Golly, what a completely novel idea. Who’da thunk a Protestant would claim–for the thirty thousandth time–that everybody before him (especially those EEEEEEVIL papists) was wrong and part of an Evil Conspiracy and he is the very first person in history to discover the TRVTH! There’s even a “once the Jews get *our* vision of gnosticism, they will totally all convert” thing that ended up rather disappointing Luther.This is what I’m talking about when I speak of Fundamentalism’s peculiar Darwinian vibe. It’s a rehash of the beloved “Hidden Church/Trail of Blood” narrative.I discuss this beloved Fundamentalist and Evangelical narrative in Mary, Mother of the Son:On the one hand, we have this portrait of a conservative early Church whose Tradition comes from the apostles. On the other hand, the modern Catholic Church appears to Evangelicals (as it long appeared to me) to add novel doctrines to the faith in broad daylight while claiming that they had been there all along. So the exasperated Evangelical naturally cries out, “If these Marian doctrines come from the apostles as you claim, then where the blazes is the Immaculate Conception of Mary in Scripture and why did it not become dogma until 1854?! How come the Assumption isn’t a dogma till 1950 if it’s always been part of apostolic teaching?”Barking Up the Wrong Tree: False Ideas of Sacred Tradition and the “Hidden Church”These are, of course, very reasonable questions. And when the Church replies, at the Council of Trent, that Catholic “truth and teaching are contained in written books and in the unwritten traditions the apostles received from Christ himself or that were handed on, as it were from hand to hand, from the apostles under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and so have come down to us”104 this doesn’t seem at first like a

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