Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The best I have seen on sola scriptura

This is from Past Elder's Reply here.


I don't think sola scriptura is so much a complex position as it is a phrase used to mean several positions, some of which Lutherans reject and never meant.

Sola scriptura does not mean "only Scripture". It is a type of construction in Latin called an ablative of means, a way to state the means by which an agent does an action. It is translated "by Scripture alone". It does not mean, if you have Scripture you don't need anything else.

It also does not mean. if it ain't in the Bible we ain't doing it. There are those later in the Reformation to whom it does mean that, and many in our time likewise, and we reject that. For example, liturgy. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus set up a liturgy or ask anyone else to do so. That does not mean then that having a liturgy is against the Bible. Liturgy is something the church has adopted and adapted from the synagogue because of its benefit to the good order of the church, and good order in the church is a good reason to do something.

So what we mean is, there are many good reasons for the church doing this and not doing that, and as to those which are not laid out specifically in the Bible, we accept them, we for example again accept liturgy, not rejecting it because it isn't in the Bible, but only that which has crept into it that contradicts the Bible.

You can say then our position is, if it contradicts the Bible we ain't doing it. Something being in the Bible is not the only good reason for doing it, it is rather the only good reason with a divine guarantee. And our other good reasons must not contradict those good reasons that have that divine guarantee of Scripture.

Similarly church. Sola scriptura does not reject church at all, or that church grows and develops. It rejects, rather, those things that have come along with the church's growth and development that contradict what's in the Bible. One such would be some of the Roman church's ideas as to the nature and extent of its authority. And, if these are indeed contrary to Scripture, one does not reject the church, but in fact upholds it, to deny them.

You can say then our position is, the church has said these are the books and no other on which you can rely and on whose truths the church is built, then it quit relying on them and its truths as the norm for all else, and we simply recall the church to fidelity to its own book that it declares faithful to God's truth.

15 comments:

William Weedon said...

Lito,

I agree - that was one of Terry's best! He's a marvel and a half.

Steve Martin said...

Nice work there, by Past Elder!

Amen to that!

Augustinian Successor said...

"Lutherans reject the intercession of the saints and the sacrifice of the mass - they reject certain features of Rome's practice and teaching on these, but the substance of either is maintained."

Weedon, you're right on no. 1, but as it is wrong on no. 2. Lutherans reject flat out the Sacrifice of the Mass. The Lord's Supper is always GIFT. It is GOSPEL.

You might as well say Lutherans accept justification by faith and works coram Deo in a certain sense!

Augustinian Successor said...

"Hence, I regard Roman Catholics as my dear sisters and brothers in Christ Jesus, who unfortunately elevate certain merely human notions to the level of divine dogma and thus have caused division within the Body of Christ over them. I am sorry to speak so, and I ask forgiveness if this distresses my Roman brothers and sisters."

This is ironic! The folks who profess to want to learn from the Roman tradition fails to apply what that tradition especially in light Vatican II - which these folks are so happy for. Look, Roman Christians are ERRING Christians who need to be brought back to the Faith. Baptism as the foundation is EXTERNAL as you corrrectly hinted at. But on the SUBSTANCE of the faith, the justifying God and the justified sinner, the Lutheran says ANATHEMA! Go read *Galatians* 1:8 AGAIN. Carefully this time please ...

Augustinian Successor said...

The SSP is jest wasting their bloody time, waiting for eventual reunion with Rome. It's not gonna happen now, not ever. Justification by faith alone is the line which DIVIDES - it is the one doctrine which separates people into two groups. By extension, it is the doctrine which makes or breaks a church. Churches are divided, not just individuals.

The papacy, the pope is the Antichrist. Period. Benedict 16 may a good man, but he's still Antichrist as far as the GOSPEL is concerned. You're still not sure? Then you don't know or you don't really believe the Gospel. It's not just about excluding merit and talk of merit, it's about getting rid of the idea of any kind of human co-operation whatsoever!

