We all have a "top dresser drawer" into which we throw everything that there's no other place for. Over time, it just gets full of all different kinds of things.I just thought that was a light-hearted little story for a Friday.
In church history, "tradition" kind of filled up the way that drawer does. And there were four different ways that the Reformers dealt with that drawer.
The Lutherans went through the drawer, looking for things that weren't Biblical. Lutheranism took out the things that weren't biblical, but they left everything else in there.
The Reformed took the drawer and dumped everything out on the bed. Then they went through all that stuff, checked it over carefully, and put back the things that were Biblical.
The Anglicans opened the drawer and took out one thing, called "the Pope," and put back in one other thing, called "the Archbishop of Canterbury." (He acknowledged that this was probably the least analogous part of the metaphor, given the 39 articles and all.)
The Anabaptists took out the whole drawer, dumped everything in the trash, and lit the trash can on fire.
Friday, October 01, 2010
Dealing with the junk drawer
I'm listening to a series of lectures on Reformation history from RTS (itunes.rts.edu). Dr. Donald Fortson related the following metaphor for understanding the different groups within the Reformation, which I thought was very helpful.