Sunday, January 10, 2010

Unloading 35 Loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" 1/35

Steve Ray has a list of 35 loaded Questions for "Bible Christians" (quotation marks his)(link to the whole list). This is number 1/35. I'm trying to provide the answers in a common format, for easy reference.

1) Where did Jesus give instructions that the Christian faith should be based exclusively on a book?

Simple Answer(s):

Nowhere that we know of.

Important Qualification(s):

1) But all of Jesus' instructions that we know of, we know of from a book.

2) And Jesus did confirm what was written in the books of Moses:

Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

- TurretinFan

27 comments:

louis said...

If only it weren't for that stinking book, the Roman church would have everything. No wonder nothing gets under their skin like "sola scriptura".

Nick said...

I think there are two pretty serious points that need to be addressed here:

1) If the "simple answer" is "nowhere," then I would hope the objective reader/thinker would at least question Sola Scriptura. If Sola Scriptura is such a critical doctrine, wouldn't we expect to find some solid 'positive' proof for it? Even the Westminster Confession states (arbitrarily) that all doctrines necessary for Salvation are somewhere clearly taught in Scripture.
If all you have is 'negative' proof (i.e. that SS is the 'default' option), that in istelf makes SS self-refuting because you must begin with the ASSUMPTION SS is true.

2) You're assuming that "every word that comes from God" is only (or all became) written, or that it somehow implies Sola Scriptura.


I know that if I were Protestant, my conscience would be troubled if that was the 'best' response that the Protestant side could offer.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I have always trusted what Luke 24:13-27 has to say about the Book. After His resurrection Jesus appears to two disciples on the road to Emmaus:

(27) And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

This verse (from the larger section in context) teaches at least two specific concepts:

1) Jesus taught that the revelation of Himself (as it is to be understood before the incarnation) is to be found in the Old Testament Scriptures. The Book is the key to God's revelation of Himself. No "Magisterium" here. It is up to the opponents of Sola Scriptura to demonstrate why this pattern should be changed for NT believers.

2) The apostles were given the authority to expound on certain OT texts in a way that we sometimes find baffling. This is enough reason for me to dismiss cries from critics who say that the apostles misquoted or did not understand the OT texts they were referencing.

Nick said...

Pilgrim,

Note that Jesus 'opening' the Scriptures to the Apostles was in reference to showing how the OT types were pointing to and fulfilled in Christ. That isn't the same as saying Jesus pointed to the OT as the source from which all doctrine is derived. This is a critical distinction to make!

You have no grounds from that to say "It is up to the opponents of Sola Scriptura to demonstrate why this pattern should be changed for NT believers" when no such "pattern" of Sola Scriptura has been established. Indeed, they couldn't have been practicing SS in the Apostolic Church due to the simple fact Scripture was being compiled, over at least a few decades.

You then said: The apostles were given the authority to expound on certain OT texts in a way that we sometimes find baffling.

What you might not realize is that this example you state right here is the pattern the Magisterium models; indeed, the Apostles constituted the first magisterium of the Church.

Turretinfan said...

Nick:

a) Christ and the Spirit are the first magisterium of the Christian church.

b) And they speak to us through the Scripture.

c) Whether they also speak to us through your church is something for you to establish, not for us to find a specific prooftext against.

As to your first comment:

"Even the Westminster Confession states (arbitrarily) that all doctrines necessary for Salvation are somewhere clearly taught in Scripture."

You ought to know by now that the WCF (and we) doesn't think that sola scriptura is one of those doctrines that is necessary for salvation.

"f all you have is 'negative' proof (i.e. that SS is the 'default' option), that in istelf makes SS self-refuting because you must begin with the ASSUMPTION SS is true."

All you have to begin with is that the Scriptures are a rule of faith, and then invite any challengers to establish why they should also be a rule of faith.

"I know that if I were Protestant, my conscience would be troubled if that was the 'best' response that the Protestant side could offer."

I'm sure that my responses can be outdone by someone with more gifts than I have.

-TurretinFan

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Nick,

You said...

Indeed, they couldn't have been practicing SS in the Apostolic Church due to the simple fact Scripture was being compiled, over at least a few decades.

