Faith is the response of the total self, the mind, will and affections. Being justified is a personal phenomenon. Service and love are more important than right beliefs and sound doctrine. You do your own believing. God transforms the heart and you experience God’s love. Good works are a correlation to faith. Protestants love the apostle Paul. They have a tendency to over emphasis the written Bible with an emphasis on private religious experience. Diversity is good, since most Protestant groups have broken off from another Protestant group or from the Roman Catholic Church. In a certain sense heretical or diverse views are expected rather than one orthodox single view.
The Protestant principle testifies to God’s sovereignty against human endeavors. Continually Protestants remind us not to absolute the relative. God is beyond nature and history. For many Protestants, the Bible is the ultimate source of truth, the living word of God. On the other hand, dogma, sacraments, and church are at the heart of Catholic belief. Protestants do not grant papal infallibility, preferring to rely on the corrections of the Holy Spirit. You need to continually protest against something.
Why is there less discipline among Protestants on certain issues? The main reason is that they believe in the testimony of the Holy Spirit. Thus, some Methodists and Episcopalians are divided on the issue of homosexual unions and the role of openly gay ministers. Lutherans have the Augsburg Confession of 1530 and the Anglicans have their Westminster Confession of 1646. Otherwise most Protestant denominations do not emphasize dogmatic rectitude, but rather contact with God, Jesus, and the good moral life.
Until the 18th century, there never was any question about the historical validity of the Bible. Both Protestants and Catholics took it for granted that whatever the Bible said happened, actually happened. The only dispute was as to the meaning and significance of the stories. A new historical skepticism from the French Enlightenment and the German Rationalism began to question whether the events as described in the Bible ever took place. First there were questions about events in the Old Testament, about Adam and Eve, Abraham, and Moses. Then in the 19th century, the problem of Jesus and his miracles came into question.