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Protestant Intellectual Development

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  • Protestant Intellectual Development

    One of my newsletters was talking about a man who convert to Catholicism. Apparently he was influenced by a more robust intellectual environment. The newsletter then had this quote.

    More intellectually oriented Protestants are often drawn to Catholicism precisely because it seems to have the robust intellectual development they crave. That is a legitimate challenge that we as Protestants need to step up to. We need to present our own substantial intellectual heritage in a way that people can access and engage with.


    I can relate to this as generally speaking I find Catholic (and Orthodox) thought goes to a deeper level than Protestantism. I've also been in enough churches that discourage using the mind as part of your faith.

    What do you think? Does Protestantism need to step up?
    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

  • #2
    No.

    There are many protestants who take an intellectual approach at studying Scripture. And even whole congregations. There is no reason to convert to Catholicism if you're not being intellectually stimulated. Just start cracking those commentaries.
    When I Survey....

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Faber View Post
      No.

      There are many protestants who take an intellectual approach at studying Scripture. And even whole congregations. There is no reason to convert to Catholicism if you're not being intellectually stimulated. Just start cracking those commentaries.
      Start with Faber's Book of Bible Trivia!
      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wish pastors would check their Greek and Hebrew more carefully. Too often I hear "In the Greek/Hebrew this means" such and such, where what is said is significantly different that what the translators have said. If that's what it means, then the translators should have said so! Or when I know that the Greek/Hebrew doesn't actually mean that, that is worse!

        Blessings,
        Lee
        "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
          One of my newsletters was talking about a man who convert to Catholicism. Apparently he was influenced by a more robust intellectual environment. The newsletter then had this quote.

          More intellectually oriented Protestants are often drawn to Catholicism precisely because it seems to have the robust intellectual development they crave. That is a legitimate challenge that we as Protestants need to step up to. We need to present our own substantial intellectual heritage in a way that people can access and engage with.


          I can relate to this as generally speaking I find Catholic (and Orthodox) thought goes to a deeper level than Protestantism. I've also been in enough churches that discourage using the mind as part of your faith.

          What do you think? Does Protestantism need to step up?
          It's not really a fair question, IMO; Protestantism is so multi-stranded and fragmented that it's really not capable of 'stepping up.'

          On the other hand, there are intellectually oriented pockets within Protestantism; I found Reclaiming the Mind Ministries (now Credo House) quite helpful as a Protestant. In my experience, Baptist churches tend to me more intellectually oriented, while "mainline Protestant" and nondenominational churches tend to be rather lightweight intellectually.
          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
          sigpic
          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

          Comment


          • #6
            The question I'd like to ask is... to what end?
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lee_merrill View Post
              I wish pastors would check their Greek and Hebrew more carefully. Too often I hear "In the Greek/Hebrew this means" such and such, where what is said is significantly different that what the translators have said. If that's what it means, then the translators should have said so! Or when I know that the Greek/Hebrew doesn't actually mean that, that is worse!

              Blessings,
              Lee
              "Don't like what it says, change the word's meaning" is a game that theologians have been playing since the late third century at least. Problems arise when the lexicons get trapped by the old re-definitions.
              It doesn't seem to happen with the Hebrew though, so there is recourse to the LXX translations of the OT. That and the usage patterns established by Biblical and extra-Biblical writing can reveal deficiencies in the lexicons, and it needs to be kept in mind that provision of definitions showing the full range of contextual meaning and use of words is well beyond the ambit of any translation dictionary - regardless of the languages.

              One theologician tried to hey-presto problems away by changing the meaning of upakouo from "obey" to "hear." People who took account of usage patterns shot his story down in flames in short order, but all too often that kind of nonsense passes through peer review without raising a ripple.

              Some words that aren't adequately addressed by lexicons: pistos and less critically pisteuo, isa, and the phrase oi par autou.
              Texts where these cause problems include:

              pistos - frequently means fidelity or loyalty, rarely belief. (translating Hebrew emunah - fidelity/dedication, as at Gal 3:11 citing Hab 2:4.) pisteuo does often mean believe.

              isa - "equal to" or "similar" is usually not the preferred translation ... With one exception (Revelation) isa is better translated to "as." isa normally establishes a relative equivalence: as in "use a rock isa a hammer." Critically - where isa establishes some kind of equivalence, the nouns are in the same grammatical case. In Philippians 2:6, the nouns are in different cases - accusative (to einai - to be/exist - a nouned verb) and dative (theo - to/at/in etc God). Trophy (arpagmon) is compared with existence - theo - God- delineates that existence.

              oi par autou - "the nearest (to/of) him. As in English, a person's nearest might be kin or close friends, or they might simply be those in closest physical proximity. (Mark 3:21)
              sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                One of my newsletters was talking about a man who convert to Catholicism. Apparently he was influenced by a more robust intellectual environment. The newsletter then had this quote.

