The Socinian Connection

In the late 1500s there was a school of recycled Arian heresy centered around the teachings of Socinus. What I find particularly interesting is the Socinian view of ecclesiastical authority, and how this view has basically triumphed in contemporary Evangelicalism and infected most Reformed churches.

In this view it is not the legitimate task of the church to proclaim God's Word authoritatively, but rather to "recommend" the truth. The church does not have a commission of genuine discipleship, but only one of attempted persuasion and mere advice-giving.

However, against this Socinian-Evangelical view stands the old school of Reformation teaching which, upon the very authority of her Lord, dares to exercise the power He gave her to "make disciples of all nations... teaching them to observe all that He commanded."

Tolerance for false doctrine is the order of the day, even in the NAPARC churches. There is little unanimity in any given church on what the Scriptures teach, and no real enforcement of God's Word.

But as for me, I am certain that "obedience is better than sacrifice."
Chanukah Came Early

...so I bought a number of collected essays on continental philosophy: Kearney's Routledge History #8, Solomon & Sherman's Blackwell Guide, Schroeder's Blackwell Critical Approach, and Critchley & Schroeder's Blackwell Companion. These should keep me occupied through the winter.

And if you're even remotely interested in this subject, I would recommend Simon Critchley's Continental Philosophy: a very short introduction*. Retail price is only $10, and it simply and clearly illustrates the history and central concern of this approach to philosophy.