The Epistemological Liability of Church Division

After the divisions, “any arguments that hoped realistically to avoid the quagmire of theological controversy and fruitfully to transcend confessional boundaries — including discussion about God and his creation — would have to bracket both the content of the contested claims and the disputed bases to which antagonists appealed. The consequences were profound. Ecclesiastical authority, tradition, scripture, and religious experience were all out of bounds, despite the fact that most Protestants still shared many beliefs with Catholics. Also excluded was God’s self-revelation as disclosed in his extraordinary actions in history, because Christians disagreed about the meaning and ramifications of these actions” (Gregory, The Unintended Reformation, 47).

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