The path to this post is hardly perspicuous in itself. This post is a response to Mr. Matthew Bellisario (link), who is responding to my earlier post (link), which was a response to Mr. Mark Shea's post (link), which was a response to Dr. White's post (link), which was a response to a post by Mr. Mark Shea (link), which made (or at least now makes ... the post has been updated, it seems) reference to an earlier discussion between Dr. White and Mr. Shea (link).
Mr. Bellisario has provided a lengthy response to my post. For a variety of reasons, I think it may be best to address his comments in a series of posts, particularly, since there are some natural divisions in Mr. Bellisario's article, and permit the reader (and the writer) to consider the issue in manageable chunks.
Without further ado:
Mr. Bellisario begins his post:
I ran across another post by one of the "Reformed" apologists who once again has taken many early Church Father writings out of context to try and bolster his case for Sola Scriptura. Of course we all know who these guys are that twist the Scriptures and the Fathers to their own destruction. I wanted to peruse through a post by Turretin Fan and show you just how bad his arguments are pertaining to understanding the Scriptures and Sola Scriptura. He calls one of his latest posts,"Flattening Flimsy Flam", where he insults the Catholic apologist Mark Shea. What is amusing is that his own post is what is really the flimsy flam because his arguments are really bad. Lets look at some of the quotes this guy cuts and pastes for his arguments to defend his position of Sola Scriptura as well as the ease of understanding the Scriptures without the help of apostolic Tradition.I answer:
1) Obviously, a number of Bellisario's remarks are just chest-pounding about how he's going to criticize my post, how bad he thinks my arguments are, etc.
a) "once again has taken many early Church Father writings out of context"
b) "Of course we all know who these guys are that twist the Scriptures and the Fathers to their own destruction"
c) "I wanted to ... show you just how bad his arguments are pertaining to understanding the Scriptures and Sola Scriptura."
d) "is amusing is that his own post is what is really the flimsy flam because his arguments are really bad"
My response is simply that we will see how much he can substantiate these assertions in the segments that follow. If he can show that the arguments were bad, I'll happily replace or recant them. If not, I'll encourage Mr. Bellisario to be more modest in his claims.
2) Remarks about motive: "to try and bolster his case for Sola Scriptura" / "to defend his position of Sola Scriptura"
Actually, while perspicuity is one aspect of Sola Scriptura, this post was primarily about perspicuity, not about Sola Scriptura more generally.
3) Odd usage: "He calls one of his latest posts,'Flattening Flimsy Flam'" / "his own post is what is really the flimsy flam"
No, actually, I called it "Flattening Flimsy Flim-Flam." The word "flam" is a word, but it has nothing to do with "flim-flam." I have no idea what Mr. Bellisario means by "flam" in his post. Presumably he's just inaccurately aping me.
4) Remarks about tone: "where he insults the Catholic apologist Mark Shea"
No, I don't insult him. I respond to his claims, but I don't insult him.
5) Remarks about ... effort? "quotes this guy cuts and pastes"
It's in the nature of quotations to be cut from the source and pasted into the target. Surely Mr. Bellisario is not suggesting that one should merely paraphrase those one is quoting. In the absence of such an event, however, it seems Mr. Bellisario is just trying to downplay the work involved in transcribing these quotations (in fact, as to the mechanism, it was not a simple "cut-and-paste," but that is neither here nor there).
6) More remarks about motive: "to defend his position of ... the ease of understanding the Scriptures without the help of apostolic Tradition"
This is closer to the mark than item (2) above. Nevertheless, the point of my article was that the important things in Scripture are plain. The necessary things are all manifest. Not everything is equally clear, but the Scriptures were written to be read and understood. Furthermore, the scriptures are able to make one wise unto salvation and to thoroughly equip the man of God to every good work.
There was some brief discussion toward the end about the lack of need for additional Apostolic tradition. In fact, as was pointed out in the article, the argument that Scripture is ambiguous and needs apostolic tradition is itself a Gnostic argument, not an Apostolic tradition.
With that, let's move on to the place where Mr. Bellisario will attempt to substantiate his claims regarding the quality etc. of my arguments and quotations.