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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Keith Ward: the Reformation

Below is a video of a Gresham College lecture on by Keith Ward on the Reformation and what it means to be Protestant. I respect Keith Ward and the way he thinks very much -- here's a quote from the lecture that exemplifies what I so like about him ... If you're a Protestant, you have to be a liberal ... while truth is important, it's your responsibility to seek out the truth in the best way that you can ... you've got to be a little bit humble about the way you put your beliefs ... my own view would be that I'm almost certain that many of my own deepest beliefs are false, but I don't know which they are. So, obviously I think they're true [but] there's a difference between saying 'I don't think there's any such thing as truth' and saying, 'well, this is what I think is true, but I have no privileges access to the mind of God, I have no privileged access to what the meaning of the New Testament is, so this is my opinion' ... that's what Protestantism is committed to. My question is, why doesn't the Protestant world look like that? ... people are afraid to be uncertain.

The Reformation - Professor Keith Ward DD FBA - Gresham College Lectures from Gresham College on Vimeo.


Blogger Carnival said...

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1:20 PM  
Blogger PrickliestPear said...

One problem with the Reformers was that they failed to recognise that most individuals, even most adult individuals, have not reached the stage where they are ready to accept the burden of responsibility for thinking for themselves to the extent that the Reformers themselves did. Why doesn't the Protestant world look the way Keith Ward thinks it should? Because we all start at square one, and most people don't develop to the point where they can practice religion in the way the Reformers envisioned. Fundamentalism was just one particularly lamentable consequence of this oversight.

3:06 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi PP,

Yeah, I think Keith Ward laments that inability too - he's talked elsewhere about Protestant fundamentalism. He says in the video that most of the things the reformers wanted, like the right to follow your conscience, were finally agreed to at Vatican II.

5:58 PM  

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