Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is Sola Scriptura Biblical?

Not really, there are no passages teaching that doctrine. In fact, scripture gives us several examples of infallible oral teachings, including the Prophets, Christ’s earthly ministry, and even the Apostles. But sola scriptura is about the post-apostolic age! Well there are yet future examples as well, such as the two witnesses in Revelations and Christ Himself when He returns.

Now don’t get me wrong, the bible declares itself to be authoritative and sufficient for salvation. The bible says “Scriptura”; it’s the “sola” part that it doesn’t say.

So why then, do I believe in the Sola of Sola-Scripture? For the same reasons Luther gave at the Diet of Worms: "Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason "I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe." Popes and councils have contradicted themselves and scriptures, so they cannot have the same authority as scripture, let alone the authority to interpret scripture, which at a practical level is a greater authority than scripture.

This is of course in opposition to Roman Catholicism, but it also is in opposition to presuppostional apologetics, which presupposes sola scriptura as one of its most fundamental axioms, rather than accepting it based on evidence.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...but it also is in opposition to presuppostional apologetics, which presupposes sola scriptura as one of its most fundamental axioms, rather than accepting it based on evidence."

Even granting that presuppositional apologetics axiomatically accepts sola scriptura as you have described you still have not argued anything in opposition to presuppositional apologetics. You argued instead that sola scriptura is not biblical, but then why cannot the presuppositionalist agree and accept both the bible and sola scriptura?

However, it is not clear that you have properly represented either sola scriptura or the evidentiary position of presuppositional apologetics. That sola scriptura is not explicitly stated in terms of the words themselves in the bible is no argument against the doctrine which can in fact be proven from passages of the bible. Additionally sola scriptura is not solo scriptura. Finally, there are many things which are both presupposed and evidenced. The presuppositionalist would presuppose sola scriptura only insofar as it is a necessary part of the Christian worldview (which it is) and only upon the basis of the evidence of the bible. It is to such evidence you have attempted to appeal for your alleged objection, so I do not really see what you are getting at here or that you were successful.

Godismyjudge said...

Even granting that presuppositional apologetics axiomatically accepts sola scriptura as you have described you still have not argued anything in opposition to presuppositional apologetics. You argued instead that sola scriptura is not biblical, but then why cannot the presuppositionalist agree and accept both the bible and sola scriptura?

The argument is that the “sola” aspect of sola scriptura is based on reason and evidence, rather than a presupposition. If you did presuppose “sola” without scriptural basis, I would imagine that Roman Catholics would find that abusive (i.e. that you presuppose that their doctrines are wrong without scriptural support and before considering the evidence.)

That sola scriptura is not explicitly stated in terms of the words themselves in the bible is no argument against the doctrine which can in fact be proven from passages of the bible.

That was not my argument. I argued based on infallible oral teachings; some of them yet future. I also cited Luther’s reasons for accepting sola scriptura, and they were reason and experience, not scripture.

Finally, there are many things which are both presupposed and evidenced.

Presuppositionalist do say this. Sometimes they sound like they are using circular reasoning; but other times it sounds like the presupposition is primary and prior to evaluating the evidence and the evidences only gives an imperfect confirmation of the presupposition.

The presuppositionalist would presuppose sola scriptura only insofar as it is a necessary part of the Christian worldview (which it is) and only upon the basis of the evidence of the bible.

But the sola aspect is not in the bible; that’s the point.

Further it’s somewhat problematic to speak of the evidence of the bible, if the truth of the bible is presupposed. This is a more fundamental problem with presuppositionalism. How do you know what the bible says, or even that there is a bible without reliance on reason and your senses?

God be with you,
Dan