Saturday, April 25, 2009

Object Lesson - Hermeneutics Run Amok

If one won't be constrained by the Church's Tradition, his understanding of the Bible is liable to run aground.

Pelikan gives us, in his book on Mary, an example:
It is worth remembering that some centuries [after the early Middle Ages], by a somewhat similar process [referring to that by which the Blessed Virgin came to be identified as the woman of Revelation 12], some descendants of the Protestant Reformation had no compunction about identifying the 'angel having the everlasting gospel' in the Book of Revelation [14:6-7] with the person and ministry of Martin Luther. [p. 33]

A more egregious and sad example could be found in the example here. The author makes a case, based upon the Bible, for refusing to call himself a Christian or be involved in Christianity anymore. Note: he's not an atheist; he has gone down the road of sola scriptura and private judgment, and this is where it has led him. It's a sad story (and a bit bizarre at times).

This is an almost textbook case of why we must "read the Scripture within the living Tradition of the whole Church" (CCC §113). It is an essential fence for us, keeping us sheep from wandering astray.

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