Monday, May 03, 2010

Scripture and the Church - Response to John Martin

The following is a response to comments from John Martin (Roman Catholic) in the comment box of a previous post (link to previous post). In general, the quotations (using normal quotation marks) are from John Martin. My responses follow line-by-line.

"All scriptures were written by prophets either of the OT church of Israel of the NT church of Israel."

Seemingly, all the Scriptures were written by people who were Jewish and who were believers. As far as we know, all were males. The fact of their ethnic identity and their masculinity are not especially significant. We don't actually know who wrote some of the books of Scripture (for example, Hebrews, Job, or Esther). The fact that we don't know who wrote them is not especially significant.

"In both cases the prophets came first, and spoke the word and some of the word was then written down."

No. In the case of Paul's epistles, the word was written down in the first instance. The same goes for Revelation. The same may be the case in many or nearly all cases. It's rare when we are told that a certain prophecy was first given orally and later written down.

"From this we have the principle of church dependence upon the OT and NT, for the scriptures were never self written nor self authenticating, but were written and authenticated by church members."

No, the Scriptures are θεόπνευστος (theopneustos), God-breathed. Thus, they are self-authenticating. Their authority was recognized by members of the Church, but on the authority of God, not the church.

"In both the OT and the NT the scriptures were recognised as such by the magesteriums’ within either testaments. In the OT were have the chair of Moses and the NT we have the chair of Peter."

We don't have "the chair of Peter" in the New Testament. If you disagree, please point it out. No doubt not only the magisteria of the churches of the old and new testaments but also the congregants altogether recognized the authority of the Scriptures. And "the chair of Moses" (the Sanhedrin who sat in that seat, and ) clearly did show that it was aware of the Scriptures, as did the apostles, elders, and brethren of the Jerusalem church.

Ironically, however, you don't accept the same Scriptures that the "chair of Moses" accepted, together with the Jewish people generally, even though the divine oracles were committed to them:

Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

"Church founded by Christ and the apostles"

It was founded by Christ on himself. The apostles were built on him. And we are built on their foundation.

"Some members of the apostles and their close associates writes some texts"

Some holy men of God were inspired to write the Holy Scripture.

"These texts were used in the liturgy and later recognised as being apostolic and inspired by the church magesterium. This is historical fact."

Saying "This is the historical fact" doesn't make it one. The development of stable liturgies comes after the apostles. The Scriptures were read both in the synagogues before Christ and in the churches once Christ came.

As I've already pointed out, the Scriptures were recognized as Scriptures immediately, though a few of the smaller books took longer to circulate.

"In short we have church- church members write- church uses text- church recognises text officially as scripture."

The fact that the people who write something are "church members" doesn't make their work a product of the church. And, the churches used the text before there was an "official" recognition. Peter mentions the canonicity of Paul's epistles almost as a matter of course, without any prior (that we know of) official dogmatic announcement of the canon.

"Therefore, from beginning to end the authority of scripture is dependent upon the church."

See above.

"It is fallacious to cite a cited text as being authoritative without establishing the authority of the original text that uses the statement."

No, it's not.

"Therefore to say Peter says Paul’s texts are scripture means we must determine the authority of Peter first and as Peter is not self authenticating then it must be determined as authoritative through the ordinary means of tradition and the magesterium."

a) Peter's epistles are self-authenticating.

b) All that we must do is believe Peter's epistles to know that Paul's epistles are Scripture.

"Therefore the so called early citation of scripture is fallacious."

It's not "so called." Peter refers to Paul's epistles as Scripture.

"Christ also referred to the chair of Moses as being binding on the believer and Paul says repeatedly throughout his letters that tradition is binding on the believer."

a) The chair of Moses was binding only to a limited extent. When it came in conflict with God's law, it was not to be obeyed.

Recall what Peter and the other apostles said:

Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

b) The apostolic tradition we have is that found in Scripture. You cannot point us to any other authentic apostolic tradition. Nor can you establish that there is any part of the apostolic tradition that was conveyed by the apostles but not contained either expressly or implicitly in Scriptures.

