Abp Chaput talks about the election and the reformation over at Public Discourse. He goes into a review of Brad Gregory's book The Unintended Reformation. He is a very good writer.
The Reformers’ stress on sola scriptura sought to close the gap between Christian preaching and practice. But it failed at that, while opening a Pandora’s Box of new problems. Competing interpretations of Scripture actually intensified the confusion. Lutherans read Scripture one way, Calvinists another, with varieties of Anglicans, Anabaptists, Baptists, Puritans, Pietists, Methodists, and Quakers veering off into options beyond counting.This is such an important truth that only a small sliver of Christians seem to get. The protestants who get it will obviously convert and become Catholics. There are more and more of them but still a small part of the total protestant picture. The Catholics who get this seem few and far between as well. Some seem intent on living Sola Scriptura in the Catholic Church. Some think it is arrogant and arbitrary to simply declare the religion they were raised in to be the fullness of truth.
Gregory also chronicles the secular philosophers who stepped into the breach. In the place of sola scriptura, the Enlightenment offered wisdom sola ratio. From Descartes, through Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Hume, Hegel, and others, on to Heidegger and Levinas and their successors, the great end-run around revealed religion and its traditions began, seeking truth based on human reason alone.
But as Gregory shows, the philosophers fared no better than the Reformers. Competing ideas proliferated. Truth, and answers to life’s big questions, remained disputed. In more recent times, Nietzsche, Foucault, and the post-modernists have been honest enough to say so, scorning the Enlightenment as much as they scorned Christianity. We can see the results in today’s pervasive spirit of irony and skepticism.
As Gregory explains, our culture’s metaphysical chaos has helped shape our politics, economics, and science. No corner of everyday life has gone untouched.
Anyway, read the whole thing. Gregory and Chaput do a fine job of expressing what has gone wrong over the last 700 years or so.