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I also began to read the Bible in this way; rather than interpret the text in such a way so as to accommodate a certain notion of justification , I tried to understand how other traditions understood Scripture; and I often found these competing interpretations to be, in their own right, very compelling.This, no doubt, left me highly dissatisfied with the Reformed confessionalism that I had come to love.Every other church erred in some way or another, and even those who were seemingly close in terms of doctrine and practice were never fully embraced — and this unspoken suspicion tended to be mutual.
Yet, it was not very long until my Nietzschean drive for truth was left desiring something more.
The appeal to Protestant ‘tradition’ on the one hand, against the broad evangelicals, and to on the other, against Catholics, seemed to place confessional Reformed theology in a highly precarious position.
In seminary, I would often hear invectives against the anabaptist impulse in much of Evangelicalism–what the anabaptists allegedly lacked was the tradition that Calvin and Luther as well as the many other Protestant Scholastics had never intended to let go of; what’s more, almost every problem with contemporary evangelicalism as well as modernity was genealogically traced back, never to the magisterial reformers, but those all-too-easy-to-blame, anabaptists.
If the confessions do not have, at least in practice, the same authority as the Magisterium, it does not seem that they have any authority at all.
The moment someone disagrees with the confession or a given interpretation of the confession on biblical grounds, they no longer need to submit themselves to that governing body.