Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Another take on "private judgement"

An interesting discussion at the PONTIFICATIONS blog that also continues the subject I recently discussed regarding private judgement.


Sitting in the Ruins
by Alvin Kimel


The claim of the Catholic Church to be the Church offends. Her demand to surrender one’s private judgment to her infallible teaching authority scandalizes. Yet every sinner needs to make this surrender, this submission of mind and heart. Only by this surrender are we saved from our ideas of who God is, from our ideas of what Church is, from our ideas of what salvation is, from our ideas of what truth is. The Catholic Church saves us from our ideas and gives us the reality of God and his salvation.

In a very real sense, Protestantism cannot save humanity because Protestantism is private judgment. Please do not misunderstand. I am not suggesting that God is not present and active in powerful, saving ways in Protestant Christianity. I could not suggest that without denying my own salvation. I am not denying the millions of souls who have been saved through the witness of committed Protestant believers and preachers. I am not denying the liberating work and presence of the Holy Spirit in Protestant congregations. But the fact remains that no Protestant is ever asked to surrender his judgment to an infallible living authority. No Protestant is ever asked to believe in the Church. Even the most patristic Anglican retains the right to adjudicate between the competing testimonies of Scripture, tradition, and reason. Even the most devout fundamentalist retains the right to his private interpretation of Scripture.

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