Alister McGrath describes Protestantism’s recipe for individualism and subjectivity.
In my book Christianity’s Dangerous Idea, I talk about Protestantism developing this very dangerous idea that you read the Bible for yourself, it’s about the democratisation of faith. It in effect is about the challenging of hierarchy, it’s about the empowerment of the individual. And I make the point this is very dangerous. It’s dangerous for the institution of the church – which I think is quite a good thing, because it challenges the church to make sure it gets things right.
But I think it also is quite dangerous, because if every individual has the right to interpret the Bible, then they can interpret it in whatever way they please. So what is the authority which judges whether your interpretation of the Bible is right? It’s a recipe for individualism, for subjectivity, or simply me saying that’s the way I see it so that’s the way it is.