Tuesday, January 24, 2006

sola scriptura vs church fathers

I am very ignorant: do the Puritans believe in sola scriptura, and try to avoid institutional tradition in interpreting the Bible? I would assume they are reputed to do so; but I don't understand the types of Protestantism, as I find out every day.

What then, to make of this passage:
The Puritans tended to admire the early church fathers and quoted them liberally in their works. In addition to arming the Puritans to fight against later developments of the Roman Catholic tradition, these studies also led to the rediscovery of some ancient scruples. Chrysostom, a favorite of the Puritans, spoke eloquently against drama and other worldly endeavors, and the Puritans adopted his view when decrying what they saw as the decadent culture of England, famous at that time for its plays and bawdy London.
Now, admittedly, this is from Wikipedia's article on the Puritans. But I suspect it's not far off--I mean, one could verify if Puritan writers quote a lot of John Chrysostom, right? (Catholics certainly love him, although no doubt for different reasons.)

Does this seem kind of puzzling? Quoting a church father against drama, without any Biblical support? Is it the mere lateness of the tradition that condemns medieval Catholic tradition? I ask this in the nicest ecumenical spirit!

(I assume there's no injunction against drama in the Bible; certainly the Jews had their own form of storytelling and dramatic performances, which would form a sort of original-meaning argument that it was allowed a fortiori for early Christians as well.)

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