Saturday, November 21, 2009

Unity or Disunity?

I recently came across the following comment:
Protestant epistemology has lead to the creation of thousands upon thousands of divided Protestant sects that cannot come together and agree on a single point of doctrine. What is the source of that Protestant doctrinal chaos if it is not the doctrine of sola scriptura? Does the Baptist man I mentioned really believe anything different than the tens of millions of Protestants that also claim to believe that the Protestant Bible is the ONLY source of infallible authority for a Christian?

Did you notice something interesting? The claim is that all these "sects" (meaning denominations) cannot agree "on a single point of doctrine." But then we are essentially given two points of alleged agreement:

1) The Protestant Canon

2) Sola Scriptura

We could probably add other things as well, such as theism and a rejection of the fictions of the papacy and purgatory. In fact, there are a huge number of beliefs that are characteristic of virtually all (if not absolutely all) of this mass of supposedly dis-unified brethren.

The critic wants to have it both ways: he wants to claim that this huge mass of denominations can't agree on anything, and that they do agree on a couple things that the critic himself rejects. It's really not a fair criticism, but it is remarkable in how blatantly unfair it is!



Anonymous said...

Not wanting to disagree with my friend, I have to place emphasis on this portion and disagree in a sense you would agree with me, I hope?

That portion:::> "....but it is remarkable in how blatantly unfair it is!...".

I don't see it that way.

I would find it remarkable if it was fair in the criticism. Seeing it is true to presuppositional theology, that is, the devil underlies the premise it makes perfectly good sense to me that he would be so critical! :)

You, on the other hand, are just critical.

The differences though are like "Light" speaking out of darkness and darkness calling itself "light" blinding those followers blinded by the criticism.

And we both know the Scripture, don't we?

Blind? Yes, blind!

Luk 6:39 He also told them a parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?
Luk 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.

Therefore I refer us that would see to these Words:::>

Joh 9:34 They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?" And they cast him out.
Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
Joh 9:36 He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?"
Joh 9:37 Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you."
Joh 9:38 He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.
Joh 9:39 Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."

"Speaking for myself now, I too was born in utter sin". Weren't you?

Now I see, now I see!

Psa 130:1 A Song of Ascents. Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!
Psa 130:2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!
Psa 130:3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
Psa 130:4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.

steve said...

Good point! By definition, all non-Catholic believers are united in their rejection of Catholic distinctives.

John Bugay said...

TF, thank you for hanging in there and addressing that thread with patience and erudition.

bkaycee said...

Hey, whatever it takes to get "heretics" to kiss the Popes ring.

orthodox said...

Well he didn't actually say Protestants agree on the canon, he just compared a Baptist to other Protestants with the same canon.

Protestants agree on sola scriptura, and agree on the Pope? They wouldn't be protestants if they didn't. So you define a group P by distinctives A, B and C and then cry how wonderful it is that all people in group P agree with A, B and C!

Turretinfan said...


You make an interesting point. You have overlooked, however, that (a) we didn't set the parameters of the comparison, and (b) the "Roman Catholic" designation is even more loaded than the "Protestant" designation.


Lucian said...

I thought about the issue, and I admit that 30,000 denominations is not the same as 30,000 religions (the Orthodox Church itself was counted as having 1,000 denominations), but there is obviously a great deal of truth in the fact that Protestantism as a whole is way too variate in comparison to Catholicism or Orthodoxy:

here's how I see it: I see Protestantism as a continuous spectrum:

(1) no predestination (Arminius); simple predestination (Luther); double predestination (Calvin).

(2) infant baptism; believer's baptism.

(3) episcopal church government; presbyterian church government; congregationalism;

(4) consubstantiation (Luther); communion by faith, without actual change in the elements (Calvin); mere symbolism (Zwingli).

(5) etc.

So it seems like Protestantism can cover (or hold) any opinion regarding any subject.

Turretinfan said...

Oh, the bin "Protestantism" is a very large and varied bin. No doubt about that.