"As Paul was an apostle and Paul preached many truths not recorded in scripture, we then have the three authorities of scripture, tradition and the magesterium being used in the early Church."

a) There's not a good reason to think think that "Paul preached many truths not recorded in scripture."

b) Even if there were a good reason to think that "Paul preached many truths not recorded in scripture" it would not follow that we need those additional things.

"Evidently the church was Catholic and not a reformed version of the Gospel."

The early church had a mixture of true and false teachers, just as now. But none, even among the false teachers, taught the odd assortment of distinctively Roman dogmas, such as papal infallibility, the immaculate conception of Mary, and Purgatory.

That doesn't mean that the alternative is that all held to precisely the Westminster Confession of Faith. There were a variety of different views among the early Christians - though they had a single source for their doctrines: the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

"The Bereans listened to Pauls oral tradition as from an apostles who was a member of the magesterium."

What makes you say that? It can't really be something in the text of Acts, can it?

"The Bereans were formally using scripture ad materially using tradition and the magesterium, which to be expected because the Bereans were not yet in the church, but only possible converts when Paul was evangelizing them."

They were using Scripture as their rule of faith.

"Even still, the Bereans used scripture tradition and the teaching magesterium and not scripture alone."

It would be nice if you could demonstrate that - but we both know that you cannot.

"The first person to correctly put together was Athanasius in the 4th C, so the NT canon was not settled until at least that time."

a) You ought to say instead that the first person whose list we have, where the list of New Testament books exactly matches our list, is Athanasius.

b) The fact that there was a little uncertainty (in various churches) about some of the books is true. Nevertheless, the vast bulk of the Scripture was well known from the earliest times, as I've already noted.

c) Additional evidence may be found in the canon list of Eusebius of Caesarea, which has all the New Testament books, although it notes that some are disputed (Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Chapter 25.)(about A.D. 324).

I wrote: “h) The Scriptures were given for the purpose of the edification and instructions of the church.”

JM responded: "And so was tradition and the teaching magesterium to resolve doctrinal conflicts."

Not in the same way, to the extent they were given at all.

"We see this in the Jerusalem Council and later at Nicea and Chalcedon and son on."

All three of those councils relied on the authority of Scripture, rather than on supposed inherent authority of the council.

"All three authorities were used together throughout church history. This is undeniable fact."

Not in the same sense that you have in mind - based on your arguments here. And we don't have any authoritative extra-scriptural "tradition" left, if there ever was any. Meanwhile, we still have the authority of teachers in the church - but this was never an authority comparable to Scripture.

"From what I’ve said, from what’s found in scripture and from church history there are three authorities of scripture, tradition and the church magesterium all required and interdependent."

Do you think you can show from Scripture that Scripture is dependent on the church or extra-scriptural "tradition"?

"We cannot base the authority of the church upon formally upon the scriptures, but only materially, because the scriptures authority formally comes from God, through the church."

Do we find any of the Scriptures written in the name of "the Church"? Not one. We find that they are all God-breathed, and that they are written by individuals whom God's Spirit has moved to write what they write.

There seems to be an attempt in the argument you are making to allege the mere material sufficiency of Scripture, although the way you are phrasing the argument is somewhat unusual.

"The OT scriptures come from the OT church, which was OT Israel. Again, this is an almost self evident fact."

I've addressed this above. They came from individuals who were inspired. The OT church did not say, "Go write some Scriptures." The individuals' authority came directly from God.

"Taking a closer look at the text shows us just how problematic sola scriptora really is."

Let's see.

"The reference to scripture being God breathed is only a metaphor, which assumes an authoritative magesterium to flesh out the meaning of the text and give the church a more formal and a more precise meaning of what it means for a text to be inspired."

The use of metaphor in writing doesn't ordinarily require an authoritative magisterium. Why should it require one here? The sense is relatively transparent despite the use of an anthropomorphism.

"This was done by the catholic Popes, who made pronouncements on the nature of inspiration in conformity with tradition."

