Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Scripture Alone, in what way?

Since I got no takers on my Desanctis series specially from my RC friends I will digress a bit and mention another misunderstood sola.

Sola Scriptura is another one of those things misunderstood by modern evangelicals the same way that Sola Fide is misunderstood to mean - no sacramental usage of Baptism and Lord's Supper. For some Sola Scriptura means the Bible read with nothing, no aids, read without history and without creed. This is so misunderstood that my RC friends are rightly buffled by some Protestants. That is why when they say "hey but you guys though you say Sola Scriptura use Tradition", and I warmly admit right away - "yes" and do not deny it. The question is how is Tradition used?

Here is an article by Rev. Fouts on Scripture and Tradition. I think this article spells out where Reformation Christians are different from today's modern evangelical.

23 comments:

Steve said...

Many "evanglical" Christians are ahistoric in their view of the Faith. Traditional provides a good frame work inwhich we can view Holy Scripture. Also, if many Christians were familiar with the traditions of the Church, they could avoid many of the errors that the church as all ready delt with. Also, many "evanglicals" have the view of "me and my interpretation of scripture" which is very dangerous. I do find it interesting that many "evanglicals" are traditionalist when it comes to aspects of society and culture, but they are liberals when it comes to the traditions of church.

Ritewinger said...

I really agree with Steve on the issue of "my interpretation". The scariest question around is "what does this verse mean to you?" It means what it means, not one thing to you and another thing to me.

L P Cruz said...

Steve et.al.

I am glad I am blogging because you guys give me insight I would have not come up on my own.

It is an absolutely a good point about evangelicals being traditionalist when it comes to morals but liberals when it comes to history and the creeds.

Ritewinger is also seing the trend now adays - the evangelicals say - what does this passage mean to me? The RC says - what does this passage mean to the Pope?

Jeff Tan said...

Well.. This Catholic agrees with Rev. Fouts on where Scripture and Tradition stand. I think what stops non-Catholics on their tracks is the conclusion that too many Catholic Traditions teach doctrines that are "contra Scriptura", which Catholics will naturally contest since we do not sanction any contradiction with Scripture. But even Lutherans and Baptists may differ on certain things which, to one camp, may seem to be a case of "contra Scriptura" for the other. In the end, it may take getting our hands dirty and charitably discussing the misunderstandings in the hope that the unity prayed for by Christ can be achieved in our lifetime.

As for what the Pope thinks, I don't know why you get that impression. The Traditions of the Catholic Church come from Scripture, the Church Fathers, the doctors and exemplary teachers of the Church, and the Church councils. The pope's role seems larger than it really is because of his role as the Speaker of the house and as an arbiter.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

In the end, and in practice, the RC may read the scripture but he is not allowed to use his mind and interpret it because in the end, it may not mean anything unless the Magisterium interprets it. So in practice, it can be , the reading of Scripture is superflous, or what it says there can not be taken seriouss.

Yes Jeff, the RC go beyond catholic thought in its doctrines such as for example - the bodily assumption of Mary. Now this is not in scripture so it [Magisterium] does teach tradition above scripture. Please say where in NT where such bodily assumption is found.

This is the point of Desanctis, yes the RCC use the writing of the Fathers but they take such teachings where they go awry. Indeed, Lutherans and RCs do selective reading of the Fathers - now we should agree with that statememt. This is obvious from those even from outside. The question is - which procedure of the use of the Fathers is wise?

Lutherans may differ with Baptists on an aspect of Scripture or a teaching of Scripture, but at least both of them are interpreting Scripture, they are not interpreting the Fathers, for their appeal.

Venerable Aussie said...

"Yes Jeff, the RC go beyond catholic thought in its doctrines such as for example - the bodily assumption of Mary. Now this is not in scripture so it [Magisterium] does teach tradition above scripture. Please say where in NT where such bodily assumption is found."

If we replace "bodily assumption [of Mary]" above with, say, "canon of scripture" or "hypostatic union" or "the trinity" then I think we can see the problem Lito really has.

Also, as a Catholic the issue is not the old canard that the "Pope has to do all the thinking for you".

