methodology precisely when he cannot determine in a principled way the difference between divine revelation, and his own opinion.

What we affectionately dub "The Noltie Conundrum" illustrates another aspect of the problem, that is, ascertaining the content of what God has revealed, given mutually exclusive claims about that content, in light of a mutual invocation of the Holy Spirit.

It is a Protestant dilemma, on Protestant terms. It will not make you Catholic by itself, but it may well open the door.

2 comments:

Nathan said...

This conundrum seems to rely on the Holy Spirit being a passive participant, invoked like a spell or a syllogism. There is no conundrum if the Holy Spirit is a person, able to speak for Himself. Want to know who is right in a theological dispute? Ask God.

Jason said...

On the contrary; this dilemma absolutely depends on the conviction that the Holy Spirit is speaking in the Scriptures, and indeed, to the participants.