When I read through the church fathers who either comment on that verse or cite it, not a single one makes reference to pronouncements by Roman bishops about the verse. Doesn't that strike you as odd? I mean, if you were right, we wouldn't we expect to hear it say, "as Bishop Celestius explains" or even, "as Rome has taught us."

Take Chrysostom's commentary as an example:
Having offered much exhortation and consolation from other sources, he adds that which is more perfect, derived from the Scriptures; and he is reasonably full in offering consolation, because he has a great and sad thing to say. For if Elisha, who was with his master to his last breath, when he saw him departing as it were in death, rent his garments for grief, what think you must this disciple suffer, so loving and so beloved, upon hearing that his master was about to die, and that he could not enjoy his company when he was near his death, which is above all things apt to be distressing? For we are less grateful for the past time, when we have been deprived of the more recent intercourse of those who are departed. For this reason when he had previously offered much consolation, he then discourses concerning his own death: and this in no ordinary way, but in words adapted to comfort him and fill him with joy; so as to have it considered as a sacrifice rather than a death; a migration, as in fact it was, and a removal to a better state. “For I am now ready to be offered up” (2 Tim. iv. 6.), he says. For this reason he writes: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, 510for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” All what Scripture? all that sacred writing, he means, of which I was speaking. This is said of what he was discoursing of; about which he said, “From a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures.” All such, then, “is given by inspiration of God”; therefore, he means, do not doubt; and it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

“For doctrine.” For thence we shall know, whether we ought to learn or to be ignorant of anything. And thence we may disprove what is false, thence we may be corrected and brought to a right mind, may be comforted and consoled, and if anything is deficient, we may have it added to us.

“That the man of God may be perfect.” For this is the exhortation of the Scripture given, that the man of God may be rendered perfect by it; without this therefore he cannot be perfect. Thou hast the Scriptures, he says, in place of me. If thou wouldest learn anything, thou mayest learn it from them. And if he thus wrote to Timothy, who was filled with the Spirit, how much more to us!

“Thoroughly furnished unto all good works”; not merely taking part in them, he means, but “thoroughly furnished.”
(source)

"Evidently the church is only materially dependent upon the scriptures for its authority."

Actually, listen to what Chrysostom explains above: "Thou hast the Scriptures, he says, in place of me." Having Paul's epistles is like having Paul himself, and better - for Scripture is infallible but Paul was fallible. See also my note above the formal/material distinction.

"The church is formally dependent upon Christ and the apostles and the tradition passed down through the church history. This tradition tells us of the way in which the church is to pray, worship, a code of conduct to be used to please God ..."

Paul (indeed Scripture itself) says that Scripture itself is able to furnish man thoroughly for every good work.

"... and a magisterial authority that can an has made pronouncements upon many matters of faith and morals."

There is, of course, authority in the church. It's just not as high of an authority as your church suggests.

"Any way you look at it, scripture, tradition and the church are all interrelated and we cannot come to the conclusion that the church is formally dependent upon the scriptures for its authority."

Jesus' subordinated his own ministry to the Scriptures, encouraging the Jews to Search the Scriptures to confirm that He was whom He claimed to be.

-TurretinFan

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you think of those who say Luke was a Gentile?
Godith

Turretinfan said...

I'm not sure why people would say that, Godith. There's not much biographical information available about Luke.

Anonymous said...

It's very disputed. This is one take
"The Author was Probably a Gentile:Luke is
distinguished from Jews (the circumcised) in
Colossians 4:10-14, and thus seems to have been
placed along with the Gentiles (Epaphras, Luke and
Demas"
Godith

john martin said...

"All scriptures were written by prophets either of the OT church of Israel of the NT church of Israel."

Seemingly, all the Scriptures were written by people who were Jewish and who were believers. As far as we know, all were males. The fact of their ethnic identity and their masculinity are not especially significant. We don't actually know who wrote some of the books of Scripture (for example, Hebrews, Job, or Esther). The fact that we don't know who wrote them is not especially significant.”
All scripture was written by prophets.