I'm not trying to be snarky here but honestly, you really have to drop that kind of argument. No one who truly understands Sola Scriptura applies that principle to the time of inscripturation. I'm talking about what the NT believers viewed as their infallible authority, which was clearly the Scriptures, that which Jesus called "the law and the prophets." There were other authorities, of course, connected with the temple and its administration to the people. Protestants today have a number of authorities to which they can turn: confessions, creeds, teachers, elders and deacons. All of these offices and helps are spelled out in the NT. But none of them is infallible nor is on the level of the Scriptures.

The question has always been about the sufficiency of Scripture, not the necessity of it for the believer, and believe it or not, I really am smart enough to recognise that the Word of God began with oral transmission before it was written down.

The question remains for us today: what or who is going to be our ultimate infallible authority?

I do not believe in an infallible magisterium and can find nothing like it demonstrated in the Scriptures or history as it pertains to either the Jews before Christ or the New Testament believers of all stripes afterwards.

Therefore, it is up to the theological opponent of Sola Scriptura to demonstrate that they have another infallible authority which runs alongside the Scriptures. And the truth is, in practice, the Scriptures are subservient to this other infallible authority nebulously called "tradition."

Rhology said...

That's alot like the most recent cross-ex Q&A in my Sola Scriptura debate.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Didn't see that, Rho. I'll check it out. Thanks for the link.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Rhology,

In your cross-ex of your Sola Scritura debate you said...

Virtually all the churches addressed in the epistles of the NT were struggling with false teachers and false teaching, tempting them. The majority held to very serious errors and had to be corrected. Some never recovered, like Laodicaea. Other struggled for decades if not longer with heresies such as Gnosticism, and Judaising (which finds its rebirth in modern semi-Pelagian systems such as RCC, EOC, strict Church of Christ, as well as numerous cults).

But ALL of these were churches who themselves were direct protegés of (a) direct protegé(s) of an apostle. Some were themselves direct protegés of an apostle. I'm sure it was helpful to have received direct man-to-man teaching from an apostle, but was that alone enough to keep them out of serious error, even heresy? Clearly not.


Previously I wrote this on my blog:

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-7).

This turning away from Christ for another gospel was not something that took generations or centuries to develop, but merely a few years, if not only months. And this is a church under the direct care of an apostle and his apprentice! The idea that Christ's Church could "go off the rails" is consistent with what the Scriptures teach on the "on again/off again" relationship God had with His people Israel all throughout their history.

Also, history is replete with examples of disciples abandoning the teaching of their mentors. Thus the necessity for keeping on our toes regarding what is passed down in traditions, as well as what is claimed to be taught in the Scriptures.

Nick said...

Turretinfan,

True, Christ and the Spirit are the 'first magisterium', but this certainly extends to Christ's own (Mystical) Body as well, the Church. To deny that is heresy, for it would be making Christ's (Mysical) Body lack any Divine attributes. And St Paul teaches though we are all members of the Body, not all 'offices' are the same, some are Apostles, some are teachers, etc, etc. Thus the Magisterium of Christ and the Spirit necessarily extends to His appointed human leaders.

As for Sola Scriptura being 'necessary for salvation': it is true it is not 'necessary' in the sense only being united to God is ultimately all that is necessary; but it surely is 'necessary' in the sense that it would be at the top of any list of doctrines one should know to be a reasonably informed and spiritually mature Christian. Otherwise that quote from the WCF really doesn't extend that far, maybe to one or two doctrines.

You said: "All you have to begin with is that the Scriptures are a rule of faith, and then invite any challengers to establish why they should also be a rule of faith."

Establishing Scripture is 'a' rule of faith doesn't warrant the jump to establish Sola Scriptura. The Bible doesn't speak of your approach to finding other authorities, much less that Sola Scriptura is true by 'default', thus you're embracing a man-centered theology by definition, because it starts with a human definition and then proceeds to build doctrines from there. This is why I keep saying that to prove SS 'negatively' makes the doctrine self-refuting.

Your example is just as problematic if I said the pen in front of me was a writing utensil and that I would hold it to be the only writing utensil in the world unless and until proven otherwise. On what basis can I say that? That's a human definition! Further, that claim in itself doesn't prove it's the only writing utensil, only that it's 'a' writing utensil.

Nick said...

Pilgrim: I'm not trying to be snarky here but honestly, you really have to drop that kind of argument. No one who truly understands Sola Scriptura applies that principle to the time of inscripturation.