That's the Gospel of Martin Luther for you!

Lucian said...

Lutherans reject the intercession of the saints

I'm glad they do; I would be even glader to find out why...

The Jewish Liturgy still has prayers to Angels in it; so do the Christian ones. Asking those that did not taste death for help was a Jewish practice at Jesus' time (Matthew 27:47 & Mark 15:35). The same went for the role of Enoch-Metatron in the inter-testamentary period. -- What all of these had in common was the fact that they were alive (Enoch & Elijah, Metatron & the Angels). i.e., they were not "prayin' to da dead".

When Christ came, He told us that the righteous were still alive, because our God is a God of the living, not one of the dead, and since He's the God of the Patriarchs, then they were still alive in Him.

Now, when adding to these Scriptural and Traditional testimonies the weight of other Biblical passages about intercessionary prayer, I think the case is clear.

L P said...

There is no command nor example from Scripture that we should pray to them. Besides such praying introduces omniscience capabilities on the saints.

So if you are there in say Romania, and I am here in Aus, and at the same time we pray to Elijah, so you think we will be heard by Elijah.

As far as I know Enoch-Metatron is not part of Scripture in the OT nor the NT. The Book of Enoch says when you fast and meditate you can enter the 7th heaven so mystical experience happens. But it ain;t part of Scripture, i.e. considered to be inspired.

LPC

Lucian said...

The passages which admonish various people to pray for various other people are all over Scripture. So is the fact that those departed in Christ are still alive. Resistance is futile.

L P said...

Lucian,

category mistake.

The passages that ask for people to pray for people are living people.

Just falsify me, give me an incident in scripture illustrates a person praying to another person who has departed. So here is a counter example, I am trying to help you falsify me.

Show a person A, who is alive praying to person B who has died. If you have that example, the case is closed. You got your point.

LPC

Lucian said...

The passages that ask for people to pray for people are living people.

Precisely my point. My point exactly. And the Saints, how are they? ("Why, they're fine, thank You"). :-)

Lucian said...

In case I wasn't probably clear enough: this article began by quoting what Past Elder was saying:

Sola scriptura does not mean "only Scripture". It does not mean, if you have Scripture you don't need anything else.

It also does not mean. if it ain't in the Bible we ain't doing it. There are those later in the Reformation to whom it does mean that, and many in our time likewise, and we reject that. For example, liturgy. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus set up a liturgy or ask anyone else to do so. That does not mean then that having a liturgy is against the Bible.


So... You can't have it both ways: liturgy in, though not Scriptural, but not against it either (being traditional also); whereas prayer to and for "da dead" out, though clearly traditional and not contra-dicting Scripture either...

L P said...

But I can assert that they are dead too. At anyrate even if they are alive praying to them implies omniscience on their part. Case in point you and I on the same room, you pray in your language and I pray using mine. You mean they know how to understand Filipino?

The moment they have taken omniscience - they become God.

Ah yes, from a contradiction you can prove anything.


LPC

Lucian said...

The moment they have taken omniscience - they become God

No. The moment You possess divine essence You become God. The divine energies (like love, wisdom, long-suffering, patience, goodness, kindness, meekness, etc) do not turn us into the fourth person of the Trinity.

But to answer Your concern: no, You don't have to be omniscient: the soul does not have the same thick carnal barriers as the body. (Nor do the resurrected bodies). The same Spirit that made the Apostles speak at Pentecost is dwelling in the Saints (many of whom did such things while in the body, by the power of God).

Augustinian Successor said...

Read the Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. There is a gulf between the Kingdom to come and the Kingdom here and now. The two Kingdoms inter-sect or coalesce, i.e. come together in Jesus Who is both divine and human. But they are not yet one Kingdom, as long as SIN and CORRUPTION persist. The barrier's still there, until the Last day.

Augustinian Successor said...

So the hypostatic unity in Jesus guarantees the "hypostatic unity" of the two kingdoms on the Last day - the eschatological will usher in the ontological.