Monday, June 25, 2012

More Evidence for Sola Scriptura

Steve Ray errors in his description of Sola Scriptura (link) thereby providing more evidence that only scripture is infallible.  Steve says:

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura states that we should believe only what we find clearly taught in the Bible; the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is found nowhere clearly taught in the Bible; so…???


Sola Scriptura does not say we should only believe what we find clearly taught I the Bible. We learn many things in many different ways, but Scripture is the only Word of God that we have today.  The Bible is perfect, Popes, Councils and Steve Ray make mistakes.  For good reasons to believe the bible see (here).  For good reasons to believe Popes error see (here). Thus we can conclude that the bible is the last man standing.

29 comments:

DonaldH said...

I find the fallacy of the so-called "Solas", in that if it's truly a Sola meaning alone/only, then how are there a total of five? Violates the first law of non-contradiction, in my opinion.

Godismyjudge said...

Yep. It's all a matter of definition, but generally speaking I like the way Luther and company explained the 5 sola's.

Here's another more current and helpful explanation:

http://turretinfan.blogspot.com/2012/06/five-solas-bacon.html

God be with you,
Dan

credulo said...

Dan, a strange question: can an non-Molinist adhere to Scientia Media consistently?

From some time ago, I have asked to Ben Henshaw from ArminianPerspectives about Molinism, and he said 'I am not Molinist but I hold Middle Knowledge'. So, there is something else a LFW Molinist differs from an Scientia-Media Arminian?

Thankz in Advance!

Godismyjudge said...

Credulo,

It depends on how you define Molinism. Perszyk said "Molinism, minimally defined, is the thesis that God has middle knowledge (scientia media)." (Molinism the Contemporary Debate. Oxford Press. 2011. Edited by Perszyk. page 1). By that definition, anyone who holds that God has middle knowledge is a Molinist.

However, some people (I think Ben included) have a particular concern about Luis De Molinia and William Lane Craig's view on the extent of God's middle knowledge. Specifically, they say God has middle knowledge of what every possible creature would do under every possible situation. They object. Rather, they say God first decides who to create, then He has middle knowledge of what that person would do.

So per this view, while God has middle knowledge of what you or I would do, He does not have middle knowledge of what Peter Pan would do. God could have decided to create Peter Pan (creating Peter Pan was possible) but because He has not decided to create Peter Pan He does not have middle knowledge of what Peter Pan would do.

I think people who hold this view are still Molinist because 1) middle knowledge is the essence of Molinism and 2) some early Molinist held this view and still were considered Molinists. However, I don't think it's a big deal.

God be with you,
Dan

Erik Mojica said...

I go with Jesús on the whole matter. He gave Simon Peter the keys to the kingdom and promised that the Church would not fail. (see Isiah 22:22, Matthew 16:18-19)

Godismyjudge said...

Hey Eric,

I follow Jesus on this too. :-)

God be with you,
Dan

De Maria said...

Hi,

More Evidence for Sola Scriptura
Steve Ray errors in his description of Sola Scriptura (link) thereby providing more evidence that only scripture is infallible
. Steve says:

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura states that we should believe only what we find clearly taught in the Bible; the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is found nowhere clearly taught in the Bible; so…???


Sola Scriptura does not say we should only believe what we find clearly taught I the Bible.

It doesn't?

We learn many things in many different ways, but Scripture is the only Word of God that we have today.

And yet Scripture says:
1 Thessalonians 2:13For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

To me, that says that the word of God can be transmitted in mere conversation. Show me where Scripture says, chapter and verse, that the word of God can no longer be transmitted by mere conversation.

The Bible is perfect,

The Bible is without error, is that what you mean? If so, I agree. However, if Scripture were perfect, Scripture would not say that there are some portions of Scripture which are hard to understand:
2 Peter 3:16
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Popes, Councils

But not in doctrine when taught in union with the Magisterial Church.

and Steve Ray make mistakes.

But he didn't make an error when he converted to the Catholic Church. He was right on the money there.

For good reasons to believe the bible see (here). For good reasons to believe Popes error see (here). Thus we can conclude that the bible is the last man standing.

We agree that the Bible is without error. But not the Bible alone. Scripture itself says that the Church is the Pillar of Truth:
1 Timothy 3:15
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

And that the Church teaches the wisdom of God:
Ephesians 3:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

I take that to mean that the Church is infallible.

I'm very interested in your comment that "Sola Scriptura does not say we should only believe what we find clearly taught I the Bible." I'd like to see that definition of SS. Because everytime I say to an adherent of SS, "that is description of Purgatory." They come back with, "Where does it say Purgatory in Scripture?"

