Filed Under (Author, Dee Dee Warren) by dee dee on 26-02-2013
Repost: Originally posted on May 15, 2006
As I am reading that watershed edition of The Chalcedon Report (God bless you Andrew Sandlin!), I ran across a beautifully crafted statement of the torture of the Reformers in their appeals for legitimacy:
Biblical Authority and Christian Orthodoxy by Rev. Andrew Sandlin (opening paragraph)
It is a mistake often made by the sincere but naïve to us know that affirmation of formal Biblical authority (presupposing the Bible’s inspiration and infallibility) guarantees right belief. To this way of thinking, right belief about the Bible equals right Biblical belief. Few theological assumptions could be more mistaken. Nonetheless, this was the very cry of the so-called radical reformers, and eventually the Unitarians and other antitrinitarians, who wanted to pass their heresy off as a valid on the grounds of the reformers’ clarion call of sola scripture. It was far from the reformers’ minds, however, to overturn ancient Catholic orthodoxy enshrined in the ecumenical creeds. They were convinced that medieval accretions to Catholic orthodoxy polluted a vibrant Biblical Faith. To them, “Scripture alone” meant “No human authority — including the church — competes with Scripture.” It did not mean, “Lets summarily overthrow historic Christianity by a 16th-century recovery of primal Christianity in terms of an historically unconditioned reading of the Bible.” They were convinced — and they were right, that the Bible requires, by explication and implication — historic, Orthodox Christianity.
It really is a gross prostitution of the Reformers to claim them as justification for heresy without GREAT clarification, which clarification would indeed suck all the life out of the claim. For instance, if I ever quote a futurist author in support of my preterist point (not something minor), I would be deceiving my audience if I did not inform them that this author would NOT support my use of them ultimately - that they have arrived at radically different conclusions and would think I am DEAD wrong.
The hyperpreterists do not do this. They breezily refer to the Reformers without the acknowledgment that the Reformers would have gagged to have thought that they were being used to overturn such a foundational principle of the faith. They made it clear they were not departing from orthodoxy, and specifically creedal orthodoxy. And these are the very same men that come from the time (though I would clearly say that this is not an accusation I would lay at their collective feet, I am performing a logical strike at Samuel Frost’s histrionical accusation at me that I would burn him at the stake) when heretics were burned at the stake. I wonder if Samuel has a great problem with claiming such men as his justification? If not, is that not hypocritical? Does that mean he would burn, say, Servetus at the stake???