Nick: While I've heard people make this claim, this only complicates the matter. Now you have to demonstrate, from Scripture, that SS doesn't apply during times of inscripturation, as well as when the period of inscripturation last ended. On top of that, and most damaging, is that if SS wasn't operable during times of inscripturation, then the Apostles couldn't be instructing (by word or epistle) their followers to engage in SS because they were all living during that inscripturation period.
confessions, creeds, teachers,

Pilgrim: The question remains for us today: what or who is going to be our ultimate infallible authority?

Nick: This is an ironic question (and one I don't see post by Scripture), because much of the NT was directed at a specific audience for a specific problem, some even addressed to only an individual (eg Titus), so to ask about what remains for us "today" is a question that doesn't follow the very 'solution' proposed. Take for example the fact the Apostolic age had to deal with the issue that a large percentage of Christians were Jews and how they were to co-mingle with Gentiles, that problem doesn't exist today, so "today" to turn to writings that focus primarily on that issue is illogical. Or what about the fact certain writings (private mail in fact) directed at specific individuals, Titus or Timothy, now long dead, warrants us to pick up this mail and make it a 'standard' by which to build doctrine?
See what I mean how your 'solution' is non-sequitor to what you're seeking for "today"??

Pilgrim: I do not believe in an infallible magisterium and can find nothing like it demonstrated in the Scriptures or history as it pertains to either the Jews before Christ or the New Testament believers of all stripes afterwards.

Nick: Acts 15:28 is a solid example of an infallible magisterium, and other texts like 1 Cor 12:27f show that Christians are the BODY OF a Divine Person (Christ), with some members being church authorities, enabling them to exercise infallibility by the very fact Christ is Divine.

Pilgrim: Therefore, it is up to the theological opponent of Sola Scriptura to demonstrate that they have another infallible authority which runs alongside the Scriptures.

Nick: Not logically speaking, because you're arguing negatively. That's a man-centered approach to theology, because your definition is not coming from a 'positive' divine mandate, and thus is unacceptable.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Part 1

Nick,

You said...

Now you have to demonstrate, from Scripture, that SS doesn't apply during times of inscripturation, as well as when the period of inscripturation last ended. On top of that, and most damaging, is that if SS wasn't operable during times of inscripturation, then the Apostles couldn't be instructing (by word or epistle) their followers to engage in SS because they were all living during that inscripturation period.

I don't have to demonstrate that at all. My point about inscripturation is that everything that was written down by the apostles in regard to the New Testament is not in conflict with the oral teaching of those same apostles. After their death, they would not have anything else to say orally, so what they had written is their legacy to us. The Word of God continued from the apostles in their teachings; this is not in conflict with SS. You might tell me that there are teachings not written down which should also bind our consciences. You would appeal, no doubt, to this idea of "Continuing Apostolic Succession," an idea which I do not find compelling and which cannot be demonstrated from the Scriptures. This is where we would disagree, for how can we know that your traditions are approved of either Christ or His apostles-- issues like the papacy, indulgences, purgatory, the Immaculate Conception and the PVM, et al.?

Your traditions demand an infallible teaching authority to justify them. My traditions do as well, but I am comforted by God's Word directly. (It's my belief that the individual is the final interpreter and arbiter of what he believes--whether he submits his beliefs to the Scriptures or whether he submits them to Rome, but that is another discussion for another time).

It seems to me that oral traditions not found in Scripture must be subject to what has been written down and established, else we will be "tossed about by every wind of doctrine."

To further clarify my previous posted comment, Sola Scriptura has always been in effect. It is a principle which is demonstrated in the Scriptures themselves by Jesus Christ Himself in which He constantly refers to what was written as the source of all infallible truth and as the final authority for the believer. He didn't say, "Oh yes, and there are other doctrines that you may hear put forth many years from now that may or may not be written down sometime--you're to pay attention to them as well, without regard to whether my chosen ones can confirm them as true or not."

It is self-evident that along with the incarnation would come additional writings from those directly under the tutelage of Christ which would then become Scripture because they are the very words of God Himself given to them straight from the mouth of Christ--these writings can be nothing else. Anything written by one of the (eventual twelve, for Judas was a thief and a liar) or a close associate of same is, providentially, Scripture.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Part 2

Nick,

You said...