"In both cases the prophets came first, and spoke the word and some of the word was then written down."

FT- No. In the case of Paul's epistles, the word was written down in the first instance. The same goes for Revelation. The same may be the case in many or nearly all cases. It's rare when we are told that a certain prophecy was first given orally and later written down.”
Paul was an apostle with a mission who traveled and spoke the word before writing the word. This was the norm. He taught in Ephesus for some time before writing his letter to the Ephesians. His other letters are to church’s already established, with the exception of Romans. However Romans is written to a church already established by other disciples using oral tradition and apostolic succession.

"From this we have the principle of church dependence upon the OT and NT, for the scriptures were never self written nor self authenticating, but were written and authenticated by church members."

FT- No, the Scriptures are θεόπνευστος (theopneustos), God-breathed. Thus, they are self-authenticating. Their authority was recognized by members of the Church, but on the authority of God, not the church.”
Another jumbled argument. FT’s been told before that God breathed is only a metaphor. God breathed does not require us to believe God wrote any text, let alone the OT and NT texts. Its simply fallacious to conclude God has written any text, le alone that text being self authenticating.
Self authentication of a supernatural act of God, not detectable in the text is a reformed crutch used to avoid the conclusion that the church wrote and identified the texts as having a supernatural author.
Just how does FT identify God breathed in a text? He doesn’t say . . . so he has to explain himself.
"In both the OT and the NT the scriptures were recognised as such by the magesteriums’ within either testaments. In the OT were have the chair of Moses and the NT we have the chair of Peter."

FT- We don't have "the chair of Peter" in the New Testament. If you disagree, please point it out. No doubt not only the magisteria of the churches of the old and new testaments but also the congregants altogether recognized the authority of the Scriptures. And "the chair of Moses" (the Sanhedrin who sat in that seat, and ) clearly did show that it was aware of the Scriptures, as did the apostles, elders, and brethren of the Jerusalem church.
The keys of the Davidic kingdom were passed onto Peter, who then has prime authority over the church when Jesus ascends into heaven. This fulfils the OT authorities in the Davidic kingdom and the priestly chair of the mosaic covenant. Peter is the new priest who pronounces the name of God at the time when the OT high priest pronounces the name of God. Therefore Peter has the authority above and beyond the OT high priest. Peter and his successors have the priestly power of the keys to teach and to govern.
The chair of Peter is a position of power in the church demonstrated in Peters decisions over the church in Acts.
. . .

john martin said...

“Ironically, however, you don't accept the same Scriptures that the "chair of Moses" accepted, together with the Jewish people generally, even though the divine oracles were committed to them:

FT- Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. “
I have no idea what you are talking about here.
"Church founded by Christ and the apostles"

FT- It was founded by Christ on himself. The apostles were built on him. And we are built on their foundation.”
Ephesians 2 says the church is founded on Christ and the apostles.

JM"These texts were used in the liturgy and later recognised as being apostolic and inspired by the church magesterium. This is historical fact."

FT Saying "This is the historical fact" doesn't make it one. The development of stable liturgies comes after the apostles. The Scriptures were read both in the synagogues before Christ and in the churches once Christ came.

The NT was read in the liturgy because there was an oral apostolic tradition that said the texts were to be used in NT worship.

FT As I've already pointed out, the Scriptures were recognized as Scriptures immediately, though a few of the smaller books took longer to circulate.

Your argument was refuted before. You haven’t pointed out anything without begging the question concerning the authority of Peters letters pointing to Paul’s as being scripture.
JM"In short we have church- church members write- church uses text- church recognises text officially as scripture."

FT- The fact that the people who write something are "church members" doesn't make their work a product of the church.”
There’s the umpa lumpa argument again. Deny the church wrote the text, so it must have been a secret umpa lumpa sect who wrote the texts.
FT And, the churches used the text before there was an "official" recognition. Peter mentions the canonicity of Paul's epistles almost as a matter of course, without any prior (that we know of) official dogmatic announcement of the canon.