We see the Petrine ministry not as some authoritarian creation of men, but conversely as a unique and key gift of Christ by which the fulness of His teachings can be faithfully handed on and expounded to all generations.

Both St Jerome and St Augustine were fully versed in Scripture and its interpretation, and they had many bitter differences, but both stood with the Church founded by Christ with Peter and his successors in the Petrine ministry as the visible head on earth.

Once again I make the point, the Catholic Church does not take an "either/or" approach. It is not either scripture or tradition. It is the handing on of the totality of the faith as delivered once and for all to the apostles. Scripture and tradition must both be understood in this light.

L P Cruz said...

I understand the point Venerable, it is a both approach rather than an either or.

Hence we do not have the same procedure and regard for authority. When Scripture and Tradition do not agree, for us Scripture should be obeyed.

Now in the doctrine of the Bodily Assumption of Mary, I note that this was not even a tradition believed by the early Christians at all say 0-400 AD.

For this reason, Jeff always point out to me the work of Cardinal Newman - the Development of Doctrine, which in a way is an admission that indeed some doctrines in the Roman Catholic Church of today do not have support from tradition itself.

I heard a quote from Cyril who said that Tradition without truth is but the antiquity of error

In otherwords, tradition that can not be proven as taught by the apostles is to commit the antiquity of error and I suggest one example of that is the "bodily assumption o f Mary".

Venerable Aussie said...

Here's your proposition in syllogistic form:

A- Unless we can prove the apostles taught a particular dogma, then it is false.

B- We can't prove that the apostles taught the dogma of the assumption of Mary

Therefore, the dogma of the assumption of Mary is false.

Wow, I don't think this is what St Cyril had in mind! (and if you really deep deep down believed this then you'd have to turf out not only the dogma of the trinity and of the Christological dogmas as defined at Nicaea, Ephesus and Chalcedon, but also turf out the New Testament as well!

The assumption wasn't a 1950s invention. Here's what Augustine (d 430) had to say about the feast of the assumption:

"This venerable day has dawned, the day that surpasses all the festivals of the saints, this most exalted and solemn day on which the Blessed Virgin was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. On this day the queenly Virgin was exalted to the very throne of God the Father, and elevated to such a height that the angelic spirits are in admiration."

It is sobering to realise that this was written prior to Ephesus which defined Mary as the Theotokos, and well before Chalcedon which defined the hypostatic union.

Steve said...

Venerable,

Are you saying that we can add onto Church teaching those things that aren't in Holy Scripture and give it the same level of importance? If a Church Father taught something that didn't agree with scripture, do we accept that teaching in addition to scripture?

The RC view of tradition places tradition at the same level as Holy Scripture compared to the Lutheran review that tradition should help us better understand scripture, where the tradition is consistant with scripture. If a teaching is not consistant with Holy Scripture then it is not to be taught as doctrine.

If the RC taught that Mary was a sinner, just like you and I, and died, just like you and I will most likely, would that change the underlaying doctrine of the RC?

L P Cruz said...

Venerable,

That syllogism is correct and safe.

You quoted Augustine, could you give a source where the quote is found? Like for example, please give at which work can I find his quote?

The word "body and soul" in the quote needs further elaboration and I like the context where the quote of Augustine is found. I will have to examine too if this was not recanted by him since he wrote recantations after wards.

“The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis, falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite” (Catholic Encyclopaedia).

Is the Catholic Encyclopaedia wrong?

Venerable Aussie said...

Hi Lito,

Sorry to not have commented earlier as I was interstate and away from my trusty laptop.

I pulled the Augustine quote from here:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/fr90203.htm

but would have to do some more homweork to get the original citation.

The point is - and it seems critical to our understanding of how doctrine unfolds (under the guidance of the HS) - that by the 5th and 6th centuries (1000 years before Luther, and nearly 1500 years before it was dogmatically defined), Christianity celebrated the feast of the Assumption of Mary.

