September 9, 2007

"out of touch with the body of Christ"

[Thanks to David Schütz, and Louise...]

Peter Holmes writes:

Several friends have, of late, admitted they send their children to Protestant bible classes because "there is nothing Catholic" or "the Protestants are much better at this" and the old "at least they are getting something."

I surprised them by advising they remove their children immediately and take steps to remedy the damage done so far. "But isn't it better that they know Scripture? Isn't that what you've been saying all along?" they protest. My point wasn't about knowing Scripture. It was about knowing the truth, and where it all fits.

As an evangelical I learned 200-300 verses a year in Sunday School and had to recite them all at the end to get my 'prize', and yet never understood sin or grace. I understood a wickedly twisted version invented (in human terms) by a reformer hundreds of years ago, and seemingly supported by the selective choice of verses interpreted by my teachers.

As a Lutheran seminarian I read the Bible backwards, forwards in the original Hebrew and Hebrew, in later translations of Latin, German and various historic English translations. I learned critical method and medieval exegesis, read the fathers take on Scripture and STILL didn't understand grace and sin (I persist with these examples though there are many others) in the Catholic sense.

It's hard for a Catholic with a positive outlook to suspect a Protestant is undermining their belief when they use all the same words, even some of the same formulae, but only discover later that they mean different things. (The joint statements b/w Catholics and Protestants tend to be full of such language.)

If a Protestant encourages me to read the Scriptures, that is a great and noble thing. If they offer to TEACH me the Scriptures, I have to decline. They are lacking the context they were written from, and into. They are out of touch with the body of Christ that preserved them and interprets them authoritatively.

Specifically they justify their non-catholicity on the basis of Scripture. We should expect their interpretation to contradict the Church not only in some aspects, but in method, content, context and in spirit.

I am astounded when good Catholics, who would not let a religious sister or priest within a mile of their children's faith education, will entrust their education in the central aspect of the Catholic Tradition to people who reject Catholicism...

I'm just starting to understand the slight-of-hand involved in supporting Protestant theology sola scriptura. Fascinatin' subject. A book to begin with is Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, by David Currie. Charlene and I both give it our highest marks...

"Random Thoughts Sundays"250

Posted by John Weidner at September 9, 2007 7:08 AM
Weblog by John Weidner