And that’s to beg the question because you don’t know Peter wrote the text or if the text of Peter is inspired from the text, but from tradition.

JM"Therefore, from beginning to end the authority of scripture is dependent upon the church."

FT See above.

Refuted easily as usual.
. . .

john martin said...

JM "It is fallacious to cite a cited text as being authoritative without establishing the authority of the original text that uses the statement."

FT -No, it's not.

Peters text could have been written by anyone and we have no way of knowing Peters text is inspired from the text itself. You think so, so prove it.

JM"Therefore to say Peter says Paul’s texts are scripture means we must determine the authority of Peter first and as Peter is not self authenticating then it must be determined as authoritative through the ordinary means of tradition and the magesterium."

FT a) Peter's epistles are self-authenticating.
This is the reformed crutch. They have no answer so it must be self authenticating. The crutch ignores inspiration as a supernatural action of God that is contained within a natural looking text and as such, it is not detectable or self authenticating.
FT -b) All that we must do is believe Peter's epistles to know that Paul's epistles are Scripture.”
So if we don’t believe then the text is not self authenticating. Belief is based upon evidence and not the whimsical replies of a reformed apologist, who thinks a text is self authenticating, without making any argument.

JM "Therefore the so called early citation of scripture is fallacious."

FT It's not "so called." Peter refers to Paul's epistles as Scripture.

Which is fallacious.

JM "Christ also referred to the chair of Moses as being binding on the believer and Paul says repeatedly throughout his letters that tradition is binding on the believer."

FT a) The chair of Moses was binding only to a limited extent. When it came in conflict with God's law, it was not to be obeyed.”
No, Jesus said the Jews are to obey whatever they tell you.

FT Recall what Peter and the other apostles said:

Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

And this was not in reference to the chair of Moses. Anyway this occurred after the ascension, so Peter was the true authority and not the chair of Moses, because the chair of Moses ended at the cross.

FT b) The apostolic tradition we have is that found in Scripture. You cannot point us to any other authentic apostolic tradition. Nor can you establish that there is any part of the apostolic tradition that was conveyed by the apostles but not contained either expressly or implicitly in Scriptures.”
How do you know this? Ive already made a list of apostolic traditions in another thread which you seem to have ignored. The real presence in the Eucharist, baptismal regeneration, Mary as the new Eve, the liturgy, the canon of scripture, the church councils and their canons and decrees are not found in scripture.
. . .

john martin said...

JM"As Paul was an apostle and Paul preached many truths not recorded in scripture, we then have the three authorities of scripture, tradition and the magesterium being used in the early Church."

FT a) There's not a good reason to think think that "Paul preached many truths not recorded in scripture."

See above, there certainly is.
FT b) Even if there were a good reason to think that "Paul preached many truths not recorded in scripture" it would not follow that we need those additional things.

It doesn’t follow that they dropped out of the deposit of faith when Paul died. It does follow that the oral tradition would be kept when Paul refers to the church and tradition as authorities

JM"Evidently the church was Catholic and not a reformed version of the Gospel."

FT The early church had a mixture of true and false teachers, just as now. But none, even among the false teachers, taught the odd assortment of distinctively Roman dogmas, such as papal infallibility, the immaculate conception of Mary, and Purgatory.

The early church had many Catholic distinctive not in full development. The early church was not reformed.

FT That doesn't mean that the alternative is that all held to precisely the Westminster Confession of Faith. There were a variety of different views among the early Christians - though they had a single source for their doctrines: the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

Therefore sola scriptora failed in the early church.

JM "The Bereans listened to Pauls oral tradition as from an apostles who was a member of the magesterium."

FT What makes you say that? It can't really be something in the text of Acts, can it?

The oral tradition is not recorded in acts, so the Bereans were checking out Pauls oral statements against the OT because they were not yet Christians. The OT is all they had at the time before they converted, but after conversion they had part of the NT text, the apostles, elders and tradition with the liturgy and sacraments.
JM "The Bereans were formally using scripture ad materially using tradition and the magesterium, which to be expected because the Bereans were not yet in the church, but only possible converts when Paul was evangelizing them."

