I’m going to tell everyone that I disagree with Scott Hahn

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Doesn’t mean that I actually do, however…

I’ve agreed with his view of sola scriptura, sola fide, and covenant theology (at least mostly for the latter). I am wrestling with his typological argument on Matthew 16.17-19. I like the fact that he is clear about his struggles and honest about his positions. He knew that he could no longer pastor a church feeling the way he did. That is admirable. It is also admirable that he didn’t stop when he realized that his questioning may in fact lead to a lot of heartache.

I don’t agree with him about everything though.

There has been a lot of discussion lately on this blog about Mary, which I appreciate. Let us dialogue, if nothing else.

There was a time in which I denigrated her, claiming that the Catholics worshiped her. She was, after all, just a woman.

No, actually, she was a young teen, dirt poor, oppressed and pregnant. She was a Jew too.

But Luke says that she was the most blessed of all women, for all generations. I understand then, the adoration, but not the veneration – which is not worship – of Mary. I am going to call it a big difference to make sure I remain safely Protestant though. But, I understand Scott’s explanation of it on p67-69.

I like the fact that he is grounding his exploration in the Text. I don’t agree, completely, with his dates on the assembling of the Canon. We did have a New Testament before the late 4th century, although the Councils did ‘approve’ it. This is something which Protestants need to understand, of course. There was a time when we didn’t have a Canon – no inspired text, no infallible text. No Chicago Statement either.

And, I will have to investigate this notion of sola dei verbum. Scripture is prime, always, but by itself it is not the Word of God. The issue, however, is that we do have an anarchy of beliefs. There is no central authority to establish doctrine. That is, I do agree, that we have thousands of denominations, sects, and cults because no one council remains to guide the faithful. Do we let the magisterium of scholasticism decide?  Think about about many sects broke off of John Wesley’s initial group (from the Methodists, to the Wesleyans, to the Pentecostals)… or how many Baptist sects we have… This is where Scott and I might find the most common ground. Sola (and the more so, solo) Scriptura is illogical and must itself be proved from outside the Scriptures. Therefore, there must be something – right? – that guides the interpretation of Scripture…

Of course, the question remains – is a central authority needed in determining everything? Yes, Jeremy, the Church is described as a Kingdom, but it is described in other ways as well. What if the centralized authority wasn’t really needed? Can we find, in Scripture, the idea of a centralized authority being developed for the ‘New Testament Church?’

Scott, you are giving me a headache. Of course, it sounds like that he was busy giving his friends and mentors – and his wife – headaches as well.

I think that I’m going to have to read some ]] after this…


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3 Replies to “I’m going to tell everyone that I disagree with Scott Hahn”

  1. Joel, once again, I’ve not read Scott Hahn’s book, so I don’t know how he is presenting everything. But, in your last paragraph, there is a significant misunderstanding, I think. You ask “is a central authority needed in determining everything?”

    This question misses the nuance. The centralized authority does speak on most matters related to faith, but recognizes that not every matter is of equal importance. That doesn’t mean that the magisterium believes these things are unimportant or possibly untrue, only not as important relative to, say, the doctrines found in the creed. As an example, the catechism speaks of a hierarchy of truths in paragraphs 90 and and 234. Newman makes the distinction between dogma, doctrine, and discipline.

    1. you realize that times I am purposely leaving the nuance open for discussion, right? Especially when I know a few people who read this blog believe that Rome and the Pope control every facet of doctrine and believe that all Catholics, everywhere and all times, have believed the same by order of the Pope…

      Would you share, though, what Newman had to say?

  2. I think it is funny that Joel has apparently read Scott Hahn much more than Jeremy. Actually, I didn’t know there was a 21st century Catholic who had not read Dr. Hahn. I thought it was required to read the man! I think I heard that somewhere…maybe not. Seriously though, I haven’t read nearly all of his books, but everything I have read I have enjoyed thoroughly. Dr. Hahn comes from the same Reformed Calvinism camp as me, he was just way further up the food chain. I especially appreciate his Covenantal Theology.

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