Here's what I see in Scripture. Scripture says hold the Traditions (2 Thess 2:15). Scripture says hear the Church (Matt 18:17). Scripture says obey your rulers (Heb 13:17). I don't see Scripture ever saying, "hold Scripture alone" or "obey Scripture alone". Please point that out to me.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Godismyjudge said...

Hi De Maria,

Thanks for your thoughtful response. I suppose I should start with defining sola scriptura. Here's a famous quote from Luther:

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen."

So the issue is we can believe something just because the bible says so, but we cannot believe something just because Popes and Councils say so. Now he is not denying non-biblical sources have anything truthful to say, but he is saying his experiance with non-biblical sources tells him he has to be careful with them. Are you careful with what Rome has to say, or do you place your absolute confidence in them?

No question God's word can be spoken as well as written. But if we have good reason to believe it's no longer written, those same reasons may indicate it's no longer spoken. Never the less, I am open to the idea that God's word is still spoken today, but if someone says they are speaking God's word, I will test them. If they contradict themselves or scripture or incorrectly predict the future, we know they are not really speaking God's word.

I disagree that just because someone portioins of the bible are for the mature, that it is imperfect.

You qualify the errors of Popes and Councils by saying they don't error when in union with the Majesterial Church". My point was more general; we can't put absolute trust in Popes and Councils. When is your qualification relivant, and when is it irrelivant? For example, you take Ephesians 3:10 and 1 Timothy 3:15 to mean the Church is infallable. In all things or only sometimes? When do you place absolute confidence in your church?

As for the question "where is it written", we are looking for an absolute authority, but not necessarilly denying that other sources are sometimes useful.

God be with you,
Dan








De Maria said...

Hi again,

You said:

Godismyjudge said...
Hi De Maria,

Thanks for your thoughtful response.


You're welcome.

I suppose I should start with defining sola scriptura. Here's a famous quote from Luther:

Is it fair of me to ask why you didn't provide a definition from Scripture?

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves),

What he seems to say here is that he doesn't believe the Church because he believes the Church errs in doctrine. But I see Scripture saying that the Church teaches the wisdom of God (Eph 3:10). And that the Church is the pillar of truth (1 Tim 3:15). Which I understand to mean that the Church is infallible.

So, by which authority does he discard the authority of the Church? Certainly not Scripture (Matt 18:17).

I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted

I'd be interested to see those Scriptures.

and my conscience is captive to the Word of God.

I wonder how he means, since Scripture tells him to obey those who rule over him in the Church (Heb 13:17). Yet he did exactly the opposite.

I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.

THAT is true. Nor am I capable of judging his heart. I am however, capable of comparing his teachings to the Scriptures and in my opinion, his teachings are found wanting.

May God help me. Amen."

May God help us all. Amen.

I don't really see a definition of SS in that statement though. Do you mean where he says he must be convinced by Scripture? That seems to contradict the Word of God head on. Because Scripture says:
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And also:
Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

So the issue is we can believe something just because the bible says so, but we cannot believe something just because Popes and Councils say so.

That doesn't seem to be the lesson of Scripture. Scripture says that we can believe those who taught us because we know who it is that taught us and we trust in them:
2 Tim 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

This is a reference to Tim's mom and grandma, they taught him the Scriptures. Indicating that the lessons of Scripture need to be taught:
Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

Now he is not denying non-biblical sources have anything truthful to say, but he is saying his experiance with non-biblical sources tells him he has to be careful with them.

That is Catholic Teaching. That is why we test everything against Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium.

Are you careful with what Rome has to say, or do you place your absolute confidence in them?

I place my absolute confidence in the Word of God which says:
Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

I believe the Catholic Church is the true Church, so according to Scripture, tell me, why I should doubt anything they say?

Are you in the true Church? Yet, you doubt everything your pastor says, am I right? Or perhaps you're already a pastor yourself. But you doubt everything anybody else teaches you. So, how do you apply Heb 13:7, 17 to your life? Which man of the Church do you obey and submit to?

cont'd

De Maria said...

cont'd

You also said:
No question God's word can be spoken as well as written.

Amen!

But if we have good reason to believe it's no longer written, those same reasons may indicate it's no longer spoken.

I prefer to believe the Scriptures I quoted above (1 Tim 3:15, Eph 3:10) and Matt 16:18 which says:

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

I believe these verses tell me that the Church will never commit error in teaching doctrine. To do so would be to succumb to the Devil.

