What is the authority for Christians in matters of faith and morals? Does Sola Scriptura hold up to scrutiny? How about the view that Scripture must be wedded to tradition?
A popular Southern Baptist commenter on Shameless Popery and I (EO Catechumen) just had a discussion on Sola Scriptura. Honestly, I think if it was a debate, the Protestant side won. I’d be interested on your insight on the questions raised (if you are interested of course).
Thanks for sharing, Craig! I would be interested to watch the video but busy right now. Might check it out later if I can spare an hour. I think Sola Scriptura is a fascinating subject with all its implications concerning authority, interpretation, etc.
God bless you and have a wonderful day.
u can always find a way to rip the mp3 from the youtube and listen to it when driving 😉
I don’t think “invisible church” necessarily implies a lack of relationship or association between churches. It doesn’t even preclude a lack of hierarchy or structural visibility. What it does imply is that unity should be voluntary rather than coerced.
In Evangelical Protestantism these days, networks and parachurch groups and conferences are eclipsing denominational associations for believer loyalties.
I happen to like the Vincentian Canon (what has been believed everywhen, everywhere, by everyone).
“Always,” first and foremost, means it must be not only old but Apostolic…and thus Scriptural (unless one can provide solid evidence of the apostolicity of any particular oral tradition…an almost impossible task).
A few EO/RC doctrines (e.g., infant baptism, Marian veneration) not only have no biblical corroboration, but are completely absent from the first couple centuries of church history. They should be abandoned, shouldn’t they?
Also, “everywhere” is a meaningless criterion if dogma is established by a centralized authority. St. Vincent is siding with the East here. The papacy is ruled out. Christianity ought to be a loosely affiliated confederation of like thinkers rather than have doctrine imposed from on high.
This is how we know that the Holy Spirit is guiding: when true believers in Japan and Burkina Faso believe the same things, when medieval Christians and modern ones think alike, when there is camaraderie and consent based on the consensus of Black and White, male and female, rich and poor, educated and uneducated.
“Always,” first and foremost, means it must be not only old but Apostolic…and thus Scriptural…
A few EO/RC doctrines (e.g., infant baptism, Marian veneration) not only have no biblical corroboration, but are completely absent from the first couple centuries of church history.
Wrong. We have household baptisms in Acts, Hippolytus making a probable reference to infant baptism, same with Tertullian (who speaks for a preference against it, which shows both practices co-existed.)
The Marian dogmas are good and necessary consequences of the Scriptures. Disagree? Then find a Bible verse against abortion and then we will talk.
St. Vincent is siding with the East here.
Well, I am converting to Orthodoxy!
The “no new teachings” boast was something emphatically adhered to by Charles Hodge and Old Princeton, as well.
Probably a good corrective to the ordinary push for constant progress in academia.
Only if Luther followed that advice, we would be debating how to reunify the CHurch.
Even you have said that forensic justification is no obstacle to the reunification of the church. So make up your mind!
Luther’s concept of JBFA was nothing particularly new. It was well within the range of beliefs for his time period. Alister McGrath speaks of its formulation being fresh, but that simply put it was nothing more than the rediscovery of an apostolic notion.
You need to learn to place the onus where it belongs: Charles V, Leo X, the Council of Trent, the Jesuits, and the Thirty Years’ War.
Luther bears very little responsibility.
(Forensic justification, by the way, is found as clear as day in St. Clement and in “Mathetes,” author of the Epistle to Diognetus.)
Forensic j is not explicit in those texts, faith alone is and double imputation is though.
“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.”
Plus, it was the established position of Second Temple Judaism. Jesus was a Second Temple Jew. So, just as with homosexuality, we can safely assume what Jesus believed.
The Assumption as a good and necessary consequence of Scripture? How so?
And even if perpetual virginity and the immaculate conception were granted as true, how would hyperdulia be the necessary consequence?
All of the NT household baptisms speak of hearing the Word, of repentance and faith. Hyppolytus writes not of infant baptism but child baptism. And just because Tertullian indirectly acknowledges its existence, that doesn’t make it an accepted practice.
(Besides, none other than Craig Truglia agreed–in the video above–that infant baptism was NOT apostolic.) 🙂
Those verses “Against abortion” are not clear enough. “The prayer of a righteous man availeth much” and “God is not God of the dead, but of the living” and the prayers of the martyrs in heaven in Rev 6, all are much clear that the saints intercede for us in prayer.
Neither Revelations 5 or 6 or 8 say anything at all about believers asking the departed to intercede for them. And only 6 speaks of intercession of any sort. Chapters 5 and 8 speak only of our prayers as passing through the hands of the angels/elders up to the face of God. There’s no actual intercession on their part.
1 Samuel 28, on the other hand, appears to make it clear that we are NOT to disturb the dead. Of course, the infraction may be the necromancy alone. Samuel does answer Saul’s question.
Do you pick and choose which verses you’re going to take note of?
I’m not totally convinced that it’s wrong to engage departed saints in prayer, asking for their intercession. The longstanding Jewish convention (which transferred into Christianity) that we worship shoulder to shoulder with those who have gone before us is a starting place. My main problem with Catholicism is that any sane person can see that their usual practice is NOT to ask the saints for intercession but to directly ask them to grant requests. I don’t know as much concerning EO prayers.
Verses against abortion are as clear as clear can be. Can I safely assume you are being obtuse in a tongue-in-cheek fashion?
Abortion verses are not clear. Both doctrines are inferred.
Yeah, and God as the creator of the universe is unclear, too.
Is there any way for JBFA and double imputation to exist without justification being forensic?
Inferences can be clear or unclear, valid or invalid. (By good and NECESSARY consequence!)
I enjoyed this video. Thank you.
