17 October, 2010

Another Protestant Discovers the Problems of Sola Scriptura

Another Protestant Discovers the Problems of Sola Scriptura

23 comments:

  1. Another Protestant who has sold out his birth-rite just as Esau sold his because of a human need. Sola Scriptura is meant to safeguard against “man made' traditions that Jesus warned about.

    Scripture is very clear about "adding" or "subtracting" from God's Word. Paul specifies this as does Rev 22:18-20

    So you see, we do have a bit of a conundrum and need to walk very carefully if we are to be faithful to God's Word.

    Cliff

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  2. Former priest Joseph Zacchello said in his book, Secrets of Romanism, that the rule of faith for the Roman Church is not scripture plus tradition, but it is in fact the decrees of various councils or of the Popes, which the RC calls "the Church".

    The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Bible to write down the words which God wished to communicate to man. Therefore it is reasonable to believe in sola scriptura, that is, the scriptures only as the rule of faith. If tradition could be proven to be of divine origin, then it would carry some weight. Since it can't, it cannot be accepted by a bible believer as a legitimate source of truth. The Scripture alone contains the true gospel which is the way of salvation. (see John 20 vs 31)

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  3. My bible does not have the book of Zacchello in it, and certainly not one called Secrets of Romanism.

    And my bible does not have any references to sola scriptura in it either.

    Hmmm!!!

    Makes one wonder, doesn't it?

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  4. Hey Michael,

    Back home yet?

    Fr. Tim

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  5. Yes, Father Tim.

    I got home on Wednesday afternoon. I had three travel days of listening to the Catholic Channel on Satellite radio. What a glorious time in the Lord.

    The folks on XM 117 are so filled with the spirit that it was just a treat.

    Michael

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  6. Glad you made it home safe and sound. Know anyone who wants a 300 lb dead black bear? I walked out my front door to walk the dog and there he was up my tree. The Police came and shot him and said they would take the poor deceased away but so far he's still splayed out on the front lawn.

    Hope he wasn't a Catholic bear as I didn't give him last rites.

    I was taking the dog out for his evening walk when we met the chubby fellow. I suspect it will be weeks before the dog is willing to go out that door again!! He's still cowering in the basement!

    Fr. Tim

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  7. I was just reading about sola scriptura on Wikipedia and I came across this statement:

    “Sola scriptura is a doctrine that is not, in the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith 1.6 “expressly set down in scripture”. However, it is claimed that it passes the second test of being part of “the whole counsel of God” because it is “deduced from scripture” “by good and necessary consequence”, citing passages such as Isaiah 8:20: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”. Jesus is also typically understood by Protestants as expressly nullifying unscriptural traditions in the (Jewish) church, when he says, for example in Mark 7:13: “thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

    As you know, sola scriptura was or is one of the tenets of the Protestant Reformation.

    We had our Reformation evening tonight (usually at the end of October in Reformed churches) and had a Professor come in from Mid American Seminary in the eastern U.S. to give a message here in B.C. He spoke about the free grace of God and how Martin Luther had struggled to find peace with God when he was a monk. Luther had a very deep consciousness about his sinfulness and depravity. He confessed every small sin he could imagine frequently every day to his fellow monks. Finally the head monk told him to stop as he was driving them all crazy with his frequent confessions. Anyway, he eventually discovered in the book of Romans that he could have the righteousness of Christ imputed to him and be justified by the grace of God. When God revealed that to Luther through the Scripture (Romans), he was overjoyed and a completely changed man. A very heavy weight had been taken off his shoulders and he finally felt at peace with God. "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Romans ch1 vs17.

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  8. Wayne:

    Very interesting commentary. I appreciate your sharing.

    One thing caught my attention - "deduced from scripture" HMMM!!!

    Since we are using Wiki as source material, let's look at "deduco" the Latin word that is the basis of "deduced"'s etymology.

    "I lead or bring out or away, divert, lead, fetch, bring or draw down etc.

    I deduct, subtract, diminish, reduce."

    It does pretty much seem to tell the story of "sola scriptura". So, it seems that sola scriptura, with that phrase to describe it, is a reduction to basest parts, which can be good, but maybe, just maybe not always. Maybe there is more.

    Maybe since the early Christians did not have sacred scripture to rely on in the way that we do, they somehow had a way of keeping and growing the faith, not to reduce the written Word of God, by the way.