I read the Catholic Encyclopedia article. It is important to remember that the apocryphal writings are not necessary wrong. Many of course give very important details which help to paint the historical backdrop for us. The Church of course has not deemed them "inspired" which is not the same as saying that they are all false.

One of my favourite Catholic-convert apologists is Dave Armstrong. He digs deep here (http://www.chnetwork.org/journals/mary/mary_5.htm ) to give us Luther's view of Mary. I think most Protestants would shudder hearing what he had to say!

As to Steve's point, the key issue again is one of authority. He no doubt accepts many dogmas (such as the canon of the NT, the definition of the Trinity, and the nature of Jesus Christ as the one person/two natures God-Man) which are clearly not given to us in scripture. And, if he does accept these dogmas, then unwittingly or not he has done so on the basis of the authority given to the apostles and their successors united under the Petrine Ministry.

If scripture is the final arbiter, why accept dogmas not found in scripture?

Jeff Tan said...

"In the end, and in practice, the RC may read the scripture but he is not allowed to use his mind and interpret it because in the end, it may not mean anything unless the Magisterium interprets it. So in practice, it can be , the reading of Scripture is superflous, or what it says there can not be taken seriouss."

Actually we treat it more seriously, so seriously that we dare not presume that our own private interpretations are enough. As you mention in another post, too, we must consider what the Church has proclaimed in the past, e.g., through the Church fathers and councils. We take seriously the injunction against private interpretation of St. Peter's.

"Please say where in NT where such bodily assumption is found."

First we have to agree that bodily assumption has its precedents, e.g., the assumption of Elijah in the fiery chariot. Second we have to agree that bodily assumption is our hope, based on Scripture and Tradition, particularly those who are alive when Christ returns. Applying this to Mary is a logical conclusion from the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception, where she was saved and preserved from original sin at the point of conception by applying the merits of Christ's redemption. Of course this second Marian dogma would incur a separate set of objections from you. :-)

As for things that are or are not in the NT, can you show me where in Scriptures it says that we must compile the writings of which particular Apostles, or that they should write anything, and those writings ought to be bound up as God-breathed Scripture?

"Lutherans may differ with Baptists on an aspect of Scripture or a teaching of Scripture, but at least both of them are interpreting Scripture, they are not interpreting the Fathers, for their appeal."

And one wonders how many Spirits of Truth there are when Lutherans and Baptists differ on such key things as the necessity of baptism and the Eucharist, the predestination of some for glory and others for eternal damnation, to the exclusion of free will, etc.

"When Scripture and Tradition do not agree, for us Scripture should be obeyed."

And the Catholic Church Magisterium would agree with you there. No Tradition should ever replace or discard Scripture, because they have the same author of Truth for which no contradiction is possible. Laughable as it seems, so many of us foolish Catholics do not see the contradictions that you truly wise Lutherans see so clearly. Strange, that.

The Assumption does not have documentary evidence until the late 4th or early 5th century, but both the East and West believe it nevertheless. Epiphanius (who died in 406) seemed to have been saying that he did have any definite origin for the tradition, but it was there. Another development of doctrine? More like the first documentary evidence of something that existed long before, hence Epiphanius commenting about it.

"some doctrines in the Roman Catholic Church of today do not have support from tradition itself"

Not that it has no roots in Tradition, but that it grew from its roots. No tree looks like the acorn it comes from, after all. You rally should have a look at Newman's essay. This is not in defense of Catholic dogmas exclusively. For example, he deals with the canon of the NT, original sin, infant baptism, communion in one kind, etc. And yes, he does deal with papal supremacy.

"Are you saying that we can add onto Church teaching those things that aren't in Holy Scripture and give it the same level of importance?"

If the Tradition comes from the same source as Scriptures, yes. Bear in mind that Tradition and Scripture come from one deposit of faith, but are two modes of transmission: "traditions received from us, whether by mouth or by letter." Here St. Paul makes distinctions, and neither do we. If at one point in time such an order was true, what proof is there to conclude that this has been abolished, that traditions received by mouth are no longer binding? I've often heard the notion of inscripturation, where all the traditions of the Apostles took written form only, in the New Testament. But an honest assessment of the New Testament makes this a poor theory, for no Scriptural support clearly enjoins such a future act, for if all traditions of the Apostles are to have been put down in writing, we should have the writings of the other Apostles also. Instead, we have Scriptural evidence that there are many things that simply couldn't get written down because of the sheer volume of literature that would have to be written.