I think a pointed question to your interlocutor may have clarified his methodology: why does he think, let’s say, the book of Hebrews is part of the New Testament canon? We do not know who wrote this epistle, but we are pretty sure no Apostle wrote it. A Catholic or an Orthodox would say: the Church accepted it, so I accept it. It does not seem to me that a Protestant has an epistemic method to accept the canonical status of Hebrews. Your thoughts?
In pace Christi
I posed the above question about the canonicity of Hebrews to “TurretinFan” a few years back (i.e. Why do you accept the canonicity of Hebrews?) He ignored the question for a few rounds but eventually responded. I think his response was less than satisfying, revealing, as I see it, the fideistic ground upon which protestantism rests. His response even betrayed an understanding of the early historical development of the canon. TurretinFan responded:
“If you are asking about me personally, as distinct from the rest of humanity, the questions seem to be one of those personal questions I don’t feel the need to answer. In other words, what was particularly persuasive for me or what I might particularly argue to someone who was unpersuaded are idiosyncratic points that are hardly worthy of a combox discussion. But generally speaking, if I were attempting to convince someone of its canonicity, I would point out its ancient origin and its widespread (though not universal, immediately) acceptance from ancient times among believers, as well as its harmony with the rest of Scripture. I would answer objections of alleged lack of harmony, of course.”
Help me to understand. You accept Hebrews because the Church accepted it. And you are thereby NOT fideistic.
TurretinFan accepts it (among other things) because the church accepted it. And he is thereby fideistic.
99.9 % of all Christian sects (Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox) accept it. In the final analysis, the canonicity of Hebrews must not be rocket science.
Hello Hans. I have reasonable grounds to assert that Christ established a visible Church in which the deposit of faith is preserved, including the books that should be read as Scripture. Such a stance is antithetical to fideism.
TF’s acceptance of Hebrews is arbitrary, i.e. because it is of ancient origin and was accepted by the majority of Christians. The latter is actually untrue, as it was suspect for the first few centuries. And this methodology he only upholds for the Scriptures and not Tradition. For example, if it could be shown that the Immaculate Conception is of ancient origin and accepted by all Christians, he would retort: but it is not in the Scriptures. For TF, the criteria for accepting the canonicity of a particular book (i.e. non-apostolic but really old and accepted by many Christians), will not hold when applied to Tradition. His method is a good example of special pleading.
I think his approach is fideistic because he seems to think that the method by which any of us accept the canonicity of a book is more or less subjective. Cuique suum.
In pace Christi
By “visible” you mean centralized, monolithic, hierarchical, and continuous. And I’m sorry, but you have no “reasonable grounds” to assert any such thing. You could make a pitch for “conciliar” (given Acts 15), but anything even close to the papacy is right out. Scriptural leadership is decentralized, almost to a scattershot degree, and eminently ad hoc.
There are no Roman distinctives found in the Apostolic Fathers, let alone from the Apostles themselves. There is simply no early evidence for any of your so-called “traditions.” The Immaculate Conception wasn’t set in stone until 1854, for goodness’ sake! Even Thomas Aquinas didn’t hold to it….
If something is subjective, it will vary from subject to subject. I like purple, but you (subjectively) prefer orange. Hebrews is accepted as canonical UNIVERSALLY!!
I think you’re confused. Perhaps you don’t understand the role of the sensus fidelium, or the ministry of the Holy Spirit himself, for that matter. Either one can look rather subjective to the uninitiated.
Although I think I can demonstrate historically, as much as historical realities can be demonstrated, that Christ established a hierarchical, visible, sacerdotal Church, such was not my intent nor is it relevant to the present discussion. The point made was that my ecclesial claims do not rest on fideistic ground, the charge you previously set against me and which I denied. My arguments might even be poor, but to have made any argument or appeal to reason at all ipso facto excludes a warranted charge of fideism. Thus, your first point is a red herring.
Your second point is also a red herring. I did not claim that there was any evidence for the immaculate conception at all, much less that I could trace it to the apostles. You attributed that claim to me, thus again distracting from the main issue, a skill to which many on the internet devote many hours. I stated that even if (note the hypothetical “if”) the immaculate conception could be traced to apostolic tradition that Turretinfan would not accept it as authoritative because it is not explicitly stated in Scripture. This point was made because the protestant claim is that Hebrews should be accepted because its canonicity can be traced to apostolic tradition. Hence, it is a case of special pleading to accept one doctrine as authoritative because of its traceability to apostolic tradition (the canonicity of Hebrews) and not accept some other doctrine as authoritative (hypothetically the immaculate conception). In order for us to communicate successfully, Hans, it is necessary that you read the words which I write, at least attempting to ignore the papist caricature that you project onto them.
You also stated (yelled?) that Hebrews was accepted universally. Hebrews was not universally accepted in the early Church. It was held in suspicion for centuries. In fact the ones who cited it authoritatively the most were the schismatic/heretical Novationists, as Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26 seemed to them to clearly state that if one sinned after baptism there was no hope for forgiveness (and, prima facie, that is a fair reading). Even Luther was disturbed by Hebrews 6:-4-6 and Hebrews 10:26 causing him to question its canonicity (among other problems he had with the epistle/sermon).
And note your criteria of universality. If a doctrine universally accepted be a promulgation of the Holy Spirit for the truth of said doctrine, why do you (I assume a protestant) reject those doctrines which were universally held? For example, apostolic succession has a claim to universality that some books of the Bible never had in the early Church. Perhaps an initiated as yourself might enlighten this “uninitiated” why the Holy Spirit has dealt so confusedly with his Church, using universal reception (sensum fidelium) at one time to teach doctrine while at other times to fool the faithful.