Take for example the fact the Apostolic age had to deal with the issue that a large percentage of Christians were Jews and how they were to co-mingle with Gentiles, that problem doesn't exist today, so "today" to turn to writings that focus primarily on that issue is illogical.

What exactly do you mean "to turn to?" I'll concede that I don't look for Scripture passages that would help me fight against the Judaizers. So what? First, these historical events happened. They are instructive as narrative history and issues of faith in the same way that the OT instructs us about the history of God's dealing with His chosen people, the Jews. And second, if anything can be shown it's that history has a reciprocal nature to it. Every generation has to deal with many of the same issues, though they come repackaged in different forms at different times.

You said...

Or what about the fact certain writings (private mail in fact) directed at specific individuals, Titus or Timothy, now long dead, warrants us to pick up this mail and make it a 'standard' by which to build doctrine? See what I mean how your 'solution' is non-sequitor to what you're seeking for "today"??

Really? You want me to believe that Paul's letters to Titus (and Timothy) in which he outlines the qualifications for elders in Christ's local congregations, was meant for their eyes only and no others? Not the eyes of believers living in those congregations in those days? Not our eyes? These important instructions have no bearing on the way we in the 21st century are to conduct ourselves? Paul isn't teaching doctrine in these letters when he warns about what to look for in false teachers? Or what it means to be a servant of Christ? Or matters of church discipline?

I suppose I could say more, but I've already gone beyond what I had intended, and thank you for your indulgence. ;-)

Turretinfan said...

"Otherwise that quote from the WCF really doesn't extend that far, maybe to one or two doctrines. "

And why should it extend far?

Nick said...

Pilgrim: I don't have to demonstrate that at all.

Nick: You don't have to demonstrate that SS doesn't apply during times of inscripturation or when inscripturation ended? That's not fair. It's as if you're making the rules and yet don't have Scriptural backing for them.

Pilgrim: My point about inscripturation is that everything that was written down by the apostles in regard to the New Testament is not in conflict with the oral teaching of those same apostles.

Nick: I already agree with that. Who said otherwise? We would expect that nothing the Apostles taught orally would conflict with what they wrote. That said, this doesn't prove anything in regards to SS.

Pilgrim: After their death, they would not have anything else to say orally, so what they had written is their legacy to us.

Nick: If you mean "their [ONLY] legacy," then you must prove this. Of all 13 Apostles, only about 25% of them actually wrote something down, which would mean after an Apostle like Thomas died his community had no way to pass on the faith. Absurd. Further, Paul says expressly to hold onto his oral teachings, which directly contradicts you.

Pilgrim: You might tell me that there are teachings not written down which should also bind our consciences.

Nick: Sure, but even if I didn't you'd only be proving SS negatively, still lacking the Scriptural mandate for it. In short, it doesn't matter if I say there are, what matters is if Scripture says there are (or aren't) - anything else is speculation.

Pilgrim: how can we know that your traditions are approved of either Christ or His apostles?

Nick: That's a separate issue, and shifting the subject. Even if all my traditions were false, that wouldn't make SS automatically true. It would be like me saying disproving Mormonism makes Catholicism true automatically.

Pilgrim: It seems to me that oral traditions not found in Scripture must be subject to what has been written down and established, else we will be "tossed about by every wind of doctrine."

Nick: Does Scripure instruct you to proceed that way? If no, then you're making up your own rules. Further, a tradition might not be touched upon in Scripture, meaning you'd be searching to verify a subject Scripture doesn't discuss! The canon of Scripture is a plain example of this problem because Scripture doesn't give a list of books that make up the Bible.

Pilgrim: Sola Scriptura has always been in effect. It is a principle which is demonstrated in the Scriptures themselves by Jesus Christ Himself in which He constantly refers to what was written as the source of all infallible truth and as the final authority for the believer.

Nick: What happened to the 'period of inscripturation' in which SS was suspended? You can't have it both ways. If new information was being given by Jesus and the Apostles, then they weren't operating on SS, and thus you're holding two mutually exclusive positions simultaneously.

Pilgrim: He didn't say, "Oh yes, and there are other doctrines that you may hear put forth many years from now that may or may not be written down sometime--you're to pay attention to them as well, without regard to whether my chosen ones can confirm them as true or not."

