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Friday, November 08, 2013

The Tyranny Of Intellectualism (Or, Too Many Books Makes You Stupid)

Here's this. But then, the same argument is here. Believe me, I sense the attractiveness of these arguments. But ad hoc is ad hoc. What is the principle by which these distinctions are made? If you find it, let me know. The Reformed world is opting for a "Magisterium" of expertise to hide the fact that this is the same Protestant paradigm offered by the Reformers, the same individualism at the heart of it, with respect to this question: "Who is the final arbiter of divine revelation?" If it's me, I can set up any number of appreciations and bookshelves to cover up the fact that I decide what counts as orthodoxy, in this paradigm. This is what Mathison couldn't see, and didn't want to acknowledge. Who decides what Scripture says? There are only two choices, ultimately: Either I do, or someone else does. If that someone else is a church of some kind, yet I still retain the right to decide when that body has gone wrong, it's still me. Dress it up any way you like. Write 20 books on history, wax eloquent on the Fathers, live in Idaho, be cultured. Doesn't matter. You're a highly cultured, highly credentialed fundamentalist. And if the Reformers were right about faith alone, perspicuity, and an invisible Church, own it. But let's cut the mess. The basic contours of the paradigms haven't changed, and you haven't changed them. Either "councils may err" or "I may err, but mother Church does not." Pick one.

Look, I understand that Darth Hoodie is terrifying. He walks on to the field, leading his team with their proud, now dynastic name: "Patriots". They beat most teams on pure fear. But the battle was the true test, and Baltimore was not afraid, even with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. New England came out with tricks and flash, but it was an open secret by the second quarter: Baltimore had the goods, and New England didn't. Peter Leithart is like Bill Belichick. He'll put on a good show, and if they cower, we can still pull this one out. But there's nothing here but trick plays. Don't fall for it. (I actually like the Patriots; it's just an analogy.)

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