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The Protestant as Critic

The liberal Protestant is essentially a critic. He is a critic of the Bible, a critic of tradition, a critic of traditional Christian morality, a critic of anything that is the received religion. The liberal Protestant feels obliged to pick it apart, reduce it to facts and submit the mysteries of the faith to human reason.

One wonders, if this is true for the “liberal protestant”, is it any less true for the consevative species thereof?  The question really seems to be whether or not the particular mode of protestant criticizing is a movement of the Spirit to reshape the catholic church according to the will of Christ.  Of course the fragmentary, reactionary, and disunified state of protestantism would seem to mitigate or at least severely chasten such an interpretation, wouldn’t it?

 H/T: Fr. Dwight Longenecker

4 Comments

  1. freder1ck wrote:

    Here’s another one, which exposes the same cynical spirit as above in non-Protestant circles:

    Q. How do you satisfy a traditionalist? A. Nothing satisfies a traditionalist

    Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Ben wrote:

    Haha, true freder1ck!

    We have a wonderful and very traditional priest at my parish, who tries to bring back the old traditions bit by bit and tries to keep out the silliness.

    He is by far the best priests in the area, and still I hear the carping of the radical traditionalists over every silly Pharasee point.

    On the other hand, how do you appease a liberal? Nothing appeases a liberal, allow him to change the music, and he will try next to change the faith.

    Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 8:33 pm | Permalink
  3. freder1ck wrote:

    Ben,

    here’s another joke I’ve heard:
    “What’s the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist?” Answer: “You can negotiate with a terrorist.”

    These jokes indicate that we’re pretty far from the prayers of Jesus in John 17:21. It’s good to have structures or relationships that support unity, but it’s essential to have a desire for unity, a mutual love and oneheartedness. This shared life begins with those nearest us (even as we keep in mind the whole).

    Monday, December 24, 2007 at 9:17 am | Permalink
  4. storbakken wrote:

    The Church is the body of Christ. It is living and organic. When the Protestant Reformation occurred it was, in a sense, renewing the Body by shedding dead cells (i.e. indulgences, empty tradition, etc.).

    It is not just the Catholic Church, but also the Orthodox, Coptic and Protestant Churches of today that are in desperate need of this renewal. These dead cells have become scales on the eyes of the Church, and need to be removed so that She can see and be nourished by the Living God.

    Monday, December 24, 2007 at 9:52 am | Permalink

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