Skip to comments.Scripture, Tradition, and Rome Part 2
Posted on 01/03/2014 12:22:14 PM PST by redleghunter
As we established yesterday, the official Catholic position on Scripture is that Scripture does not and cannot speak for itself. It must be interpreted by the Church's teaching authority, and in light of "living tradition." De facto this says that Scripture has no inherent authority, but like all spiritual truth, it derives its authority from the Church. Only what the Church says is deemed the true Word of God, the "Sacred Scripture . . . written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records."
This position obviously emasculates Scripture. That is why the Catholic stance against sola Scriptura has always posed a major problem for Roman Catholic apologists. On one hand faced with the task of defending Catholic doctrine, and on the other hand desiring to affirm what Scripture says about itself, they find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. They cannot affirm the authority of Scripture apart from the caveat that tradition is necessary to explain the Bible's true meaning. Quite plainly, that makes tradition a superior authority. Moreover, in effect it renders Scripture superfluous, for if Catholic tr adition inerrantly encompasses and explains all the truth of Scripture, then the Bible is simply redundant. Understandably, sola Scriptura has therefore always been a highly effective argument for defenders of the Reformation.
(Excerpt) Read more at gty.org ...
The Watch Tower insists that its publications are needed to properly interpret the Bible.
Of course, they’ve been consistently wrong about when Christ will come again.
So, while I would never compare the Caholic Church to the Jehovh’s witnesses in any shape, form, or fashion, I do have to wonder what, in principle, is the difference between the two stances?
With all respect, and I’m not trying to stir something up (just have never understood this), if Scripture is truly sufficient without any authoritative interpretation), then why the diversity of beliefs with the various groups who all claim to rely upon Scripture alone? I’ve had people tell me that the differences are all peripheral, but I can’t picture that important doctrinal points, like soteriology and eschatology, can possibly be peripheral.
For example, I understand that Southern and most Independent Fundamental Baptists are Calvinist in their Soteriology, but Free Will Baptists (and others?) are Arminian. I’ve read here in FR what some Calvinists think about Arminian beliefs, so I can’t imagine that the two are compatible at all. That’s not a peripheral belief, is it? (One’s salvation shouldn’t be peripheral)
But if the Holy Spirit illuminates each believer so that he can interpret Scripture on his own, how can both of the two views above be guided by the Holy Spirit? (Seems, at best, that one would be and the other wouldn’t)
Is one orthodox and the other a heretic? But says who?
So how does that work?
I’m not trying to stir something up (and I’m sure somebody will be by with his YOPIOS pic), but just want to know how you all can reconcile that belief with the diversity of beliefs that are out there with people who say Scripture, interpreted by the individual, is the sole authority?
Christ gave the power to bind and loose to Peter and the Apostles, who passed that power on to their successors. This is the essential difference.
But not to add or subtract from Scripture.
There are seven segments to this sewries of which thisa is the third. I am using them in a progressive lesson for my Bible group to provide fellow Christians with firm and unassailable responses to the current attack of these doctrines by Romanists.
That’s exactly right.
Hank Hanegraaff moderated a debate on Calvinism vs. Arminianism once where he touched on this very issue. He said these were important issues...but not “unto salvation” (???) and then said that good scholars differed and it was an “in-house” debate.
I kinda chuckled at that. Basically, his definition of “good scholars” was “good PROTESTANT scholars” and “in house” meant within the house of Protestantism. Calvin thought one thing, Arminius and others something else.
But then why restrict yourself to that limited pool? Why not throw Chrysostom and Aquinas in there as well?
This is not a question of “Rome says this tradition, but we stay pure of any tradition”. This is a question of “Rome says this tradition...and we say some other tradition that got cooked up in the last 500 years.”
Ah....but that's the very issue now isn't it?!
See, because I am quite convinced the Reformers SUBTRACTED from Scripture when they started saying "this is my body"....didn't mean what it had always been taken to mean.
Don't want to get into the weeds with that argument. But what I'd like to know is...why, if Scripture is self-sufficient, am I NOT ALLOWED to believe in the Real Presence when I read it in the plain sense of Scripture? I have made a very close study of it and I am convinced that the Reformers were dead wrong on this point.
I think believers in Sola Scriptura assuage themselves with the idea that their opponents are institutional automatons, instead of people who read the Scriptures just like them and simply came to the opposite conclusion.
If you *really* believe in Sola Scriptura, you must, perforce, admit my right to believe in the Real Presence from the Scriptures.
Its rather simple really. There are many who claim Sola Scriptura but stray from it. Show me the differences between denominations, sects, individuals or whatever and I can show how they stray from Sola Scriptura. They either dont use ALL of scripture, take passages out of context, or use some other authority such as Luther, Calvin, so called church fathers, or some other source for their justification for a belief.
Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts.
Do you have to believe in sola Scriptura to be saved?
You don't use any sources? At all? You have never read and been convinced by any person's explanation of a Scriptural passage? You've never heard something explained by someone else? You don't listen to any preachers on Sunday?
It's just you and you alone, reading the Bible, staying blissfully "pure" of any outside influence?
People that worship the Bible.. AND
People that worship the church......
Pretty much makes GOD a doofus.....
Could be a Donkey Rodeo.... with clowns and everything...
If you *really* believe in Sola Scriptura, you must, perforce, admit my right to believe in the Real Presence from the Scriptures.