FT They were using Scripture as their rule of faith.

Because they were not yet converts. They also thought Pauls oral teaching conformed to the fulfillment of the OT.

JM "Even still, the Bereans used scripture tradition and the teaching magesterium and not scripture alone."

FT It would be nice if you could demonstrate that - but we both know that you cannot.
Easy – Paul is an apostle so he is part of the magesterium. Paul preaches so that is oral tradition and the Bereans us the OT, so there’s the scripture. 1, 2, 3

JM "The first person to correctly put together was Athanasius in the 4th C, so the NT canon was not settled until at least that time."

FT a) You ought to say instead that the first person whose list we have, where the list of New Testament books exactly matches our list, is Athanasius.
So it took over 3 hundred years for sola scriptora to come into vogue, even though the NT never uses it.

FT b) The fact that there was a little uncertainty (in various churches) about some of the books is true. Nevertheless, the vast bulk of the Scripture was well known from the earliest times, as I've already noted.

Peters argument was answered as I've already noted.
. . .

john martin said...

FT c) Additional evidence may be found in the canon list of Eusebius of Caesarea, which has all the New Testament books, although it notes that some are disputed (Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Chapter 25.)(about A.D. 324).

The disputed texts shows they were not self authenticating as you require with Peter.

FT I wrote: “h) The Scriptures were given for the purpose of the edification and instructions of the church.”

JM responded: "And so was tradition and the teaching magesterium to resolve doctrinal conflicts."

Not in the same way, to the extent they were given at all.

The scriptures were not initially given to all, but given to specific communicates and only later were they distributed to other communities. This took time and this is not sola scriptora.

JM "We see this in the Jerusalem Council and later at Nicea and Chalcedon and son on."

FT All three of those councils relied on the authority of Scripture, rather than on supposed inherent authority of the council.

The decision were made by church members and not by scripture alone and the decisions were binding extra scriptural statements. This is not SS.

JM "All three authorities were used together throughout church history. This is undeniable fact."

FT Not in the same sense that you have in mind - based on your arguments here. And we don't have any authoritative extra-scriptural "tradition" left, if there ever was any. Meanwhile, we still have the authority of teachers in the church - but this was never an authority comparable to Scripture.

Traditions have been given to you above that are not explicitly found in scripture.

JM "From what I’ve said, from what’s found in scripture and from church history there are three authorities of scripture, tradition and the church magesterium all required and interdependent."

Do you think you can show from Scripture that Scripture is dependent on the church or extra-scriptural "tradition"?

The church wrote the texts, used the texts and pronounced the texts to be inspired. Therefore the texts are dependent upon the church. Simple really.
JM "We cannot base the authority of the church upon formally upon the scriptures, but only materially, because the scriptures authority formally comes from God, through the church."

FT Do we find any of the Scriptures written in the name of "the Church"? Not one. We find that they are all God-breathed, and that they are written by individuals whom God's Spirit has moved to write what they write.

We find letters and Gospels written by apostles who are the foundations of the church, so the texts were written by the church, for the church. This is almost self evidently true.
FT There seems to be an attempt in the argument you are making to allege the mere material sufficiency of Scripture, although the way you are phrasing the argument is somewhat unusual.

Scripture is only materially sufficient, for it doesn’t tell us what books are inspired. This one fact is enough to win the day for the Catholics.
. . .

john martin said...

JM "The OT scriptures come from the OT church, which was OT Israel. Again, this is an almost self evident fact."

FT I've addressed this above. They came from individuals who were inspired. The OT church did not say, "Go write some Scriptures." The individuals' authority came directly from God.

All authors we members of the church by the fat that they were inspired by God. God does not move men to teach doctrines contrary to his own church.
JM"The reference to scripture being God breathed is only a metaphor, which assumes an authoritative magesterium to flesh out the meaning of the text and give the church a more formal and a more precise meaning of what it means for a text to be inspired."

