All they were left with was the Reformer's faith in the individual's intuitive ability to interpret life's big questions unaided. They reduced the Reformer's slogan "Sola Scriptura," to merely "Sola!
Indeed why not invent a whole new world and redeem mankind through art, social engineering and science rather than spiritual renewal? Both the parent, Protestantism, the child, the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment's derivative, the Romantic movement, were dominant in early American thinking, in which a climate of rebellion against Holy Tradition, sacramentality, hierarchy, community, patriarchy, the teaching of the historical Church, repentance from greed and self-indulgence and finally God, thrived.
The real focus of the American Protestant spirit soon became one that held that no authority exists outside of the individual.
Admittedly, I don't completely think Schaeffer's assessment is fair. Sin, atheism, moral relativism, rebellion, etc all existed prior to The Great Schism and the Reformation. That does not mean, however, that his argument is completely debunked or that these events did not contribute to the current situation. Schaeffer also rejects the idea that one can simply turn to a more conservative line of Protestantism to solve these problems.
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Both equally reject the authority of the historic apostolic Church established by Christ. Without the guidance of Holy Tradition, both are left with little more than personalized, deconstructed and subjective readings of the Scripture on which to base competing theological and moral claims They replace the historic Church's Holy Tradition with themselves--personally.
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Each individual becomes his or her own 'ecumenical council,' 'bishop' and 'priest. Each Protestant claims to base his or her ideas--which are often contradictory one of another--'on Scripture. A high price has been paid for egocentric, self centered, individualistic Protestant style of 'spirituality' which has ignored the wisdom of the ages. Protestant 'Conservatives' and 'Liberals' have not succeeded in achieving agreement, even among themselves, as to what the Bible 'says. Ironically, Protestant theologians are the fathers of deconstructionism.
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It is they who abandoned both the historic and spiritual context from which the Bible came. Modern Protestantism has rendered the meaning of the text unintelligible beyond individual emotional responses. And so the circle of subjectivity is completed. Faith is now personalized into a 'born-again experience. This type of spiritually arrogant, anti-communitarian, 'intuitive' reading of the Bible, without regard for history, liturgical worship, context or interpretation by the historic Church reduces the Bible to personalized mush, not very different from the astrological charts printed daily in the tabloid newspapers It is also the most damning testimony available to the secularistic scoffer; Biblical Christianity is an irrational religion for the emotionally unstable and gullible Ironically, some Protestants, including those who call themselves 'Fundamentalists,' while paying lip service to 'biblical inerrancy' and while believing they are sincerely 'looking to the Bible' as their 'sole source' of spiritual guidance, nevertheless, by taking verses out of the historic context of Holy Tradition and liturgical worship, de-historicize the Bible.
Thus fundamentalist Protestants are in this sense no less liberal than the Liberal Protestants they loudly denounce and loathe. Both manage to effectively reduce the Bible's historical authority to zero by removing it from the context of the community of faith: Let us remember the roots of this type of subjective Biblical interpretation go back to the very beginning of the Protestant rebellion. It was Martin Luther who wanted to drop various books of the Bible not in accordance with his personalized, subjective theology.
Just as Martin Luther had the audacity to add words to the Bible in his German translation, and to suggest the elimination of whole Biblical books, so today's Protestants continue in Luther's unholy anarchy by further personalizing Bible study and further removing it from the context of sacramental communal worship. As a result, Protestants routinely misinterpret verses about healing, prosperity, blessing and priestly authority.
Dancing Alone - Single by Axwell Λ Ingrosso & RØMANS on Apple Music
Blinded by faulty self-serving 'Bible study,' of the kind Calvin said was better than dependency on Holy Tradition, Protestants have traveled far from historic Christianity Cut off from historical tradition and precedent, legitimate apostolic Church hierarchy and God-given, legitimate sacramental worship, Protestant pastors have become their own self-appointed individual 'popes.
Unwilling to personally submit to the discipline of spiritual fathers, they can hardly call others to moral accountability Some may call themselves 'Conservative,' but such claims ring hollow in the context of a reactionary Protestantism that has failed to honor--let alone conserve--the essentials of Christian worship, order, unity, discipline and Holy Tradition. The spiritually impoverished parishioners in most Protestant congregations have no one to appeal to and thus can either abide the make-it-up-as-you-go-along teaching of their mini-popes--the Protestant empire building 'pastor' or leader--or find another local 'church.
If they do not like any 'local church,' Protestants can start their own 'churches,' even whole denominations. Apr 25, Linda rated it did not like it Shelves: This is not a memoir of one man's conversion; it is an extended political rant with some very opinionated history mixed in. I don't disagree with many of his ideas, but I would rather not have spent my time plowing through three chapters before I suspected I was never going to get to the part about the author's spiritual journey.
I did skim ahead to be sure I wasn't missing "the good stuff"; I wasn't! SO glad I borrowed this from the library instead of buying it! Apr 02, Volkert rated it it was amazing Shelves: All the reviews of this book give you a good idea of how this title can impact various people such diverse ways. All I want to add is that in May of as a "freelance Evangelical", I went to hear Frank Schaeffer speak simply to find out what happened to "Franky," son of Francis Schaeffer, the influential Evangelical thinker.
I walked away overwhelmed and with an autographed copy of "Dancing Alone" in my hand. I devoured this book within days, and it set me on a course of studying the Early Chu All the reviews of this book give you a good idea of how this title can impact various people such diverse ways. I devoured this book within days, and it set me on a course of studying the Early Church, re-evaluating the Protestant Reformation, and eventually "coming home" to the Orthodox Christian Church on Christmas Eve Thank you Frank, for speaking out as forcefully as your blessed dad used to do. You took me by surprise and got my attention.
Written on May 11, , copied from another review site Mar 07, Doug Sullivan rated it it was ok. Even if I agreed with Schaeffer--and I don't--his style in making the case for a return to Orthodoxy is to wear you down on his subjective take on church history, which inevitably leads you to his conclusions on why he switched his faith based on the merits of Orthodox worship and practice, but against such a slanderous view of Protestant faith it is embarrassing to read. I suppose I can't disagree with the author's personal experience, but to characterize all Protestan This was.
I suppose I can't disagree with the author's personal experience, but to characterize all Protestant faith by such narrow views ruins the credibility of the opinion. Thus this was interesting, but far from compelling or even credible. Nov 14, Scott rated it really liked it.
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