Tuesday, 2 October 2007

question everything

More from Out of the Storm:

When Luther gave men the open Bible he gave them permission – by the application of plain reason to the text – to challenge centuries of official Church teaching. Well, if the pope and his minions were wrong, who was to say that other authorities might not also be doubted? Without intending to do so Luther encouraged men to use their God-given intellect to question everything.

Question for today - I know I'm happy asking questions about everything - but am I happy listening to questions?
And more pertinently, am I happy to change as my response to those questions?


That Hideous Man said...

Luther envisaged substituting the authority of the Roman magisterium with the authority of scripture. What we got was the abolition of authority - or more accurately the enthronement of the authority of the individual, which sees its full flowering in the reader-response hermeneutic.

So my question for today is this: if we each can question and answer for ourselves, what is to hold us together?

Tia Lynn said...

I believe Jesus is our authority, and scripture leads us to Jesus, however, it's people's interpretation of scripture that I question and believe should constantly be questioned. Paul even encourages this among believers when he admonishes that we "TEST ALL THINGS." in 1 Thess. 5.

The "authorities" throughout history have used scripture to justify genocide, wars, the crusades, racism, sexism, militarism, witch hunts, etc. etc. The church might have been "kept together" but their "unity" that came as a result of blind alliegence lead to some of the darkest moments in history.

We have to keep questioning, keep seeking, and grant each other the freedom to pursue truth in different ways...that is true unity.

That Hideous Man said...

Hello Tia Lynn, my comment wasn't meant to decry questioning, precisely because I agree with much of your historical analysis, and because I wasn't proposing a unity-at-all-costs.

If however, the imminent danger facing the church is total fragmentation, rather than military crusading (which is certainly the case where I am), then my question for 'today' should possibly be adjusted to: AS we question and answer for ourselves, what is to hold us together?

Roman Catholic theologians have long pointed out that the historically Protestant countries are suffering the devastating effects of the absence of community in the face of individualism and consumerism, and that protestant churches are inherently and permanently schismatic too. The blame is laid at Luther's door!It is a powerful crtique which Protestant theologians have only partially answered.

So if we need the power of questioning to reduce the abuse of power. What do we also need to hold us together?

The accepted norm is that church and community are voluntary clubs, which should be joined/left in a consumerist assessment of product satisfaction. In the face of this I personally have the choice; opt out and have an easier life, or question this status quo.

I think it is more Luther-ist to question!

His Girl Friday said...

I also agree that we need to 'test all things'. Some of the factors that should hold us together is 'brotherly love', forgiveness, forbearance, self-lessness. These are ideals to strive for, as after all we are only human! :)

Christians can be short on some of these things as evidenced by the rift occurring in the churches, when we should be the example. Honestly, over the years, I've met more non-Christians who act Christ-like in helping, when the goings have gotten tough for myself and my family. (disclaimer, I'm not perfect in 'self-lessness' department, and am constantly working on being aware of any selfishness)