Well, you have the right to believe anything you want. And I think close study of the issue is all to the good. My thought, though, is that it is not Church tradition that should guide the study, but theHoly Spirit.
Not saying that you're wrong, just that I think that you are. Could be me that is wrong. But be that as it may, IMO, the important thing is to accept Christ as Savior and be baptised. This latter not as a condition of salvation, but in obedience to our Lord's command.
Every, and I mean every, other theological point is secondary to requirement to repent of your sin and accept Christ as Savior. If not, how can an illeterate be saved? By accepting Church tradition?
Suppose he is led away from truth by an apostate or heretical priest, such as those who gave "lberation theology"?
Actually it should be both!
All that "Church tradition" is, is the accumulated wisdom of many Christians who have been inspired by the Holy Spirit from the beginning of the Church until now.
Like say your pastor said X. And everyone else said Y. You'd wonder if your pastor was a bit off, right? But if your pastor and every other pastor said X, then you'd feel pretty good about believing X because you'd be in good company with people you trust.
When you see tradition as not so much a dogma passed down from on high, but as really just a bunch of Holy-Spirit-inspired people all saying X together....then it makes sense why people should not be too eager to go out on a limb and say Y.
Only Christ was perfect in wisdom, the rest of us will make mistakes and have disagreements with each other on this or that.
It's the same as politics. Catholics say we must all agree on religious issues or else our views don't matter. For instance, since the Catholics follow the pope and all Catholics agree with him, then they say that makes them the only true form of Christianity, since all Protestants don't agree with everything every other Protestant believes. If you believe that then you would have to dismiss the political views of members of this site since we don't agree on anything. Some of us believe in Free Trade, some hate that belief. Some of us believe in the income tax over a retail tax, and some here hate the income tax. But generally we are on one side and liberals are on the other, even though none of us are in perfect agreement with anyone else here.
Thanks for the reply. It seems the most important "ology" you posted is soteriology. I know of no differences in the Calvinist and Arminian postions of saved by Grace through faith. There may be differences on free will vs. election but I believe you get enough of that here. Boils down to both groups take the face value of the gospel of Grace. Arminians and Calvinists break bread together. Whether free will or election, both agree, well we don't know who the elect are only God does.
Which brings us to what authority the apostles told us we can rely on and that is the God inspired Scriptures:
2 Timothy 3:
10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystrawhat persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
We should remember at this point in time Paul and other apostles had some epistles in circulation, but the scriptures in which Paul tells Timothy "Holy Scriptures" would be what is now the OT. We also have the Bereans in Acts 17 searching the scriptures (again we can be pretty certain only the OT scriptures available at this point) diligently to see if Paul's inspired message of the Gospel to them is true. In the same passage in Acts 17 the statement is made that the Bereans seemed more "fair minded" than the Thessalonians. This becomes important as we look at Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, which admonishes them for not following the words of Paul, believing in stories of others claiming to be apostles; therefore Paul had to put in writing what they needed to know, thus the epistles to them.
Please I understand "stir the pot" is what happens at FR and makes it a great place to come. You were polite and reasoned and I hope I addressed what you asked. Maybe I just don't see a big difference in Arminian doctrine as a Calvinist might see, but ask them, they are not calling each other heretics. They may disagree on finer points but they both ascribe and believe in the Gospel as stated by Jesus Christ in Luke 24 and explained in detail in 1 Corinthians 15.
Now on issues of eschatology, I don't even think there are any protestants or evangelicals who would call each other heretics or will not break bread with over eschatology. There may be one exception in that full prederists believe the second coming of Christ is past (happened in 70 AD) and the resurrection is something ongoing and there is no literal judgment day. Most protestants and evangelicals would say such a position is in error. Other than this group (very small) good Christians can be in disagreement over eschatology because we all believe Jesus Christ is coming again as evidenced in Acts 1, Revelation 1 and many other refs, and He will judge the living and the dead. amillennials, millennials, pre-trib, post-trib no trib, all know at some point that the Gospels and epistles tell us Jesus is coming again to put an end to this temporal world. Evangelicals do not see a reason for division over the timeline that is clearly in God's Hands. All believe to watch and be ready and be found worthy of His return.
Now, I am glad you did not use the tactic some use here. I don't need explain David Koresh, Jim Jones, JWs, Mormons and all other cult groups given those groups live not by scriptures as the authority but their cult leader or group provides their marching orders.
Finally, being a guy who has been on both sides of the Tiber I understand your points and frankly we (prots and RCs) will probably never resolve them corporately. Tradition and history is very important to your Church, I respect that. What I cannot see is how one bishop (Lord of the Rings here) forged a ring to rule them (other bishops) all. As I see the scriptures and even the post apostolic early church, I don't see that one ring rules them all. And, I state here, I too am not trying to stir the pot:) Thanks again Mark...
No we dont. Jesus refuted the fleshly presence.
John 6:63 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Matthew 15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
Surely you dont actually physically eat the scroll or book do you?
Ezek 3:1 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this scroll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. 2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that scroll. 3 And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
1 Corinthians 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
By that question you indicate to me that you have no concept of what Sola Scriptura really means.
Ill give you an example. The RCC teaches the assumption of Mary. Can you find anywhere in scripture that any of the apostles taught that?