Well, I was reading this thread: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=12879524#post12879524 , and ProdglArchitect got me thinking about Protestantism’s relationship with Modernism. So, since my thoughts flow through my mind faster than I can examine them I wrote this to hold them down:
The Roots of Heresy
The deep problem with Protestantism is that it doesn’t exist.
Now, I don’t mean that it literally doesn’t exist (anyone can walk down the streets of Pittsburgh and see all the different denominations). What I mean is that Protestants define their very existence on an absence, on a lack of something. Specifically, that something that Protestants deny are other parts of Catholicism.
Think about it. Protestants claim that what separates them from the Catholics is their belief in salvation by faith and revelation by Scripture. The problem is that these beliefs are accepted by both groups. Catholics most certainly believe that we are saved by faith and that God is revealed by Scripture. These beliefs do not divide the Protestants from the Catholics. Rather, what divides the two are the Protestants’ insistence on faith alone and Scripture alone. These doctrines are just a fancy way of saying to a Catholic, “we accept Scripture, but not the rest of Tradition” and “we accept Grace through faith, but not Grace through works.” Protestants accept aspects of Catholicism, yet deny other aspects, ultimately in an arbitrary way (When a Protestant claims that he is “guided by the Holy Spirit,” what he really means is that he is “guided by his own spirit”). In the context of Catholic/Protestant argument, Sola Scriptura is just the absence of the belief in Tradition, and Sola Fide is just the absence of belief in Grace through works.
Therefore, Protestantism doesn’t exist. Its proponents are parasites on authentic Apostolic Christianity. The very name “Protestant” (“protest” + “ant”= “one who protests”) reveals that they only exist because of Catholicism. The Catholic faith is bigger than the Protestant faith, as the Protestants are trapped in their “prison of one idea,” as G. K. Chesterton would put it. It’s modern reductionism at work. In fact, since modern philosophy is ultimately based, in part, on a principle of reductionism (via Ockham and his razor), Protestantism can be thought of as what happens when modernism enters Christianity (there is a reason why the Catholics, Orthodox, Coptics, etc. (Churches that existed in the ancient times) agree where the Protestants disagree, especially on the definition of Grace).
To be continued…