    Maybe Titus 1:9 has a word for us: "and he must have a firm grasp of the UNCHANGING MESSAGE OF THE TRADITION, so that he can be counted on both for giving encouragement in sound doctrine and for refuting those who argue against it."

    That is the New Jerusalem translation, where the KJV translation of the first phrase is "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught".

    The Greek words that are in the original of that first phrase are "antechomenon tou kata ten didachen pistou logou"

    I think that the key words here are "didachen" - teaching, and "logou" - of speech.

    If they in their time did not have bibles in front of them as we do, and certainly not laptops connected to the Internet (with Google for good measure), what did they have? It seems that they had the teaching by speech of those who came to bring them the Good News of Salvation. And in the context of the time that would have had to be oral tradition.

    At least, that's how it looks to me. Just a thought.

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  9. Tim: Seriously? The police shot a bear in your tree? Why did they do that? Idiots. And even worse, they're letting the carcass lie on the ground, not even making an attempt to salvage the meat...stupid idiots! Not only a singular display of utter contempt for the life of a being not immediately endangering or inconveniencing anyone, but a criminal waste of food, to boot!

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  10. Yep! The reason that he was shot was because the Police saw the red tag on his ear which meant he had been a nuisance bear in the recent past. I found out this morning that he tried to break into a neighbors house before wondering over into my yard. When he was dead, they checked into more detail (grace of the tag) and found out that this was the third time he caused a problem in town - thus he was becoming a danger as he had become acclimated to people.

    The carcass was taken away by the local natives who I suspect will be dining on him throughout the winter. The Police called them late in the evening and they were happy to have the meat.

    So, although I feel sorry for the bear, it was not a total loss.

    Fr. Tim

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  11. Michael,

    "If they in their time did not have bibles in front of them as we do, and certainly not laptops connected to the Internet (with Google for good measure), what did they have? It seems that they had the teaching by speech of those who came to bring them the Good News of Salvation. And in the context of the time that would have had to be oral tradition."

    Very discerning Michael. Just to add a thought or two to that, one of my New American RC Bibles says "holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents." Titus 1:9

    The King James Version says "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught..."

    Is it fair to conclude they are both saying something very similar?

    But while we are on the subject, the word tradition is used in another verse:
    "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or by our epistle." 2 Thessalonians 2:15

    Would you care to give us your view of the word "traditions" in this verse?

    May I hazard a small clue to this little mystery with a couple of words? apostles...teaching... What say ye Michael?

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  12. Do tell Wayne.

    I am all ears.

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  13. Tim: I wondered if he had been a previous pest, but you hadn't mentioned it, and that's why I asked. I still think they were idiots for discharging a firearm inside city limits (unless your tree is out in the wilderness, somewhere?), though. It is most unfortunate that we humans have this tendency to invade the territories of indigenous species and then blame them for trying to survive off what we carelessly leave around to tease them. But that's what we do, isn't it? We see ourselves as the owners of the earth; all its other tennants are merely furniture. We shove them around and dispose of them at our pleasure.

    But I'm very glad someone got the meat before it spoiled! Bear meat is extremely rich, especially one who is winter-fat! Today's being Samhain is serendipitous, indeed, and I honor the fur brother and thank him for the gift of his body.

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  14. MBrandon,

    Michael,

    I was hoping you would give us your insight into the verse in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 for a change. I can give you a clue as to my own ideas are about the verse with one word as to what I think it refers to, but I don't know whether you will accept it.

    The word I would submit is "apostles". One other clue might be found in earlier verses in the same chapter. Do you have any comment on the verse with some explanation?

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  15. Wayne: If I may jump in, I believe that 2 Thessalonians 2:13-16 speaks exactly to what the RC Church holds to be the scriptural foundation for our belief in the two pillars of scripture and tradition.

    Firstly, the word 'gospel' means the 'good news' of Paul's witness, authenticated by the Apostles who lived with Christ and who guided the nascent church. It does not refer to the books of the Gospels we have in today's bible (irrespective of the edition). The inclusion of the role of 'tradition' means the faithful recounting of the teachings of Christ as these earliest Christians received orally; at least this is what the RC Church means by 'Tradition'. It is upon this apostolic witness that we claim the charism of Peter, and hold ourselves to be first among the believers in Jesus as Christ.