Never the less, I am open to the idea that God's word is still spoken today, but if someone says they are speaking God's word, I will test them.

As you should. But the Protestant test amounts to this. A comparison of personal opinions.

Whereas, Scripture gives the solution for that deadend. Take your brother to the Church and have the Church decide which is wrong. When the Bishops Arius and Athanasius disagreed on what the Scriptures teach as regards the nature of Christ, who decided between the two? The Church. That is the procedure Christ instituted (Matt 18:17) and which is illustrated in practice in the Church (Gal 1:8; 2 Thess 3:6-7).

If they contradict themselves or scripture or incorrectly predict the future, we know they are not really speaking God's word.

That is correct.

I disagree that just because someone portioins of the bible are for the mature, that it is imperfect.

I believe Scripture is without error in doctrine.
John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

I do not believe that means that it is perfect since Scripture itself says it can't be understood by all.

You qualify the errors of Popes and Councils by saying they don't error when in union with the Majesterial Church".

Correct. We have no doctrine of personal infallibility by anyone. The Popes can all err except when they preach doctrine to the Church from the chair of Peter. The Bishops can all err except when they come together in ecumenical council, united with the Pope, to agree upon the teaching of the Church.

My point was more general; we can't put absolute trust in Popes and Councils.

The Church itself has disspelled and discounted many councils. And the Popes do not always speak officially in order to teach doctrine to the entire Church.

When is your qualification relivant, and when is it irrelivant? For example, you take Ephesians 3:10 and 1 Timothy 3:15 to mean the Church is infallable. In all things or only sometimes?

In all things having to do with Christian doctrine.

When do you place absolute confidence in your church?

I have absolute confidence in God. Because of my absolute confidence in God, I obey His Church, all the time.

As for the question "where is it written", we are looking for an absolute authority,

God is the only ABSOLUTE authority.

but not necessarilly denying that other sources are sometimes useful.

The Church teaches the absolute truth of God's revelation through her Traditions by Word and Epistle.

God be with you,
Dan


And with you. Thanks for your cordial response.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Godismyjudge said...

De Maria,

I was being a bit informal about defining sola scriptura, but here's a more thorough definition:

I believe the Scriptures as originally given by God, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, infallible, entirely trustworthy, and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. Therefore I do not consider human writings, councils, decrees or official decisions as above or equal to Scripture, but they must be examined and assessed based on Scripture. The Scriptures clearly and completely reveal all things needed for salvation, such that whatever is not proven by Scriptures is not to be required of anyone as necessary for salvation.

I can't help but notice that the bulk of your response is predicated on the idea that the Church does not error in doctrine. But then you qualify that with Popes and councils in very specific circumstances. So most of the time, Popes and councils can error, right?

Let's take a practical example where the rubber hits the road. Could the Church be wrong in its teaching on contraception?

Thanks for the polite conversation. I will try to post more later.

God be with you,
Dan

Godismyjudge said...

Hi Maria,

Following up on your comments on Church authority, I do follow whatever my pastor says as far as running the church. But what he doesn't do is introduce new doctrines not taught in scripture. If he did, I would be leary, but would hear him out and consider what he said. Of course, if he contradicted scripture, we are to obey God rather than men.

As for Luther, he had reason to doubt that those that were calling themselves "the Church" were in fact "the Church". The Medici popes were apostate.

God be with you,
Dan

De Maria said...

Hi Dan,

you said,

Godismyjudge said...
De Maria,

I was being a bit informal about defining sola scriptura, but here's a more thorough definition:

I believe the Scriptures as originally given by God, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, infallible, entirely trustworthy


That is Catholic Teaching.

, and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

How do you mean? Let me give you an example. Say that a fellow reads Rom 6:1 and decides we should sin mightily that grace may abound the more. I have met some who believe this, so its not a far stretch of the imagination. How does Scripture stop them from misinterpreting the message they find in Scripture?

As a Catholic, I'm allowed to read the wise teachings of any man. Here's what a Pagan wrote about the written word before the time of Christ:

Socrates Writing, Phaedrus, has this strange quality, and is very like painting; for the creatures of painting stand like living beings, but if one asks them a question, they preserve a solemn silence. And so it is with written words; you might think they spoke as if they had intelligence, but if you question them, wishing to know about their sayings, they always say only one and the same thing.....

Therefore, the question remains, how does Holy Scripture explain itself to anyone who does not understand it?

