Friday, June 20, 2008

Sola Scriptura?


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?"

4 comments:

Arthur Guillen Jr said...

This notion of sola scriptura was one of the two major beliefs that split the Church up. And its caused division among division for the past four to five hundred years. I read somewhere that before Luther died, members from his congegration began to split from him. why? because of Sola Scriptura. 'I guess, the Holy Spirit moved their hearts in a way different from what he taught.' and So the divisions began. . good read David, still waiting on my internet!. .

art

Anonymous said...

wow david, i just did some catching up on that other guys blog. it has come a long way... well, there has been a lot of posts anyhow! i just want to tell you that God must be so pleased with you. please don't get discouraged when people don't seem to respond to truth. you have no idea what you are doing or who may be reading these posts without ever commenting. it is your obedience and love for the truth that is well pleasing to our Father. you are planting seeds and that is all He is asking you to do. success doesn't mean that you get them to change their minds. success is loving God through obedience which is exactly what you are doing. God bless you, and PEACE be with you, friend--marie

David N said...

Hey David!

I responded to your last comment, not so much to continue the debate as to clarify my own position. Just wanted to let you know, in case you stopped checking.

By the way, I just started reading the Pope's book, "Values In A Time Of Upheaval." Have you read it, and if so, what did you think?

David Cox said...

David
Good to see you have visited. I will respond to your last comment soon. I will also continue to check your blog and will be sure to mix in some non challenging comments :)

I haven't read to title you mentioned. Pope Benedict is a world class biblical scholar, so I am sure you won't be disappointed. I would highly recommend Jesus of Nazareth if you haven't already read it.

Pope John Paul II was much more of a philosopher...have you read any of his work?