"If a Church Father taught something that didn't agree with scripture, do we accept that teaching in addition to scripture?"

If it contradicts Scripture, such as some of the heterodox writings of Tertullian, then they are not accepted.

"The RC view of tradition places tradition at the same level as Holy Scripture"

Which is fine as far as St.Paul is concerned (between oral and written tradition), so long as we know of their Apostolic roots. For him to say that is therefore to acknowledge that Apostolic teaching authority is quite binding.


"compared to the Lutheran review that tradition should help us better understand scripture, where the tradition is consistant with scripture. If a teaching is not consistant with Holy Scripture then it is not to be taught as doctrine."

Agreed. The problem is when the opinion as to that consistency or harmony is a point of contention.

"If the RC taught that Mary was a sinner, just like you and I, and died, just like you and I will most likely, would that change the underlaying doctrine of the RC?"

I don't know if this is a misconception. The bodily Assumption of Mary does not exclude her death. Note that the ancient tradition places her Assumption after her death.

Now the impact of this doctrine is not as big as you may think. While we rightly celebrate the Assumption as a glorious triumph of divine grace, it is in no way at par with our celebrations of the Eucharist, for example, which are so important that we celebrate the Eucharist everyday when we can.

L P Cruz said...

Venerable,

Right, you need to find the actual quote and in actual context, this is good scholarship. I went to the site you referred to but once again, as is typical of RC apologetics, they would St SoandSo said this, and St Dadada said this and St BlahBlahBlah said this ...but no citing of the work or document where it was said. So once again, unverifiable.

Apocrypha is not considered inspired specially NT apocrypha! I hope you do not have an NT different from the NT of the 3 Chritians traditions!

It is not wise to draw doctrine from un-inspired Scripture which I would say you are doing in the Assumption of Mary.

A section in the church may have celebrated the Assumption of Mary but this is not an article of faith that must be believed by all (ie catholic/ Christian).

Be it as it may - our theological method is that we rely only on the Scripture considered to be inspired. Once again, you must see how we (I can only speak for myself) use tradition in that article or how we use the Fathers.

I deny what you say ...that the Trinity or the God-Man-ness of Jesus is not found in Scripture. By this you believe like the Arians that the Trinity is not found in Scripture - you have to be careful how you are speaking. Once you believe that something is not in Scripture and you can believe it then ... there you are --- that is why you are an RC. And for all intents and purposes you can follow the same method and be a Mormom.

The word Trinity may not be found as such, but the concept of what that doctrine is speaking about is found in the Scripture!!!!

L P Cruz said...

Firstly Jeff, there is the double talk there. Did you not notice? On the one hand you said that the Assumption of Mary happened after her death! So she went to heaven after dying ... fine , so was Paul!

But the Bodily Assumption says she did not die, she was taken to heaven like Elisha or like Enoch.

Can you not see the absurdity of that - Desanctis is correct - the common sense has to ...well goes out the door.

So...like I said - from a contradition you can prove anything!

You do believe something not from Scripture! why don't you simply admit that - it is not found explicitly from Scripture (unlike the Trinity, nor like the God-Man-ness of Christ).

Jeff, you also said "roots in Tradition, but that it grew from its roots."

Now I ask, what are these doctrines from the roots in Tradition that are yet to grow forth? Can you name them or shall we wait for the Pope to declare what they are yet?

Take the Trinity - the Trinity is rooted from Scripture, but the Bodily Assumption is rooted not in there. A big difference.

You do not believe that when the Scripture happened, NT is complete! This is where we differ, the revelation of God is not complete in your view - this is where we are miles apart. That is why IMHO some assertions are absurd.

Just follow this logic -- if the HS inspired say the NT, He wants to reveal and record this for us - yet He (who is God) could not complete the inscripturation and needed to point us to Tradition which He did not got to write.

