Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bishops and Sola scriptura

The Boston globe had an interesting article this week, one that makes me shake my head. We won't even have on set confession (Don't get me started on that- we absolutely should), and yet, apparently, we now have bishops in baptist churches.

This is a movement that I cant wrap my mind around. It's a strange step back towards Catholicism, and one that requires a strange theological twist. One of the key things that the reformers like Luther and Calvin argued against was the authority of the pope (along with apostolic succession).

As I look at this issue, i think that there are several issues in play. The first is the reformation view of sola scriptura (Latin for "by scripture alone"). This is one of the five sola's on which the reformation was built (Sola Scriptura-Scripture Alone, Solus Christus - Christ Alone, Sola Gratia - Grace Alone, Sola Fide - Faith Alone, Soli Deo Gloria - The Glory of God Alone). The doctrine of Sola Scripture teaches that scripture alone is sufficient.

The issue is authority. The scripture, or someone that is “appointed”. What's really odd is that if anyone gets a magic mitre, it should be  someone like the executive director of the state, who essentially does the work a Bishop (but with a different title). This feels to me a bit like Napoleon crowning himself, rather than the cardinal laying his hand on someone to promote them. I’m just curious where this goes, and what’s the endgame. To me this is just something for which the world can mock Christians, which causes the kingdom to lose.

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