Credo in Unum Deum

I Believe in One God

The Nominalist, Islamic and Sophist roots of Protestant Thinking

I have been listening to the esteemed Dr. Rao’s series on the legends created by enemies of the Catholic Church and what methods were used to debunk the Church throughout the ages.  He arrived at the Reformation and started making some very interesting points.

It seems that the distrust in natural reason to know anything for sure, which then led to a faith alone approach (literally alone- in fact, even contra-ratio), was accompanied with the notion that God’s will is supersupreme… so supersupreme that it can even do what it cannot possibly do.  The Laws that govern everything are arbitrary and could be changed in an instant.  The way of salvation could be one way today and if God willed it another way tomorrow.  Of course, this has its roots, in terms of “Christian” heresy, in the Muslim philosophers.  (Yes, Islam is a Christian heretical splinter group– shall we say the first major Protestant “Church”.)  Additionally, there was the humanist movement that was in full swing which was very adept at rhetoric and focussed more on quick wit than sharp logic and good reasoning.  Rao read numerous passages from Luther and Calvin as they took the age old approach of making your opponent look silly through mockery and not detached argument.  As Calvin put it, “Sure, little children can go for this popery, but not grown men…” and frequent name calling like Luther’s “popish asses”, and “drunk with the blood of the saints”, etc…  This goes back to Isocrates and his folks that were pounded by Plato and Aristotle.

This all held together with the emphasis on the “word” and its superiority.  Now the “word” was then taken to mean preeminently the “Word of God”, or the Bible.  This all a very puzzling situation, and as Rai points out in his talks, when different groups converge to try and take out the Church, they end up affirm mutually exclusive propositions in their efforts.  But many times they don’t see it, and worse, if they do, they contend that your human reason is not the judge of Scripture… Scripture is the judge of Scripture.  And if you question them on what that could possibly mean, they say, “So what do you have against the Bible?”  See how it works?  Quite odd indeed.

Well, this is not exhaustive and is only meant to make you think about something you might not have considered before… especially if you are protestant.  The whole mindset that went into doing the theology that resulted in the Protestant Reformation is a mindset that is dangerous and false.  That is not even to mention the fact that because of Luther, we got the Enlightenment and … ugh… Kant and his pals.

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July 9, 2008 Posted by | Religion | Leave a comment