The answer is, that it doesn't. That is the role of the Church. Jesus Christ established the Church to pass what He commanded and to explain that. That includes what has been written in the Scriptures.

Therefore I do not consider human writings, councils, decrees or official decisions as above or equal to Scripture,

The Scriptures are human writings. They are human writings inspired by God. And we believe certain councils, decrees and official decisions are also inspired by God to remain free from error. God did not abandon us after He inspired the Holy Scriptures to be written. He is very much alive affecting our decisions and guiding us to this very day and forever.

but they must be examined and assessed based on Scripture.

That is partially Catholic Teaching. We compare everything to Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium.

The Scriptures clearly and completely reveal all things needed for salvation,

That contradicts Scripture itself 2 Peter 3:15-16.

such that whatever is not proven by Scriptures is not to be required of anyone as necessary for salvation.

Good point. Now, is Sola Scriptura necessary for salvation? If so, prove it to me from Scripture.

If not, why do Protestants make such a fuss about it that they endanger their salvation by rebelling against the Church for it?

I can't help but notice that the bulk of your response is predicated on the idea that the Church does not error in doctrine. But then you qualify that with Popes and councils in very specific circumstances. So most of the time, Popes and councils can error, right?

That is correct. Popes are infallible when they teach the Church from the chair of Peter. Councils are infallible when they are ecumenical, teaching in union with the Pope, the entire Church.

cont'd

De Maria said...

cont'd

Let's take a practical example where the rubber hits the road.

Let's do it.

Could the Church be wrong in its teaching on contraception?

No. But you probably thinks it can be wrong, so please elaborate.

Here are question for you. If you believe that Scripture is infallible and authoritative, is there a church in existence which you consider the "pillar of truth"? And which is it?

Thanks for the polite conversation. I will try to post more later.

Great!

In a follow up, you said:

Following up on your comments on Church authority, I do follow whatever my pastor says as far as running the church.

That is not exactly being obedient to the Word of God. Here again, is what Scripture says:
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Perhaps you notice how closely that resembles what Catholics do when they submit to the authority of the Priest in confession.

Note how that says that the ruler is responsible over your soul to the extent he must give an account. And there is no wishy washiness about when to obey. It simply says submit and obey.

Is there someone in your church to whom you submit whom you consider to be responsible for your soul?

But what he doesn't do is introduce new doctrines not taught in scripture.

But, he advances the errors introduced by the Reformers. Those errors are not taught in Scripture and blatantly contradict Scripture.

Sola Scriptura for instance, teaches to hold Scripture alone. Yet Scripture says hold the Traditions (2 Thess 2:15).

If he did, I would be leary, but would hear him out and consider what he said. Of course, if he contradicted scripture, we are to obey God rather than men.

He does contradict Scripture.

As for Luther, he had reason to doubt that those that were calling themselves "the Church" were in fact "the Church". The Medici popes were apostate.

In my opinion, anyone who doubts the Church, doubts Christ who built the Church:
Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

God be with you,
Dan


And also with you,

Sincerely,

De Maria

Godismyjudge said...

Hi De Maria,

If someone (like the licences to sin Romans 6 guy) misunderstands a passage, the best thing to do is point him to another passage, like say all of 1 John. That is indeed the function of the Church. But the Church doesn't need to be infallible to do that, it just needs the infallible scriptures. IF it's a real misunderstanding, and not a moral issue, then the person will read the scriptures and grow.

I think one fundamental difference between us is that you seem to see the "difficult passages" of scripture as a weakness in scripture. Scripture should spoon feed us at all points. But I see it as a weakness in us. We need to grow up. Through constant use we can discern between good and evil and all that (see Hebrews 5 & 6).

Sola scriptura is not necessary for salvation, but it is important, for lots of reasons, including the fact that some who claim to speak for God have taught heresy.

So why do you see the Church's teaching on contraception as infallible, given that doctrine has not been taught by a Pope from the the chair of Peter or a ecumenical Council in union with the Pope and the entire Church?

My fear is that in practice, you don't restrict yourself to only unquestionably trusting the Church when they teach in the specific circumstances needed for infallibly. It's like they are and are not infallible with respect to their teaching on contraception.

God be with you,
Dan

De Maria said...

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your cordial reply.

If someone (like the licences to sin Romans 6 guy) misunderstands a passage, the best thing to do is point him to another passage, like say all of 1 John.

I think you misunderstood the question. I didn't ask what I should do. I asked "How does Scripture stop them from misinterpreting the message they find in Scripture?" A book can't correct anyone's misunderstanding.

That is indeed the function of the Church.