Is this the way Jesus believed about the OT? Jesus says you will find him in Scripture. Yet the RC says - you will find something about the FAITH in Tradition that the HS did not get to write - (he was powerless, he did not get the time to write it, he could not get to some disciple and could not dictate the words etc) - Here you make the HS powerless.

Take note - what is written for our salvation has been recorded ...hear again the words of God if you would please continue the passage in John 20:30 to verse 31
"but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name".

Yes many more could have been written - but what has been written has been written so that you may believe that Jesus is your Mediator.

L P Cruz said...

PS.

in otherwords, what has been written is sufficient and enough for faith to get a hold on, sufficient for our salvation.

God has a promise, if we seek him with our hearts (ie in truth) he will reveal himself to us through his Word. I can not imagine the HS writing something so that you may not understand it. It is gnosticism to believe that only a section or an elite group(like the Majesterium) is privy to certain knowledge of scripture .

Jeff Tan said...

"It is not wise to draw doctrine from un-inspired Scripture which I would say you are doing in the Assumption of Mary."

Remember that St. Jude's epistle draws from the non-canonical Assumption of Moses..

Also, to respond to the St. blahblahblah tirade, I note that the EWTN article does provide some references, e.g., a letter of St. Cyril, bishop of Alexandria (444 A.D.), who presided over the Council of Ephesus. It is known as the "Creed of Union" or the "Creed of Ephesus. Please not be so ready to pounce at the oversight we are all guilty of from time to time. It does not help charitable dialog to be quick to consign these mistakes as "typical of RC apologetics."

"The word Trinity may not be found as such, but the concept of what that doctrine is speaking about is found in the Scripture!!!!"

No objections here, which is why Roman Catholics are not taught to be Arians, but the fact that most of the Church became Arian at some point is what we mean when we say that the Trinity as a doctrine needed to develop, to be clarified in the course of years and debates and councils.

"Did you not notice? On the one hand you said that the Assumption of Mary happened after her death!"

But that is precisely the doctrine: "This feast has a double object: (1) the happy departure of Mary from this life; (2) the assumption of her body into heaven." (from the Catholic Encyclopedia).

"So she went to heaven after dying ... fine , so was Paul!"

The difference is with the bodily assumption.

"But the Bodily Assumption says she did not die, she was taken to heaven like Elisha or like Enoch."

No, as quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia. This is also quoted several times from previous popes and ancient liturgies in the bull Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII:

".. this is set forth in that sacramentary which Adrian I, our predecessor of immortal memory, sent to the Emperor Charlemagne. These words are found in this volume: "Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself."[11]

Pope Adrian I died 795. The bull also cites from the Byzantine liturgy:

"God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb."[12]

Nutshell clarification, the dogma states that she died, but her body did not stay in the tomb for corruption, but was assumed into Heaven by God's power and grace.

I remember in primary or high school being keenly taught a major difference between the Lord's Ascension and our Lady's Assumption: the Lord ascends of His own power, our Lady is assumed into Heaven of God's power, not hers.

"Now I ask, what are these doctrines from the roots in Tradition that are yet to grow forth? "

I wasn't referring to those that are *yet* to grow forth but those that did, e.g., the hypostatic union of Christ's human and divine natures.

One that might seem to be a recent doctrine would be the sanctity of embryonic life. Believe it or not, some Protestants assent to abortion as long as it happens in the first trimester since they could only find proof of ensoulment at the second trimester, based on the reaction of the unborn John the Baptist in the womb -- the ability to leap perceptibly is apparently from the second trimester of pregnancy only. But this only appears recent. Ancient writings such as either (or both) the Didache or (maybe and) the epistle of St. Barnabas explicitly speak against procuring abortion -- since it is an ancient practice (of infamy).

"You do believe something not from Scripture! why don't you simply admit that"

You got me. I admit it. I do believe in several things not in Scripture. For example I believe that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the epistles of the New Testament, and the book of Revelations, are all God-breathed, inerrant, inspired, with the Holy Spirit as the principal author. Sadly not one of them is explicitly identified in Scripture as inspired.

