Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Stool is Really a Ladder?

Practically ever since theologian Richard Hooker first wrote, Anglicans have talked about the three-fold authority of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. That was the order of the words I learned them in. Fr. Tobias Haller in his excellent blog In A Godward Direction has written an interesting analysis of what Hooker really wrote in his Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. Fr. Haller writes:

Hooker’s Stool or Tripod is one of the great myths of Anglicanism, at least as far as the attribution of it to Richard Hooker. Hooker would have been quite surprised to see some of the explanations of this principle expounded in his name.

It's worth a read - he suggests a ladder is a better image than a stool or tripod even tricycle. I quite like the image myself. In the past I've referred to Lutherans (and perhaps Reformed) as being Sola Scriptura - Scripture only; Roman Catholics and perhaps Orthodox as Scripture + Tradition; and we Anglicans as Scripture + Tradition + Reason. I may have to rethink my shorthand.



DBW said...

Consider the source... consider the source...

RFSJ said...

What do you mena, DBW?