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The "Great Apostasy" and Personalities (and Rob Bell)

March 3rd, 2011 | 5 min read

By Kevin White

The Great Apostasy is a common concept among Protestants. It comes in part from a true observation. If the old Catholics were not wrong, then we were wrong to break away. And we would need to repair that breach, and as the offending party. But, if the Reformers* were at least broadly right, if too much of the late medieval church had lost the thread of normative Christianity, then we need an account of how things got that way. Enter the Great Apostasy: at some point, they must have up and ditched the simple beauty of the Gospel for Popery and Assorted Dopery.

But there’s a huge problem with that theory. Namely, it didn’t happen. There is no place on the timeline to point to and say, here the Church lost her way. What happed was much slower, more subtle, and more unnerving.

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Kevin White