Nick: Did Jesus instruct anyone to write down Scripture in the first place? What about compile the Bible? If nowhere, then you're applying a double standard.

Pilgrim: Anything written by one of the (eventual twelve) or a close associate of same is, providentially, Scripture.

Nick: That's a pretty bold leap of logic. Are you sure EVERYTHING an Apostle (or "close associate", which could be tons of people) wrote down was inspired Scripture? And how do you define "close associate" such that men like Clement and his Epistle doesn't count?

Nick said...

Pilgrim: What exactly do you mean "to turn to?"

Nick: Turn to as in appeal to a given writing. If, for example, a writing is a private letter (say to Titus), on what grounds do you conclude this letter is to be made public and apply to all of us today?

Pilgrim: I'll concede that I don't look for Scripture passages that would help me fight against the Judaizers. So what?

Nick: The "So what?" is in regards to their relevance "today". YOU were the one originally focused on what we have 'today'. If Judaizing is a long dead heresy, then appealing to a writing focused on that for "today" is illogical.

Pilgrim: They are instructive as narrative history and issues of faith in the same way that the OT instructs us about the history of God's dealing with His chosen people, the Jews.

Nick: Then they are only tangentially useful, hardly something we would expect to become a standard by which to base our faith.

Pilgrim: if anything can be shown it's that history has a reciprocal nature to it.

Nick: That all depends, somethings are repeated in history, other things are not. That the Church will ever be predominately Jewish is something that is yet to happen again.

Pilgrim: Really? You want me to believe that Paul's letters to Titus (and Timothy) in which he outlines the qualifications for elders in Christ's local congregations, was meant for their eyes only and no others? Not the eyes of believers living in those congregations in those days? Not our eyes? These important instructions have no bearing on the way we in the 21st century are to conduct ourselves? Paul isn't teaching doctrine in these letters when he warns about what to look for in false teachers? Or what it means to be a servant of Christ? Or matters of church discipline?

Nick: You're opening someone elses mail. Titus might have wanted those instructions to be passed on exclusively orally. Why didn't Paul address the Epistle to all Christians if that's what he intended? And would you think Paul only

Pilgrim: I suppose I could say more, but I've already gone beyond what I had intended, and thank you for your indulgence. ;-)

Nick: Yes, I agree. I think the issue of "the question of what remains for us today" got us on a tangent.

Janus said...

Well, if any one wants to know where the teachings of Christ can be found, the only source is the Bible, the same is for the teachings of Peter or Paul.

3Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. Jude 1:3

Where we can find this faith? ONLY in the SCRIPTURES.

42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.Acts 2:42

The Church grew up with the apostles teaching, Where we can find this teaching? It is ONLY IN THE BIBLE or Tradition? The answer ONLY IN THE BIBLE.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Nick,

I don't know of any Protestant who claims that the words Sola Scriptura are found in the Bible. It is a theological principle that is a necessary inference because Jesus modeled it for us. The Bereans were well aware of the principle (cf. Acts 17:11) and eagerly tested the apostle Paul's oral teaching against the Scriptures, which likely would have been the OT only at that time. Again, Jesus taught us the principle; He didn't call it Sola Scriptura.

Don't you think that the early church overseers read and referred to their Scriptures often when asked questions by the laity? Or did they have every possible answer to every possible question already in their heads because an apostle personally and orally conveyed it to them? No, of course not. They went to the Scriptures, whoever had copies in their various stages of completion, to confirm or deny any oral or written testimony they had received, and to disciple the people in their charge on that basis. Even Mohammed and his followers referred to Jews and Christians as "people of the Book," not "people of the Talk."

I concede that the words Sola Scriptura do not appear in the Bible, but I do not concede that the principle is an invention or innovation of the Reformers. It was recovered by them, absolutely.

Again, the Bible is our only source of infallible authority, but not our only authority.

I have already acknowledged that the "time of inscripturation," by which I mean approximately the first century A.D., means that apostolic-approved oral transmission of the gospel was necessary and in many cases singular for the "faith once for all delivered to the saints." Jesus Himself brought the gospel orally. What a blessing it is to the saints today to have God's written Word in our possession in as full a disclosure as we will likely see on this earth until the final consummation!