Agreed.

But the Church doesn't need to be infallible to do that,

It does if you want to be sure you've got the right answer.

it just needs the infallible scriptures.

If the Church can't provide an infallible response, you're back in the same boat. Three fallible opinions with the INFALLIBLE Bible powerless to correct any of them.

IF it's a real misunderstanding, and not a moral issue, then the person will read the scriptures and grow.

Besides the point. You haven't addressed the issue that the Infallible Scripture can't correct anyone's misunderstanding of its content.

I think one fundamental difference between us is that you seem to see the "difficult passages" of scripture as a weakness in scripture.

Nope.
1. The Catholic Church teaches that the Bible is without error. There are no weaknesses in the Bible.
2. There are passages which some Catholics find difficult. But Protestants have many more than do we. For the most part, Scripture is pretty easy to understand for Catholics who understand the Traditions and who are familiar with the Teachings of the Magisterium.

Scripture should spoon feed us at all points. But I see it as a weakness in us. We need to grow up. Through constant use we can discern between good and evil and all that (see Hebrews 5 & 6).

If you don't get that from your parents, you probably won't get that from the Scriptures. We don't need the Scriptures to discern between good and evil. The Commandments of God are written in our hearts.

Sola scriptura is not necessary for salvation

Thank you for your honesty. Therefore, it is really a waste of time for Protestants to be constantly berating us to hold to Scripture alone. Because the Judgement will not be an open book test. God will judge our works.

Revelation 22:12-14
King James Version (KJV)
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.....14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Every one. Even those who claim to be saved by faith ALONE will be judged by their works.


cont'd

De Maria said...

cont'd

, but it is important, for lots of reasons, including the fact that some who claim to speak for God have taught heresy.

The Reformers. Everyone of them.

So why do you see the Church's teaching on contraception as infallible,

Because it has been taught in Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium from the beginning.

given that doctrine has not been taught by a Pope from the the chair of Peter or a ecumenical Council in union with the Pope and the entire Church?

1. Every doctrine of the Church is infallible.
2. At certain times, the doctrines of the Church are challenged. Arius for instance, using Scripture, challenged the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ. Athanasius, using Scripture defended the Divinity of Christ. And using Tradition, proved that it was a belief always held by the Church and therefore infallible.
3. The Church judged that Athanasius was correct and the Arian heresy was defeated.

Just as the Divinity of Christ was infallible from the beginning, the doctrine against contraception is infallible. The pronouncements by the Pope and the Magisterium simply confirm that which has been true from the beginning.

My fear is that in practice, you don't restrict yourself to only unquestionably trusting the Church when they teach in the specific circumstances needed for infallibly. It's like they are and are not infallible with respect to their teaching on contraception.

Faith is stronger than fear. I trust in God and the Church which He established.

God be with you,
Dan


And with you,

De Maria

Godismyjudge said...

Hi De Maria,

My response was that scripture handles the "licences to sin" missunderstanding by clearly teaching converstion is not a licence to sin, like in 1 John. Does that not answer your question? If not, could you please rephrase the question, because maybe I didn't understand it?

I am very supprized you think we don't need scriptures to dicern between good and evil. That seems to go against the very point of Hebrews 5 & 6, as well as many other passages. While conscience helps us detect evil behavior, it's less helpful in detecting evil doctrine.

So you are saying that you know the Church's teaching on contraception is infallible, even thought it hasn't been defined by a Pope speaking from the Chair of Peter or an ecummenical council with the Pope? How could you know it's infallible apart from such means? I am not asking how it could be infallible, but how you could know it's infallible. I also ask that in light of Luther's point that historically Popes and Councils have often contradicted themselves and scriptures.

God be with you,
Dan

De Maria said...

Hi Dan,

Godismyjudge said...
Hi De Maria,

My response was that scripture handles the "licences to sin" missunderstanding by clearly teaching converstion is not a licence to sin, like in 1 John.


Does 1 John say, "Hey, Rom 6:1 doesn't say what you think it says."?

Does that not answer your question? If not, could you please rephrase the question, because maybe I didn't understand it?

Sure. First, I'll illustrate my point. You and I are an example. We are both interpreting Scripture. We both disagree with each other's interpretation. But Scripture hasn't stopped the one who is wrong and tapped him on the shoulder to say, "Hey, you're wrong. You don't understand what I'm saying." No. It takes a living, breathing, human being to correct another on the interpretation of Scripture.