"Just follow this logic -- if the HS inspired say the NT, He wants to reveal and record this for us - yet He (who is God) could not complete the inscripturation"

Here you refer to inscripturation, the notion that everything the Holy Spirit means to teach us was written down. I have yet to find the Scriptural basis for such a belief.

"Yet the RC says - you will find something about the FAITH in Tradition that the HS did not get to write - (he was powerless, he did not get the time to write it, he could not get to some disciple and could not dictate the words etc) - Here you make the HS powerless."

First of all, before the Gospels were written and only the epistles were being written, there was a time when the Christian faith was indeed found in oral tradition, as St. Paul asserts. So it is not contrary to the Lord's designs to inspire oral tradition and render it inerrant.

Second, I must point out that by insisting upon the notion of inscripturation (something that is not in Scripture), one is in effect considering the Holy Spirit incapable of protecting the Church and oral tradition from error, something that did happen between the Ascension and the 2nd century, when 2 Peter was written.

And there is the contradiction, too. You claim that, through inscripturation, all necessary authority to interpret the Scriptures, passes from the Apostles to Scriptures. It does not pass to the Apostolic successors (the bishops). And yet you fail to see that you are actually living by a strange rule: the bishops and especially the pope do not have such authority, but I (the individual faithful) do.

The Magisterium has never taught that the Holy Spirit failed in any way. He has worked and continues to do so through the Church Magisterium (papal and episcopal). The only reason why we believe that is because we trust in the Holy Spirit as the sole provider of Christ's gift of teaching authority. You do the same thing when you claim for your individual self the gift of interpreting Scriptures in fullness of truth. The difference is that you apply this gift to each individual of the flock -- despite, I must point out, St. Peter's warning about private interpretation. We Catholics apply this gift to the Magisterium (papal and episcopal), and of this, Scripture provides support in multiple places.

"in otherwords, what has been written is sufficient and enough for faith to get a hold on, sufficient for our salvation."

Amen, it is truly is practically sufficient to tell us, too, that the visible Church is a necessity, and that the bishops as successors of the Apostles is as God wills, having its roots not only in the Acts of the Apostles but in complete harmony with the succession of the patriarchs, kings, judges and prophets in the OT.

"It is gnosticism to believe that only a section or an elite group(like the Majesterium) is privy to certain knowledge of scripture ."

Actually that would be an apt analogy, except that the Magisterium actually publishes its pronouncements, complete with references to Scripture and Tradition and Church Fathers. Gnostics keep their secrets. Isn't the Roman Catholic Church just so foolish as to have transmitted the books and epistles of the Bible intact, instead of altering them and destroying the originals, so as to suit their gnosis? Well, we have no gnosis to speak of. We have the Magisterium, explicitly granted by Christ the authority to bind and loose on earth as in Heaven, and the keys of the kingdom of Heaven given to our Petrine leader.

L P Cruz said...

Jeff,

Regarding the bodily assumption of Mary, there is no Scripture you agree that she was bodily assumed, ie her body went up to heaven after dying. Call it resurrection or whatever, I would deny it and consider it speculation because the Bible said nothing of it.

Look at your reply again in the above post specially the granting of the HS to inspire Scripture.

Logic says that the HS is He is meant to teach us through Scripture that scripture is enough. You said amen to this, but then there is the sorry to say the double talk (which I admit I find sophistic) that HS inspired oral tradition or beliefs of some of the Fathers that can not be found in Scripture.

Look again to John 20:31. Yes, HS could have told you more, but what he is telling us is already enough for what we need. If you say yes to this, please tell me where the Scripture says that the HS inspires Tradition that is not in the Inspired Scripture too.

Neither do we say that HS failed in fact we are Augustinians, and we believe that the God is sovereign in History, but in your case you practically do. Why? Because you are saying what the HS written was not enough to rely on, we have to resort to some Oral Tradition.

What we are asserting is this - Oral Tradition that needs to be given to us have been inscripturated in the OT and NT canon. They are the reliables source for doctrine and practice.

Can you see my point? I hope you see that in your case you have oral tradition that did not get into Scripture. The whole issue is what we consider by the word "inspired".

You may deny that the HS never fails but the fact that you say that the HS inspire some tradition that did not get into Scripture says that by your psyche, HS did not know what he wanted to do, for if he did, why did he not put those in Scripture too? Case in point - bodily assumption of Mary.

The doctrine of the Trinity is not in the same league as doctrine of the bodily assumption of Mary. The proof from Scripture of the Trinity is super stronger than that of the bodily assumption of Mary.

I find sometimes we are repeating same old mantra of our positions and it looks like we will never agree because we will never agree on the real starting point - the source for faith and practice - Scripture or Magisterium?

L P Cruz said...

PS.

By the way I add, yes the HS protects us and he uses Scripture to protect us . I do not deny the bishops and pastors have authority but their authority is limited by Scripture and in fact not different from mine when it comes to vocation in life.

I am happy to follow a church leader whose doctrine and life matches those in Scripture. I will be happy to reject him if he teaches something not found and I could not see from there. He too needs correcting, St. Paul said that. They can be ejected and rebuked too and call to repentance.

Venerable Aussie said...

"I do not deny the bishops and pastors have authority but their authority is limited by Scripture..."

Really? Just as a thought experiment, how do you suppose this principle worked with, say, (Bishop) Ignatius of Antioch? (and indeed with all the Bishops of the early Church?

L P Cruz said...

Venerable,

I can say something about Agustine...

This is what Augustine said about Cyprian taken from weedon.blogspot.com

I am not bound by the authority of this epistle[letter of Cyprian] for I do not hold the writings of Cyprian as canonical, but I consider them according to the canonical, and I accept whatever in them agrees with the authority of the divine Scriptures with his approval, but what does not agree I reject with his permission." (Contra Cresconium, Book 2, Chapter 32, cited in Examen I, p. 174)

If a Bishop promotes a teaching or a command not sanctioned by Scripture then he has violated Scripture and is therefore not to be obeyed. He is not free to introduce teaching that contradicts Scripture. The Scripture (we believe) is above us, but we are not above Scripture.

Venerable, it just blasphemous to say that a Bishop may be above Scripture, even RCC magisterium tries to support their doctrine from Scripture whenever convenient, then resort to unrecorded Tradition (which did not get to the Canon) when the first one fails.

Case in point - bodily assumption of Mary.

From our perspective, this will be considere - speculation.

Lito

Venerable Aussie said...

Lito,

I'll restate my challenge:

Your comment: "I do not deny the bishops and pastors have authority but their authority is limited by Scripture..."

My comment: "Really? Just as a thought experiment, how do you suppose this principle worked with, say, (Bishop) Ignatius of Antioch? (and indeed with all the Bishops of the early Church?"

I would like your understanding of the meaning of "authority limited by scriptures" as it applied for the first centuries when there was no "Bible".

L P Cruz said...

Venerable,

What I mean is that the authority of a Bishop is limited by Scripture even 1 Peter 5: said this...
1So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;[b] not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

The Bishop is not allowed to teach a doctrine/instructions contrary to Scripture. He is subject to Scripture, his authority which is not limitless . It is an abuse of authority to go beyond what Scripture teaches. An example is the Bodily Assumption of Mary.

As can be seen Augustine will only accept teaching that comes from Scripture,his attitude to a fellow elder - Cyprian was that - he subjected the teaching/instructions from Scripture.

That should be our attitude to those who are above us, so long as they plainly come from Scripture we can follow them but when they start teaching false doctrine, we should excommunicate them, no one is above the Word of God.

L P Cruz said...

Venerable,

I mean to add, your premise that there was no Bible in the first century is not correct, there was already the OT. There were the Apostles who prove their teaching about the Messiah from the OT.

As I said the Bereans were like that - they did not take simply the authority of Paul to teach, but they compared his teaching from Scripture. Peter in Act 2, appealed to Joel an OT minor Prophet for his teaching about Jesus.