This debate has hermeneutical consequences. The Meliorists, says McDormott, see Scripture as functional, communicating God's words. Often the Meliorist position is characterized by emphasising the place of experience in communicating theology, yet McDormott's response is a good one.
"In these ways and others, Vanhoozer shows in a post-foundationalist way that experience and doctrine are intrinsically tied up in one another, and that the Bible’s words (not just concepts) are given by God just as He gives them afresh every time they are read or preached. The Meliorists’ exaltation of experience over doctrine is a false dichotomy, and their dissociation of revelation from biblical words slights God’s work of revelation in history."In the next paragraph it's fascinating to see, for a journal that's been heavily influenced from the other side of the Tiber, an almost Protestant view of Sola Scriptura affirmed!
"Traditionists also affirm sola scriptura, but in a manner that is really prima scriptura: Scripture is primary, but the Great Tradition is the authoritative guide to its interpretation."McDormott, who favours the 'Traditionists' concludes by predicting that the gap between the two groups will only widen.
[Still from Fiddler on the Roof, © 1971 United Artists]