Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Schlier Case

In discussing the direction of the Evangelical Catholic movement and one of its grey eminences, Carl Braaten, over at Cyberbrethren, I pointed to the case of Heinrich Schlier as an anticipation of the trajectory the Evangelical Catholics seem to be on. Here is something on the Schlier case by Hermann Sasse which I orginally posted at 'What Sasse Said'. (Incidentally, from 1953 onwards Schlier was a close friend of and collaborator with Ratzinger; see Ratzinger's memoirs, Milestones, for details.)

Bishop Hans Lillje recently noted the significance of the conversion to Rome of Professor Heinrich Schlier of Bonn. This outstanding disciple of Bultmann, one of the most learned New Testament scholars in Germany, confessed that it was Bultmann’s approach to the New Testament that led him in this direction. “What tribunal is to make decisions about these various strata of tradition which have been worked out, and who is to decide about their relative value? He preferred to attach himself to a tradition historically established as that of the Church of Rome rather than trust himself to the unsure path of conflicting human opinions” (Lutheran World,Sept.1961,p135)…Such facts point up the sad condition of modern Protestant theology which has lost the Bible as the Word of God. The Church of the Reformation lives and dies with the Sola Scriptura.
From ‘The Inspiration of Holy Scripture’ , an article published in Christianity Today, March 16, 1962.


Paul said...

Pastor Henderson, this is the second critical post of yours I've read about the evangelical catholic movement among Confessional Lutherans. The other was a warning about the over emphasis on the presence of God to the point of losing sight of the atoning work of God in Christ. I think that post was based on a citation by one of the Preuses. Have you seen further developments along these lines or have ongoing concerns about the evangelical catholic movement?

Acroamaticus said...

Dear Paul,

Thank you for reading my blog.

The answer to your questions is yes and yes.

Like Sasse, I regard the Evangelical Catholic movement mostly as an uncertain Lutheran response to the crisis of Biblical authority. A large part of it will inevitably go to Rome.

Being "evangelical & catholic" with small e and c is somewhat less problematic, as it is simply being confessionally Lutheran (I believe it was J. Gerhard who first coined the term).

Paul said...

Pastor, thank you for the reply.