You're point is, to my understanding, that Scripture will correct the person that does not interpret its content correctly. I want to know how Scripture does it? Scripture may contain the answer, but how does Scripture point the person to the answer?

I am very supprized you think we don't need scriptures to dicern between good and evil.

Scripture says:
Romans 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

That seems to go against the very point of Hebrews 5 & 6, as well as many other passages.

How, precisely?

While conscience helps us detect evil behavior, it's less helpful in detecting evil doctrine.

Again, Scripture tells us that Scripture can not protect itself from people twisting its meaning:
2 Peter 3:
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

More helpful is the preaching of the Church.

2 Timothy 4
King James Version (KJV)
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Cont'd

De Maria said...

cont'd


So you are saying that you know the Church's teaching on contraception is infallible, even thought it hasn't been defined by a Pope speaking from the Chair of Peter or an ecummenical council with the Pope?

Correct. All the teachings of the Church are infallible.

How could you know it's infallible apart from such means?

By faith in Christ. Because of my faith IN Christ I live by the faith OF Christ.
Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

The faith OF Christ is passed down by the Church which He established.

I am not asking how it could be infallible, but how you could know it's infallible.

Because Scripture tells me so:
Ephesians 3:10
King James Version (KJV)
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

I also ask that in light of Luther's point that historically Popes and Councils have often contradicted themselves and scriptures.

I prefer to believe Scripture. Scripture says that the Church is the Pillar of Truth.

God be with you,
Dan


And with you.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Godismyjudge said...

Hi De Maria,

Sorry for the delay, I had been traveling.

1 John teaches that salvation is not a licence to sin - in a rather in your face manor. So if someone thinks some other passage teaches salvation is a licences to sin, reading 1 John should cause them try to reconcile 1 John with the other passage. In reconciling, the more clear passage will guide the understanding of the less clear passage. Looking at the grammar will guide understanding what the text says and looking at the context will help guide understanding why the text says what it says.


You asked: "Scripture may contain the answer, but how does Scripture point the person to the answer?"

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit guides the process. We can always ask for wisdom and guidance. Also the church plays a vital role in teaching (not commanding here, but teaching). This can be either the living or dead church members - some of the best online commentaries were written by people who are no longer alive. Of course, scripture study takes time and work. It also takes objectivity and sincerity - we not only cannot push our answers onto scriptures, but we likewise cannot push our questions on scripture. Some of the biggest mistakes are made by asking a passage to answer a question it isn't addressing. But if we just look to understand what a passage teaches, most mistakes are avoided. Another mistake is to select one meaning too early, when a range of meanings are possible, given what is said, and understanding other passages will help revisit which of the possible options is best.

Hebrews 5:12 to 6:3 states:

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.

The author of Hebrews is chiding his audience for being immature with respect to understanding God's word. He compares them to babes needing milk rather than adults who can eat meat. Of adults he says "by reason of use [of "the word of righteousness"] have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." After the rebuke, the author goes on to leave basic teachings to more advanced subjects.

Now as you pointed out, most basic morals can be learned through an unseared conscience. But the same is not true of doctrine. For instances, I hate to see new believers, who have not had the time to study scripture, talking with Mormons. Their errors are subtle and detecting them takes some detailed knowledge of scripture.

Your responses on contraception, though admirable devotionally, leaves me puzzled. You are putting your faith in teachings that are not Pope's speaking from Peter's chair or from an ecumenical council. But without these things, you admit that Popes and councils have errored. So it seems your putting your faith in Popes and councils, when they could be wrong. Yet you say they cannot be wrong. That's a contradiction.

God be with you,
Dan

De Maria said...

Hi Dan,

You said:

Godismyjudge said...
Hi De Maria,

Sorry for the delay, I had been traveling.


No problem. I'm on the road myself. I'll be home tomorrow.

1 John teaches that salvation is not a licence to sin ....

Well, that seems besides the point. Because I'm certainly not contesting that which either Romans 6:1 teaches nor that which 1 John teaches. It was simply an example illustrating the point. There are many other situations which we find where people conflict in understanding the Scripture correctly. For instance, we don't believe Protestants understand what Scripture teaches about the relationship between works and justification. And they claim that Catholics don't understand the relationship between faith and justification. But Scripture doesn't stand up and say, "HEY, you're wrong!"

You asked: "Scripture may contain the answer, but how does Scripture point the person to the answer?"

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit guides the process. We can always ask for wisdom and guidance. Also the church plays a vital role in teaching (not commanding here, but teaching).


