Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Worst theological inventions!

Ben is holding a vote on the "Worst theological invention" and is now accepting nominations.

I nominated (in no particular order)
  • Double predestination
  • Sola Scriptura
  • Male-only priesthood
  • cuius regio, euis religio
  • Just war
Double predestination not only turns God into a demon, but it also, according to Max Weber is responisble for capitalism. That's hard to top.

Sola Scriptura is just silly, there where Christianity long before the NT existed. I like to see the new testament and all subsequent theology as a commentary to the Eucharist.

Male-only priesthood, a case of the Church mirroring earth rather than heaven. Mary Magdalene was the first apostle, and Pete was the first man who didn't get it.

Cuius Regio, eius Religio is together with Constantinism (nominated by Halden) the foundation of the State Church. It is the notion that the ruler decides the faith of the citizens. A bit hard to swallow that one, still, very popular during the reformation. It was always bad, today it still keeps the post-state churches of Northern Europe to be, you know, Church.

Finally, Just war, a natural consequence of the state church, where the church has to be "reasonable" in the eyes of the rulers. Without it, no Crusades, no 30-year war etcetera. For crying out loud, we believe in a God who let himself be killed. Is there anything less warlike than that?


Amanda said...

What are the alternatives to Sola Scriptura? Thanks!

Patrik said...

There has to be a community interpreting the bible in some way. This community is held together by shared rituals (baptism, liturgy, Eucharist...). The other extreme would be to sanction "tradition" as inspired, which is equally problematic, but the number of ways the bible can be interpreted (visible in the number of churches claiming it as their basis) shows that sola scriptura is impossible.

Aliocha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aliocha said...

I simply cannot agree with your condemnation of male-only priesthood.
And I can agree even less with your justification for it: "a case of Church mirroring earth rather than heaven."

Be honest, what are you saying here, what is it that you are criticizing, who is it that you are criticizing?

"Look Jesus, it was actually a dumb and sexist idea to have 12 apostles, all men. You should have chosen women as well."

Is that what you are saying?

I would just like to remind you that St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Chiara of Assisi, and a countless number of other women have been of crucial importance to the Church. None of them seemed to miss the ordained priesthood.

You can find a post expressing my view on the subject better that I could have done myself here

tck said...

"Sola Scriptura is just silly, there where Christianity long before the NT existed. I like to see the new testament and all subsequent theology as a commentary to the Eucharist."

Ok, I'm sorry if I come across as "harsh" or impolite, it's just that I'm a bit short on time when commenting an interesting theme. :)

#1: 1 Tim 4:16a: "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine".. What doctrine is Paul referring to here?

#2: Jesus prayed: "I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word"..

Do you believe the Bible is inspired by God?

#3: The Bible mentions people becoming Christians before the NT texts were even written. (Apg 2:41 for instance) However, God's Word is eternal, (1 Pet 1:23-25) so whether it comes by reading 2000 years later, or hearing it at the day of Pentecost, "the Word" is still the same.

#4: What do you mean by saying "The new testament and all subsequent theology [is] a commentary to the Eucharist."?

I echo what you say about cuius regio, eius religio though.


fidesetratio said...

While I agree with four out of your five suggestions, the male-only priesthood is most certainly not an earth-mirroring doctrine. It was established by Christ, taught to the Apostles by Him and faithfully maintained by the Church ever since.
Neither Mary Magdalene nor Mary the mother of Christ were ordained, because this doctrine originated directly in the teaching and instruction of Jesus Christ and it has been preserved as Apostolic Tradition ever since.
While there were women priests at the time of Jesus, they were pagan priestesses and most definitely not ordained priests of the Christian faith.