    This does NOT mean that we see ourselves as the EXCLUSIVE among those who claim salvation in the blood of the cross. Even the Catholic Church hasn't got the gall to claim to be able to limit the mercy and love of God. We have at one time or another in our 2000 wait for His return, tried to walk that path and it was an unmitigated disaster, resulting in the splintering the Body of Christ.

    No the point of contention in this debate is not that we think that you are unworthy of being among the saved. It is you who insist that we are among the lost... but I digress.

    Scripture is the gift of God for humanity. Tradition proved the lens to understanding them.

    In a nutshell, this is why the RC Church does not hold to the dictum, 'scripture sola'.

    Fr. Tim

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  16. Tim,

    "The inclusion of the role of 'tradition' means the faithful recounting of the teachings of Christ as these earliest Christians received orally; at least this is what the RC Church means by 'Tradition'. It is upon this apostolic witness that we claim the charism of Peter, and hold ourselves to be first among the believers in Jesus as Christ."

    The second sentence above in your answer seems a little ambiguous if I might say. I has the ring of a dogmatic statement which does not appear to have any connection to this verse.

    So rather than diverting into dogma, please do explain what this verse means specifically if you can. It is one thing to grab hold of some other general teaching and claim it answers the question, but then that is a long way removed from this verse.

    The verse in my RC NAB says "Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours." 2 Thess. ch2 vs15

    1. What "oral statement" is referred to?

    2. What "letter of ours" is referred to?

    Are these the two sources of teaching that Paul is referring to? Is there some other source of teaching that Paul is referring to?

    3. What oral statement is Paul referring to?

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  17. Wayne:

    1. The 'oral statement' is the personal witness of Paul - which was authenticated by the apostles in the Council of Jerusalem

    2. The letters included in the New Testament is not the totality of letters Paul wrote to the Churches. These are ones that came to be accepted as sacred scripture. Clearly he had other communications that those in the canon so he is most likely referring to another letter from him

    2b. Paul is also referring to His personal encounter with the risen Christ - thus rendering his oral testimony as part of the apostolic tradition he refers to.

    3. Paul taught in Thessalonica. He left a deposit of oral teaching for the believers that is not recorded in scripture.

    I hope this suffices to meet the questions you asked me to answer.

    Fr. Tim

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  18. Wayne: re: #2 It could also have been the teachings he offered in First Thessalonians. I didn't mean to leave the impression that it could not have been this letter. I simply am saying that it could also refer to another letter from him that is not part of the canon.

    Fr. Tim

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  19. Tim,

    I appreciate your answers. I believe Paul was referring to "oral statement" as means the verbal teaching which the apostles had been teaching. The second part referring to "letter" I think refers to whatever epistles they already had from the apostles.

    The claim by Rome that the word "traditions" is meant to include all future interpretations and dogmas announced by the Roman church is I think a false interpretation. It is taking an unwarranted liberty which this verse does not give in my opinion. I think the word traditions in this verse has to be limited to what the apostles taught either verbally or their written epistle. To go beyond that renders the Scriptures meaningless and gives licence to whatever fallible men wish to claim as dogma.

    Remember Jesus condemned the Pharisees for their traditions because the Pharisees were allegedly following Scripture to the letter but ignoring the true spirit and understanding the Scriptures.

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  20. Wayne: That's what Vatican II taught about the origins of what we as Catholics consider the 2nd lung of revelation known as 'Tradition'.

    Orthodoxy is the faithful transmission of that teaching.

    Theology is the study of the understanding of revelation in the context of the times. Church teachings validate these new understandings in the context of that faithful and orthodox deposit of faith. In so doing setting a new fixed point upon which we climb the plumb line into the mysteries of God's presence in our times.

    Do these definitions make sense to you? It's good to check every now and then that we are talking about the same things, or at least using the same terminology.

    Fr. Tim

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  21. Tim,

    I can understand basically with what you are saying Tim, but I can't accept that they have biblical authority to act as the infallible interpreter of God's revelation to man. You say "church teachings validate these new understandings". I challenge to find anything in Scriptue to support the church being able to do that.

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  22. Tim,

    How are you feeling now compared with a week ago? Hope you are improving. I wonder if you had some kind of virus.

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  23. Can anybody show where in the Bible God has given authority to certain men to be "infallible" interpreters of Scripture? This dogma is an invention of men to suit their own purposes.

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