But Scripture does not correct anyone. It is either the Holy Spirit or the Church. Now, if it is the Holy Spirit, then how does a Protestant know who has the Holy Spirit. After all, they all claim it. And so do Catholics.

We believe the Holy Spirit is behind the Church, therefore the Church will always be right. I've already posted the references several times, Matt 18:17; 1 Tim 3:15; Eph 3:10.

Is there any Scripture which says that the Church does not interpret the Word of God correctly?

This can be either the living or dead church members - some of the best online commentaries were written by people who are no longer alive. .....

This all seems to confirm that Scripture alone does not suffice for understanding Scripture correctly.

Hebrews 5:12 to 6:3 states:

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again


YOU NEED SOMEONE TO TEACH YOU AGAIN

the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.

The author of Hebrews is chiding his audience for being immature with respect to understanding God's word.


And said they need to be TAUGHT again.


He compares them to babes needing milk rather than adults who can eat meat. Of adults he says "by reason of use [of "the word of righteousness"] have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." After the rebuke, the author goes on to leave basic teachings to more advanced subjects.

All illustrating the need for guidance in understanding the Word of God.

Now as you pointed out, most basic morals can be learned through an unseared conscience. But the same is not true of doctrine. For instances, I hate to see new believers, who have not had the time to study scripture, talking with Mormons. Their errors are subtle and detecting them takes some detailed knowledge of scripture.

But neither Protestants nor Mormons are correct in our view. Mormons are just another flavor of Protestantism. And that illustrates the need for an authoritative Church to set down the orthodox doctrines.


Cont'd

De Maria said...

cont'd

Your responses on contraception, though admirable devotionally, leaves me puzzled. You are putting your faith in teachings that are not Pope's speaking from Peter's chair or from an ecumenical council. But without these things, you admit that Popes and councils have errored. So it seems your putting your faith in Popes and councils, when they could be wrong. Yet you say they cannot be wrong. That's a contradiction.

No, it isn't. Those doctrines come from Christ.
First, I'd like to make a point and then I'll explain why it isn't.

Its funny how people find everyone else's behaviour contradictory except their own. Protestants claim to believe in "absolute" truth. But I've sat in on Protestant bible studies and I've hear them preach. And doctrine is any which way the wind blows,

As for Catholics believing what Protestants call the non-infallible teaching of the Church, it is complicated to explain but not contradictory.

1. Everything we have is based upon the Tradition that Christ deposited with the Church. Including the Scriptures.

2. If we can trace a teaching to the earliest history of the Church and find it in Scripture as the Magisterium points out, then we can be sure it is the Word of God.

3. That is called the three legged stool of Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium.

4. I can do that for contraception and virtually any Catholic doctrine.

5. In addition, my faith in Christ underlies and supports my understanding of Church doctrine.

So every teaching of the Catholic Church is infallible. Not one teaching of the Catholic Church has ever been overturned.

God be with you,
Dan


And with you,

Sincerely,

De Maria

Godismyjudge said...

Hi De Maria,

I didn't figure you thought salvation was a licence to sin. My point was to show how other passages can act like guardrails in guiding interpretation of scripture. I thought that's what you were asking about but apparently not. I was supprized to hear you think scripture can't correct us but given you already said scripture isn't needed to decern beteen good and evil that is the second time you have contradicted Hebrews 5 & 6 as well as many other passages (most directly 2 Timothy 3:16). Sure Hebrews 5 mentions teaching, but first off the question was if scripture is needed to decern between good and evil. The passage says through constant use of the word of righteousness we learn to dicern between good and evil. Second, the advanced teaching about Christ referenced in chapter 5 is provided in chapters 7 to 10. The teaching is in the scriptures, but you act as if it must be provided by the church. This is why I said you are not really interpreting scripture. You just press scripture in the service of your church because your church tells you to.

On contraception, you are lowering the bar from doctrine taught by the Pope from the chair of Peter or an ecumenical council with the Pope to the "three leged stool". The problem is two of the legs have proven unreliable. Take for example the idea that the sun revolves around the earth. It has deep roots in tradition and church teaching (probably deeper than the idea that contraception is wrong). But it's wrong. So you trust the three legged stool even though two of the legs have been proven wrong. And you can't retreat to Popes speaking from the chair of Peter without sacrificing the idea the your church cannot be wrong about contraception.


God be with you,
Dan

De Maria said...

Hi Dan,

Godismyjudge said...
Hi De Maria,

I didn't figure you thought salvation was a licence to sin. My point was to show how other passages can act like guardrails in guiding interpretation of scripture.


And that is where you miss the forest for the trees.

