Friday, June 20, 2008
I have been engaged in a nice discussion with some protestant brothers on a different blog regarding the doctrine of scripture alone (sola scriptura). Time and time again Catholics are pressed by non Catholics to answer the question, "Where is that in the Bible?" They are usually referring to some doctrine that they believe was "invented" by the Church. Basically, they are usually looking for a proof text. The irony is that there is not a single proof text in scripture to defend the doctrine of sola scriptura. When pressed about this contradiction, a non Catholic will refer to "development of doctrine" or "authority" other than scripture. Both are arguments that sound awfully Catholic.
The fact is that Christianity isn't a religion of the book. It is a religion of the Word of God. God revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus taught the apostles many things and guaranteed that the Holy Spirit would "guide them into all truth." All of Jesus' teachings were either recorded as scripture or handed down orally (cf. 2 Thess 2:15). The oral teaching is what the Catholic would call "Tradition."
Don't be offended if a non Catholic asks you questions about your faith. "Be prepared to give an answer" as St. Peter tells us. But don't be afraid to ask the same question of your brother who believes that scripture is the final authority: "Where is that in the Bible?"