We have no apostles alive today to transmit information orally to us, unless your Apostolic Succession principle necessitates a belief in today's Catholic hierarchy as being literal apostles on the NT level. In addition, if you believe in ongoing special revelation through visions, dreams, visitations by angels and saints and so forth, here we would be theologically wide apart.

We live now in the 21st century, and God has provided to us an infallible authority for what we are to believe, and that is the Bible, the written Word of God.

And no, I did not mean that an apostle's grocery list is automatically and providentially "Scripture."

When we share the gospel orally with people today, it is on the basis, ultimately, of what we have learned from the Scriptures, and how our teaching comports with what is to be found there.

Nick said...

Pilgrim: I don't know of any Protestant who claims that the words Sola Scriptura are found in the Bible.

Nick: For the record, I never made that claim. Whenever I speak in such a manner, I am referring to the doctrine being taught in the Scripture, not the words "sola scriptura".

Pilgrim: It is a theological principle that is a necessary inference because Jesus modeled it for us.

Nick: I'd be careful about calling a key doctrine a 'necessary inference', for that can mean a fallacious argument (begging the question). Further, you run into even worse problems when you say "Jesus modeled it for us" when you've already admitted SS didn't apply during times of inscripturation.

Pilgrim: The Bereans were well aware of the principle (cf. Acts 17:11) and eagerly tested the apostle Paul's oral teaching against the Scriptures, which likely would have been the OT only at that time.

Nick: And what of the period of inscripturation? Further, reading the Berean account in proper context, they were seeing if Paul's description of Jesus fit the OT prophecies. The name "Jesus" and His specific life doesn't appear in the OT, that's all NT revelation which Paul preached orally (Acts 17:2-3). Lastly, the Bereans were commended for not causing an uproar (unlike the Thessalonians), not because they modeled Sola Scriptura.

Pilgrim: Again, Jesus taught us the principle; He didn't call it Sola Scriptura.

Nick: This goes back to the first question: Where did Jesus give instructions that the Christian faith should be based exclusively on a book?
Turretin fan answers: Nowhere.

Pilgrim: Don't you think that the early church overseers read and referred to their Scriptures often when asked questions by the laity?

Nick: I'd say they did sometimes, but that proves nothing.

Pilgrim: Or did they have every possible answer to every possible question already in their heads because an apostle personally and orally conveyed it to them? No, of course not.

Nick: This is fallacious: Nobody said they had to have "every possible answer to every possible question," whether one embraces Protestantism or Catholicism.

Pilgrim: They went to the Scriptures, whoever had copies in their various stages of completion, to confirm or deny any oral or written testimony they had received, and to disciple the people in their charge on that basis.

Nick: Pure speculation. Further, if they only had scripture in an 'early stage of completion' then they obviously couldn't be practicing SS by definition.

Pilgrim: Even Mohammed and his followers referred to Jews and Christians as "people of the Book," not "people of the Talk."

Nick: Irrelevant. It would be like using Joseph Smith as a valid testimony.

Nick said...

(part 2 of 2)

Pilgrim: I concede that the words Sola Scriptura do not appear in the Bible, but I do not concede that the principle is an invention or innovation of the Reformers. It was recovered by them, absolutely.

Nick: Again, for the record, I never suggested the words "sola scriptura" appear in Scripture.

Pilgrim: Again, the Bible is our only source of infallible authority, but not our only authority.

Nick: That's fine but irrelevant, because the discussion is only focused on divinely inspired authorities, not lesser (ie uninspired) subservient authorities.

Pilgrim: I have already acknowledged that the "time of inscripturation," by which I mean approximately the first century A.D., means that apostolic-approved oral transmission of the gospel was necessary and in many cases singular for the "faith once for all delivered to the saints." Jesus Himself brought the gospel orally.

Nick: Then you turnting to any moment in Christ's life or the Apostles' lives is in vain, for it was all a period of inscripturation and thus none of them could have been embracing or teaching SS. This reasoning is pretty solid.

Pilgrim: We have no apostles alive today to transmit information orally to us, unless your Apostolic Succession principle necessitates a belief in today's Catholic hierarchy as being literal apostles on the NT level.

Nick: It doesn't necessitate they be 'literal apostles on the NT level', but more along what Titus and Timothy were.

Pilgrim: In addition, if you believe in ongoing special revelation through visions, dreams, visitations by angels and saints and so forth, here we would be theologically wide apart.

