Some weeks ago I suggested that the differences between Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christianity are, more than anything else, grounded in our different ways of understanding apostolic authority. Well I was thinking another way of characterizing the diversity is like this:
- Orthodox Christian tradition – tends towards multi-lateral understandings of apostolic authority
- Catholic Christian tradition -tends towards top-down, uni-lateral understandings of apostolic authority
- Protestant Christian tradition – tends towards bottom-up, uni-lateral understandings of apostolic authority
Now, thinking about this I am inclined to see strengths and weaknesses in each approach. When considering essential issues that effect all Christians everywhere it seems to me there are some obvious advantages with a multi-lateral approach. Yet, when considering less essential and highly contextual issues that effect some Christians deeply and others not at all, well it seems to me that there are some obvious advantages with a bottom-up, uni-lateral approach. If you want any action this century. And coming to the top-down, uni-lateral approach, again I can seem some situations where a casting vote would be appropriate.
Now, I think this raises some interesting questions, not least being, where should bloggers draw the line on theological deconstruction if they are serious about eccumenism?