It was here that Columba built a Christian religious center and missionary outpost in 563 AD from which the light of the Gospel would shine throughout the world. Here the Bible was preserved, the famous Book of Kells penned, and missionaries were trained. . .And all of this came to pass through the work of a dragon-confronting, former warrior-turned preacher named Columba.
This "preacher" Columba, was the Catholic priest and missionary now known as St. Columba. The Bible was preserved through the same Celtic monks working in monasteries as the ones who actually penned the Book of Kells. Yet, reading Doug Phillips' article, you would get the distinct impression that Isle of Iona was an early bastion of Protestantism.
Phillips quotes from a church history:
It was the Holy Ghost, Columba maintained, that made a servant of God. When the youth of Caledonia assembled around the elders on these savage shores, or in their humble chapel, these ministers of the Lord would say to them: “The Holy Scriptures are the only rule of faith. Throw aside all merit of works, and look for salvation to the grace of God alone. Beware of a religion which consists of outward observances: it is better to keep your heart pure before God than to abstain from meats. One alone is your head, Jesus Christ. Bishops and presbyters are equal; they should be the husbands of one wife, and have their children in subjection.”Then he comments, "God used Columba’s passion to fan the flames of evangelism and Gospel reformation."
Columba may have believed that it was the Holy Spirit who makes a servant of God, but I would guess that the latter part of the paragraph refers to a later time period.
What we know about St. Columba comes from an ancient writing called the Life of Columba, by Adamnan. It is full of miracles, prophesies, priests, and sacraments. He was clearly no early reformer. St. Columba's final words to his followers were:
"These, O my children, are the last words I address to you that ye be at peace, and have unfeigned charity among yourselves; and if you thus follow the example of the holy fathers, God, the Comforter of the good, will be your Helper and I, abiding with Him, will intercede for you; and He will not only give you sufficient to supply the wants of this present life, but will also bestow on you the good and eternal rewards which are laid up for those that keep His commandments."