Credo in Unum Deum

I Believe in One God

Rudolf Carnap and Protestantism

As I consider Rudy C’s Theory of Frameworks, I can’t help but wonder if maybe he was a Protestant- even though he eschewed metaphysics and religion in general.  But really, his theory of frameworks involves so much subjectivism that it is hard not to make the connection.  How shall we talk about the world without using words that refer to entities or universals which do not have any real existence? he asks us.  Well, we can still use those terms without ascribing real existence to them.  They are merely terms of expedience which may render more fruitful our scientific pursuits.  Now that is the key.  Scienctific advancement is the highest good- of course, I don’t mean “good” in the sense that “goodness” is a really existing idea, I must be using it for its expedience and fruitfulness in conveying to you what our god is… woops… well you get the really existing non-existent point.  The existential problem I have with Carnap is that he seems to believe that he has said something really important.  His rejection of metaphysics (well, mainly his rejection of God) led him and his collegues in the positivist movement into some really weird parts of the thought world.  And they thought that they were really saying something important to and for the world.  Insane.

Well, how does this relate to Protestantism?  I mean, Protestants have not generally rejected metaphysics or religion.  But the relativism and subjectivism and use of theology for its expediency or fruitfulness and just an in general utilitarian attitude toward dogmatic truth is what made the connection for me.  I am also aware that there are those who are very dogmatic (even without warrant- like I was when I was Protestant) about distinctly “Christian” belief and morals.  Now, there is absolutely no argument in the world, aside from a psychological argument (the famous Argument from Feelings used by so many Christian philosophers down through the ages… wait……), for the truth of Protestantism.  Now, the same holds for Rudy C’s Theory of Frameworks, aside from the Argument from Perceived Expediency and Fruitfulness (also used by countless great thinkers since Socrates… wait……).  And the funny (read “sad”) thing is that Protestants think they have something salvifically important to say to and for the world.  What is the gospel?  “Believe the Gospel and you will be saved,” says our Founder, Jesus.  OK.  Tell me what is that gospel.   What did Jesus mean by that?  It seems that this must be the central message of Christianity.  Believe this and you will be saved.

I don’t know how many versions I heard while I was Protestant.  Nor how many times I heard from other Protestants that Pastor so-and-so didn’t even understand the gospel, or I didn’t understand the gospel because he or I was Arminian or Calvinist.  So you see, it is quite sad to see Protestants giving the “gospel” to people when they have not come to agree on what the content of the gospel is.  And if they are not giving the gospel that the Apostles handed down, then, and this follows inescapably, they are giving a different gospel.  And Paul pronounces an anathema upon them.

Now I am sarcastic often.  But I have friends and family that are Protestant who claim to know the gospel and pass judgment on others whom they say do not understand or even know what the gospel is.  It does truly sadden me.  I mock not them, only the beliefs they hold.  I think we can legitimately do that.  Lets remember to attack ideas and not people.  But in this case, it is hard because of the statements and self-understanding of these Protestants who think they have something salvifically important to say to and for the world.  I hate their ideas, and weep for the people.  Jesus died to save them.  I pray that they are indeed saved in the end.

 I have also previewed here just a little of where my next entry On The Difference Between Catholicism and Protestant (PART III) will be going. 

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July 17, 2007 - Posted by | Philosophy, Religion

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