FT The use of metaphor in writing doesn't ordinarily require an authoritative magisterium. Why should it require one here? The sense is relatively transparent despite the use of an anthropomorphism.

God breathed can mean what you want it to mean. It doesn’t necessarily follow that a text was authored by God as a supernatural act because a texts says it is God breathed. To say a text must be written by God, is to use special pleading. That’s the reformed position and your welcome to it.
JM "This was done by the catholic Popes, who made pronouncements on the nature of inspiration in conformity with tradition."

FT - When I read through the church fathers who either comment on that verse or cite it, not a single one makes reference to pronouncements by Roman bishops about the verse. Doesn't that strike you as odd? I mean, if you were right, we wouldn't we expect to hear it say, "as Bishop Celestius explains" or even, "as Rome has taught us."

I was referring to more recent Popes such as Leo XIII who wrote “"For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost: and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true (Providentissimus Deus).”

FT Take Chrysostom's commentary as an example:
The point is that inspiration is only known precisely because the church has defined it in the fathers and later in the Popes. The definition of inspiration is not found in scripture.

JM "Evidently the church is only materially dependent upon the scriptures for its authority."

Actually, listen to what Chrysostom explains above: "Thou hast the Scriptures, he says, in place of me." Having Paul's epistles is like having Paul himself, and better - for Scripture is infallible but Paul was fallible. See also my note above the formal/material distinction.

Paul’s writings are only known certainly to be inspired through tradition that verifies what was written by Peter. We need both and that’s what is assumed as true in the fathers writings.
. . .

john martin said...

JM "The church is formally dependent upon Christ and the apostles and the tradition passed down through the church history. This tradition tells us of the way in which the church is to pray, worship, a code of conduct to be used to please God ..."

FT Paul (indeed Scripture itself) says that Scripture itself is able to furnish man thoroughly for every good work.

So does tradition which is binding. Further, able to, does not mean will do.

JM "... and a magisterial authority that can an has made pronouncements upon many matters of faith and morals."

There is, of course, authority in the church. It's just not as high of an authority as your church suggests.

Its binding and if we ignore it we fall into heresy. Peter said in acts to lie to him is to lie t the HS, so what higher authority can you have than the HS?

JM "Any way you look at it, scripture, tradition and the church are all interrelated and we cannot come to the conclusion that the church is formally dependent upon the scriptures for its authority."

FT Jesus' subordinated his own ministry to the Scriptures, encouraging the Jews to Search the Scriptures to confirm that He was whom He claimed to be.

-TurretinFan”

Jesus taught beyond scripture when he said “But I say . . .”

To search the scriptures is not an exclusive statement.

Q- don’t you get bored of repeating the same old tired mantras about SS? I find it tedious and narrow minded.

JM

natamllc said...

JM concluded so far with these words:
"....Q- don’t you get bored of repeating the same old tired mantras about SS? I find it tedious and narrow minded.

JM..."

Hmmmmm, I am not so certain I would embrace your wide frame of mind or view on these eternal matters! Well, I don't embrace them in light of the Lord Jesus' Words cited here:::>

Luk 13:17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
Luk 13:18 He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?
Luk 13:19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."
Luk 13:20 And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
Luk 13:21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened."
Luk 13:22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Luk 13:23 And someone said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them,
Luk 13:24 "Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

I would key off one word, "strive".

Consider just how "narrow" the Writer of the Book of Hebrews goes in constricting a soul, here:

Heb 4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.


Simply stated, the Holy Spirit "narrows" the introduction into Life and Godliness with Word pictures, [parables] such as those Jesus taught. One can conclude from these teachings that this, partly, is what is meant by "monergism". Synergism is a broadway and wide that leads to eternal destruction.

Sola Scripture is indeed "narrow" as you claim John. It is a Biblical doctrine and I would affirm, "by revelation" one comes to understand it, too!

What I have said above could serve as a bridge to this, these very narrow, blunt and ominous Words of Jesus Christ:

Luk 14:33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Luk 14:34 "Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?
Luk 14:35 It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

TF, commendably, there has not been any loss of taste on this blog! :)