YOU are showing other passages which shed light on the topic. Scripture didn't say, "Oh, that fella didn't understand me, tell him to go here or there."

I thought that's what you were asking about but apparently not.

No. I refer you again to Socrates.
Socrates Writing, Phaedrus, has this strange quality, and is very like painting; for the creatures of painting stand like living beings, but if one asks them a question, they preserve a solemn silence. And so it is with written words; you might think they spoke as if they had intelligence, but if you question them, wishing to know about their sayings, they always say only one and the same thing.....

I was supprized to hear you think scripture can't correct us

It can't. A teacher can correct us by using Scripture (2 Tim 3:16). But Scripture itself is not a living, breathing person who can respond to our questions.

but given you already said scripture isn't needed to decern beteen good and evil that is the second time you have contradicted

And in so saying you prove my point. If I contradicted Scripture, which I doubt, Scripture didn't flag me and say, "HEY! You're wrong!" You have.

Hebrews 5 & 6

Do you really want me to hunt for what it is you think I contradicted? Could you be a bit more specific?

as well as many other passages (most directly 2 Timothy 3:16).

On the contrary, the entire epistle of 2 Tim is about teaching. Let me give you a brief summary:

Chapter 1: 13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Chapter 2: 2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

Chapter 4: 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Now lets look at 2 Tim 3:
10But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
I have taught you and you have learned.

14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

The next verse needs a bit of introduction in order to be understood correctly:

Now, think about this carefully. Does a child have to know how to read in order to know the Scriptures? In my house, my children and I meditated on the Scriptures since before they knew how to read. So I know that the answer is, "No."

15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


cont'd

De Maria said...

cont'd

And if we read 2 Tim 3:16 with discernment, we see that St. Paul is TEACHING St. Timothy that the Bible is useful for the TEACHER to reprove, correct, instruct in doctrine.

16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The Bible is profitable, not necessary, for a Preacher to use "for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" So that the Preacher may bring up the man of God and make him perfect for all good works.

Sure Hebrews 5 mentions teaching, but first off the question was if scripture is needed to decern between good and evil. The passage says through constant use of the word of righteousness we learn to dicern between good and evil. Second, the advanced teaching about Christ referenced in chapter 5 is provided in chapters 7 to 10. The teaching is in the scriptures, but you act as if it must be provided by the church.

By the Church or by Mom and Dad.

We are not born with a Biblical index in our psyche. But God did place His Law in our hearts. So, Scripture is not necessary, although it is useful, for understanding doctrine and sin.

This is why I said you are not really interpreting scripture. You just press scripture in the service of your church because your church tells you to.

You are doing the same, but you deny it. 2 Tim 3:16 is a perfect example. You claim it teaches that Scripture teaches. But 2 Tim 3:16 says that the use of Scripture is profitable but not necessary for the Teacher who wants to pass on doctrine.

On contraception, you are lowering the bar from doctrine taught by the Pope from the chair of Peter or an ecumenical council with the Pope to the "three leged stool". The problem is two of the legs have proven unreliable. Take for example the idea that the sun revolves around the earth. It has deep roots in tradition and church teaching (probably deeper than the idea that contraception is wrong). But it's wrong.

No it isn't. There has never been a Tradition (note the capital T) which says that the Church teaches scientific knowledge. Therefore the point is moot. The Church is here to pass down the Traditions of Jesus Christ. Christ did not teach us science. Or if He did, show me.

So you trust the three legged stool even though two of the legs have been proven wrong.

I trust Jesus Christ who Himself built the Church and commanded it to pass down His Teachings.

And you can't retreat to Popes speaking from the chair of Peter without sacrificing the idea the your church cannot be wrong about contraception.

I don't need to. The point you thought you made was actually, moot.

God be with you,
Dan


And with you,

Sincerely,

De Maria

Godismyjudge said...

Hi De Maria,

Too bad we were unable to resolve our differences but I appreciated your approach and tone none the less.

God be with you,
Dan

De Maria said...

Dan,

I enjoyed the conversation. Thanks for putting up with me. I saw some other interesting topics on your blog, so if I haven't overstayed my welcome, I'll be back every now and again:

Proverbs 27:17
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

God bless you too.

Sincerely,

De Maria

Godismyjudge said...

Hi De Maria,

Thanks, I enjoyed it as well and am glad to know you. I'll probably be thinking of you if I see Sound of Music again - how do you solve a problem like De Maria? :-) Of course, your welcome to comment on anything you would like.

God be with you,
Dan