I ran into a local acquaintance the other day, a very conservative Presbyterian certain that his denomination is going down the tubes because it no longer respects the authority of scripture. What it’s really about is homosexuality. It’s a sin. He’s against it. The Church should not tolerate it. It’s been a driving issue in his conversation for at least ten years. His arguments were tightly formed, legally impressive, academically well researched and morally certain, at least to him. I say were because the tide of theological opinion seems to be turning against him, and I’m guessing that a tide that is turning, in spite of his unassailable arguments, must be driven by heretics.
Indeed, said he, a majority of the Presbyterian leadership are followers of Bultmann. They all studied him in seminary, and now they are following him down the path of extreme demythologizing to the point of denying the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Bultmannia has consumed the Presbyterian Church. It’s not really about homosexuality, it’s about the authority of scripture, and this is the proof.
I had no idea Bultmann was a Presbyterian, or even a Scot for that matter. We Episcopalians certainly read bits and pieces of Bultmann in seminary, but I don’t recall him being the center of our studies. I guess Princeton was different. Oh well, I hear much the same from some Anglicans. It’s not about homosexuality, it’s about the authority of scripture.
I asked my acquaintance if it could be that the other side takes the authority of scripture just as seriously as he does, but hears the Spirit speaking through it in different ways. Not if you’re following Bultmann was his reply.
We wished each other a blessed and merry Christmas as we said goodbye.