Nick: This is slightly off topic, so I'll be brief: I do believe those things, and that's because they happened in the NT and I believe they still happen. Nowhere does the Bible say these things would end, and the office of prophet and such was mentioned as a NT office. Church tradition teaches that those these things can still happen, they only apply in a limited sense and are not on par with Scripture or Tradition.

natamllc said...

Nick,

I believe there is something you are not accounting for in this thread?

Also, because of that fact, there is this sense that the foundation you rest your head on is not the solid rock of Christ's Wisdom.

I detected that sense early on in this combox in your dialogue with Pilgrim.

You wrote:

"....What you might not realize is that this example you state right here is the pattern the Magisterium models; indeed, the Apostles constituted the first magisterium of the Church....".

I don't think so. What the RCC Magisterium models isn't Christ and His Mission then or now or from the first Word of that mission elucidated in Genesis 3.

Then you widen the gap a bit with these words:

"....And St Paul teaches though we are all members of the Body, not all 'offices' are the same, some are Apostles, some are teachers, etc, etc. Thus the Magisterium of Christ and the Spirit necessarily extends to His appointed human leaders. ...".


I have to say, here you are wrong. St. Paul, on the contrary, taught that not everyone is a part of the mystical Body of Christ with Him as the Head of His Body. In fact, he taught otherwise and in such a way that it was not an alarmist teaching. Jesus also taught that way and I suppose as Paul came to understand the "mystery" of the Wife of the Lamb, he got that understanding orally or in writing from Scripture such as these:

Joh 10:1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Joh 10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."
Joh 10:6 This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Now? Where did Paul teach something like that?

Here:

Act 20:26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you,
Act 20:27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
Act 20:28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
Act 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
Act 20:30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.
Act 20:31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.

I can say it is my opinion now, after weighing your responses in here that you are not working with a full deck of cards when you are coming to the defense of your religious Magisterium order.

That is not to say that you are not saved and when you die you won't go to Heaven. What it might be saying is you are like poor Nicodemus, who was a teacher of his day and had no idea about being "born again".

natamllc said...

Nick,

here again with these words of yours I sense the lack of understanding, in my opinion, you have:::>

"....Indeed, they couldn't have been practicing SS in the Apostolic Church due to the simple fact Scripture was being compiled, over at least a few decades....".


Clearly with those words you don't have the understanding of the "mystery" of the Gospel.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Hi Nick,

Thanks for the discussion, but I'm now ready to bring my participation in it to a close.

I would just mention one more thing. You seem to have inadvertently hit upon an important Protestant argument against Roman Catholicism's many startling non-Scriptural innovations:

I'd be careful about calling a key doctrine a 'necessary inference', for that can mean a fallacious argument (begging the question).

I'll be careful if you folks will. ;-)

Blessings to you in Christ,

Pilgrimsarbour

natamllc said...

Nick

again, the non sequitor is with you.

You wrote: "....Take for example the fact the Apostolic age had to deal with the issue that a large percentage of Christians were Jews and how they were to co-mingle with Gentiles, that problem doesn't exist today, so "today" to turn to writings that focus primarily on that issue is illogical....".


Hmmmmmm? I didn't know that problem ever left the world? There have been waning moments through the centuries.

As I can sense it, both orthodox Jews, Jews of many persuasions and Messianic Jews of many persuasions seem to be coming on stronger now more than ever before seeing the Spirit of Grace is being fulfilled in this age.

There is that teaching by Paul the Apostle of the provocation of the Jews by those Gentile Christians then and now, I suppose?

What do you think?

Virginia said...

God also said in Heb. that the bible is the word of God written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Only the living word of God - the bible are the truths of God written in. The traditions of men ( catechism) are dogma's says Rabbi Moshe Lauri. All through the bible men are condemned for giving God lip service while their hearts are far from Him. Only the living bible can convict hearts Heb. 4:12

Amos said...

Have read Mark 7v 13.Remember that there were no a thing as sola scriptura among the Early Christian rather it s an invention or few centuries ago who are they to give those misleading teachings, do they have the Authority??? Let people leave their traditions alone and seek the truth

Amos said...

Nick generous let me ask you What do know about the Church history? You better seek to know the truth not be fooled by men`s 15th century innovations as if that is when Christ gave as the Church... take care