Saturday, 21 May 2011

Jumping the gun ....again

Well, we're still here!
There was an entertaining post by Fr Dwight Longenecker [here] a few days ago about the American fundamentalist who has predicted the end of the world and 'the Rapture' (I was actually in my 40s before I'd even heard of that one, poor sheltered Anglo-Catholic that I am) for 6 p.m. today. Well, putting U.S. time zones on one side, I think that's a deadline we can safely ignore.
But Fr Longenecker went on to say this:
"The proponent of sola Scriptura will argue that not everyone is quite as looped as he is. Maybe not, but their methodology and foundational assumptions are the same. Whether it is a sophisticated Episcopalian liberal theologian or a conservative and sensible Presbyterian pastor or a left wing New Testament scholar or a snake handler or Mr.Camping--they've all got no more authority than each other because for each of them its just them and their Bible."

Fair comment if a little sweeping, one might think - at least its true for those (relatively few?) who really do consistently adhere to sola Scriptura. But the "sophisticated Episcopal liberal theologian?" No.  I don't think anyone could accuse them of taking the Bible that seriously - that's part of the charm of Anglican liberals in an odd sort of way. But it's their ultimate tragedy, too, (and ours) that the absence of a final appeal to scriptural authority isn't compensated for by an acceptance of that of the living community of faith (aka the Church's magisterium?), either. I'll stop now before someone accuses me of turning into some kind of modernist.

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