The Confusion of Protestantism


An interesting article, written by Niels Ebrup, was published last Sunday (March 18th) on the ScienceNordic website about the relation between Protestantism and the decline of religion in our Western civilization. When read from a Messianic perspective, it makes clear how essential external observances are for maintaining a religious culture and lifestyle. Catholicism has always recognized this essential place of the external. The Protestant Reformation was the first major religious movement which began to depreciate the external as an accidental or even superfluous aspect of Christianity. This has led to a considerable diminishing of a particular, distinct lifestyle, and to a loss of the sense of religious identity.

As Messianics we share the Protestant perception that many Catholic religious forms are irreconcilable with biblical Christianity. Protestantism, however, has thrown away Catholic forms without (re)introducing biblical ones. It created an empty space in which “faith” was the only important thing. Historically, Protestantism thus became an important starting point for the modern, secular view of life. By neglecting the basic biblical idea, expressed in the Torah, that all the domains of life have to be sanctified in particular ways, and by accepting life as it is (meaning: as it commonly met with), Protestantism in the long term has contributed to the decline of religion in modern culture.

Without introducing the idea of Torah observance, the article nevertheless implicitly demonstrates the problematic status of a culture without religious laws and outward rules and observances.

Ebrup’s observations are based on a recent Danish PhD dissertation by Matias Møl Dalsgaard, entitled: Det Protestantiske Selv (2012). The cover of this dissertation is shown in the picture above.

View: Niels Ebrup, “Protestantism has left us utterly confused”, at: ScienceNordic.


2 Responses to “The Confusion of Protestantism”

  1. 1 Nootropics March 22, 2012 at 4:10 am

    I enjoyed your helpful article. brilliant stuff

  2. 2 Jos March 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    As a Protestant, and brought up with many unwritten rules, I agree with it. However, like the Jews, the orthodox Protestants in Holland made a cultural fence to protect their traditions, but the last decades it did not last. Now it’s hard to find the right way especially for the youth.

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