Sunday, August 13, 2006

Wright on von Balthasar on Protestants and Catholics

Nazarene pastor John Wright has a nice post up on twentieth century theologians Hans Urs von Balthasar (Catholic) and Karl Barth (Reformed Protestant). Wright comments on some passages in von Balthasar's book examining Barth's thought, and a couple of those passages express something I've been trying to get some Net pals to understand.

Here's a key section of Pastor Wright's post:

    Yet Balthasar says important things that accurately, and negatively, define Protestants relationship to Roman Catholics, even after over 50 years that he has written. He writes, 'Protestants are convinced that they have seen through Catholicism once and for all; and if it should so happen that they discover a presentation of Catholic views that they do not find absurd, this must surely be due to the Catholic habit of countenancying "Jesuitical' arguments, hiding the Church's true esoteric features behind politically shrewd and seductive masks" (p. 17). He concludes his observations, "And the result is that, if sloth and inattention hinder conversations on the Catholic side, mistrust and suspicion cripple it on the Protestant" (p. 18).

    Yet Balthasar states that "perhaps today we are beginning to move beyond the era of stale antithese -- Reformation and Counter-Reformation -- with Catholics trying to be more catholic and not 'anti-Protestant' and the Protestants more biblical and 'evangelical' and not 'protesters'" (p. 19).
Let's hope so.

No comments: