Friday, October 22, 2010

Giving credibility to a caricature

I can't recall who said it first, but there is an oft quoted axiom in Orthodoxy that all Protestants are crypto-papalists. "All" is a term I would probably shy away from out of my aversion to speaking in absolutes. But I would say it likely applies well enough to the Evangelical wing of Protestantism. The only difference I see is in the number of Popes. Rome has only one infallible arbiter of doctrine, where in contrast Protestantism has several hundreds of millions,with predictable results.

If in doubt one may peruse some of the more recent comments on this already referenced Anglican blog post. It never ceases to amaze me that people who are generally so well versed in Scripture could keep missing the part that forbids private interpretation. For my part I don't debate sola scriptura anymore. It's usually pointless (adherents are almost always impervious to reason or logic) and frankly, it's rather unsporting. A bit like shooting fish in a barrel.

Giving credit where it's due the Roman Catholics have over the years pretty effectively demolished this silliness. That it persists is simply a sign of the hold that heresy can gain over people.


melxiopp said...

The idea that all Protestants are crypto-Papists comes from Khomiakov. It is the first line of the Introduction to Ware's "The Orthodox Church". See here:

melxiopp said...

The line appears in Alexei Khomiakov's "Third Letter" to William Palmer and can be read in full here:

Vjekoslav said...

Where does scripture forbid personal interpretation?

(I'm not a protestant picking a fight, I'm just interested, Sola Scriptura is nothing I know very little about.)


Ingemar said...


That would be 2 Peter 1:20-21.

Reader Polycarp Sherwood said...

also Acts 8:26-40