In line with my recent posts discussing Protestant and Catholic conceptions of authority, here is a really splendid post on Called to Communion, exploring the topic in more depth and greater theological and philosophical acuity than I could hope to: “The Catholic and Protestant Authority Paradigms Compared.” It’s piercing, astute, and thought-provoking, as Called to Communion always is. My blog is the little kid that wants to grow up to someday be like Called to Communion.
The bottom line is that by placing a book, rather than a divinely authorized living authority, at the center of his epistemic paradigm, the Protestant not only must use his fallible human reason to arrive at the locus of divine authority and to ask clarifying questions regarding the content of divine revelation, as the Catholic also must do. He must continue the use of fallible reason to construct the clarifying answers to the questions he asks. But as I explained above, fallible human reason has neither the authority, nor the competency to supply such answers.