Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sola Scriptura

DG Hart writes a fascinating piece on an element, often taken for granted, of one of the tenets of Protestantism: Sola Scriptura. He argues that rather than emphasizing the personal devotion of churchgoers, as is largely assumed today upon discussion of Sola Scriptura, "Anyone who reads the early sermons or commentaries of the reformers" would see that the "chief element of the Reformation was not individual or subjective but corporate and objective."


Hart goes on in "The Nature of Reform" to state that

"Obviously, conditions are not today what they were in sixteenth-century Europe and Protestant concerns about personal holiness may be a welcome addition to character of being Protestant.  At the same time, churches today give every sign of needing the kind of reform for which Calvin and others called in the sixteenth century.  In fact, a plausible case could be made that a turn toward personal godliness has come at the expense of zeal for the faithfulness in the forms and ministry of the institutional church.  Protestants today may want to reconnect with those original objections to Roman Catholicism to understand that the institutional church was not inconsequential to the recovery of the gospel or the cultivation of holy living.  It was actually the reverse."


On Reformation Italy find also an interesting discussion of early American anti-Catholocism ("The Good, The Bad, The Un-Christian") with gems such as this:

"If Rome was an opponent of republican forms of government and liberalization of thought and economic life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, American Protestants were equally wedded to modern political arrangements in their condemnation of Roman Catholicism. Rome stood for ignorance, bigotry, and superstition while Protestants conceived of the Reformation as a harbinger of the Enlightenment, like General Electric, bringing the good things of knowledge, tolerance, free markets, and political liberty to light."


I love reading DG Hart. 


Read further for Hart's very concise argument for remaining Protestant today (a series which he promises to continue for us here). 






ps. I don't know what happened to my links, but they are there, you just have to hover over the words to find them!

1 comment:

Anna C said...

Ooh, lovely stuff. Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to read his thoughts on remaining Protestant.