Fr Matthews keeps telling me about this "Protestant Reformation" business. In response to some things I said last week, he wrote a post confessing that he believes in the "Reformation version of justification by faith." The thing is, I know lots of self-identified "protestant" Christians who wouldn't use the language that the good father does. Ever. Under any circumstances.
This suggests a couple of things to me.
First, just because a contemporary Christian says that they consider themselves to be heirs of the Protestant Reformation doesn't mean their words about God and the Faith have anything in common with those of the Reformers. I'll take Pete's word over any random 50 Protestant laypeople or preachers you'd like to present to me, quite frankly.
Second, I really need at some point to take seriously what I've read and heard about the Reformers seeking to return to the Bible and the Fathers. To the extent that contemporary Protestants have forgotten that last been, I suspect they've co-opted the Reformation for own uses. I'm sure it happens all the time.
I think when I get this thesis done, I'll start thinking about such things.
Don't get your hopes up, though. I'll still probably think "formalism" is a positive label...!