                More intellectually oriented Protestants are often drawn to Catholicism precisely because it seems to have the robust intellectual development they crave. That is a legitimate challenge that we as Protestants need to step up to. We need to present our own substantial intellectual heritage in a way that people can access and engage with.


                I can relate to this as generally speaking I find Catholic (and Orthodox) thought goes to a deeper level than Protestantism. I've also been in enough churches that discourage using the mind as part of your faith.

                What do you think? Does Protestantism need to step up?
                I have mixed views on this.

                It saddens and irritates me when I hear preachers who clearly think that merely pulling a few definitions out of Strong's Concordance (or equivalent), or using the Amplified Bible, makes them an expert on Biblical languages.

                But I am not entirely unsympathetic to the idea that intellectualism can interfere with spirituality. I believe we are in an actual personal relationship with I AM, and we should experience Him, not just "study" or "think" about Him.

                Also, I freely confess the vast majority of my Christian life has been among Pentecostals and other evangelicals, especially those who are of the "low church" perspective, do not emphasize "old" creeds and confessions, are suspicious of "traditions," and are not favorably impressed with elaborate rites and clerical trappings that, to us, evoke Old Covenant sensibilities.
                Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                Beige Nationalist.

                "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Faber View Post
                  No.

                  There are many protestants who take an intellectual approach at studying Scripture. And even whole congregations. There is no reason to convert to Catholicism if you're not being intellectually stimulated. Just start cracking those commentaries.
                  Commentaries is wide area with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Which ones would you recommend?
                  "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                  "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                    It's not really a fair question, IMO; Protestantism is so multi-stranded and fragmented that it's really not capable of 'stepping up.'

                    On the other hand, there are intellectually oriented pockets within Protestantism; I found Reclaiming the Mind Ministries (now Credo House) quite helpful as a Protestant. In my experience, Baptist churches tend to me more intellectually oriented, while "mainline Protestant" and nondenominational churches tend to be rather lightweight intellectually.
                    Good point that Protestantism is much more fragmented than Catholicism (although it has it's divisions also) and Orthodoxy. Haven't been in a Baptist church so I don't what they're like. Agree that especially nondenominational churches tend to be lightweight. Maybe there is no stepping up except on the local level.
                    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

                      Commentaries is wide area with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Which ones would you recommend?
                      A mix of all three, that way you get to find out which of them best align with scripture, and more importantly the reasons why and how for both aligned and unaligned.
                      Not a procedure for the faint-hearted though ... treasured preconceptions tend to get composted.
                      sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                        The question I'd like to ask is... to what end?
                        Jesus was asked what must be done to inherit eternal life. He agreed that the answer was to "Love the Lord thy God with all your all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. The encounter is related in Matthew 22:37 (although Matthew omits strength); Mark 12:30; and Luke 10:27.

                        Short answer: it helps me to love God with all my mind.
                        "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                        "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post

                          I have mixed views on this.

                          It saddens and irritates me when I hear preachers who clearly think that merely pulling a few definitions out of Strong's Concordance (or equivalent), or using the Amplified Bible, makes them an expert on Biblical languages.

                          But I am not entirely unsympathetic to the idea that intellectualism can interfere with spirituality. I believe we are in an actual personal relationship with I AM, and we should experience Him, not just "study" or "think" about Him.

                          Also, I freely confess the vast majority of my Christian life has been among Pentecostals and other evangelicals, especially those who are of the "low church" perspective, do not emphasize "old" creeds and confessions, are suspicious of "traditions," and are not favorably impressed with elaborate rites and clerical trappings that, to us, evoke Old Covenant sensibilities.
                          I get what your saying and there is a point where the mind has to give way to faith because we can't understand it in this world. Unfortunately I have also found a low use of the mind tends to lead towards bland preaching and teaching.
                          "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                          "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                            But I am not entirely unsympathetic to the idea that intellectualism can interfere with spirituality. I believe we are in an actual personal relationship with I AM, and we should experience Him, not just "study" or "think" about Him.
                            I don't think anybody is advocating for intellectualism here; it can indeed interfere with spirituality. On the other hand, an anti-intellectual approach can be very dangerous spiritually, because a lack of properly understanding scripture can cause one to go off the rails.
                            Also, I freely confess the vast majority of my Christian life has been among Pentecostals and other evangelicals, especially those who are of the "low church" perspective, do not emphasize "old" creeds and confessions, are suspicious of "traditions," and are not favorably impressed with elaborate rites and clerical trappings that, to us, evoke Old Covenant sensibilities.
                            Every church has its own "traditions."
                            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                            sigpic
                            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I can believe that there are Protestants who have that experience. But there is good scholarship within both liberal and conservative branches of both the Catholic and Protestant tradtions. But it might be true that there's a larger non-intellectual or anti-intellectual part of Protestantism.

                              Comment

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