I don’t know that you need ‘resources’, per se, to debunk this one…
First off, he sells the crown jewels with his opening argument: sola scriptura cannot be proven because it’s not ‘doctrine’, it’s a ‘principle’; and principles cannot be proven.
It’s a nice move, actually. But, how can he assert ‘principles’ in a context that only allows for Scripture to be the final say? In other words, if he doesn’t want to assert that he can prove it from Scripture, and everything he believes is in Scripture… can he prove that his notion about ‘unprovable principles’ is in Scripture? If not, then he’s not dealing in ‘sola scriptura’, but has created his own Tradition, in which the principle of sola scriptura is the rule. (In other words, he agrees with the Catholic approach… but just follows a non-apostolic Tradition. )
But, what about his four reasons why it’s a reasonable principle?
- In matters of faith and morals, the Bible was the highest court of appeal.
That’s nice, but that doesn’t defend sola scriptura. That defends the premise that Scripture is the primary source, not the sole source.
Further, we can demonstrate that this is not true: when Gentile Christians asked about the need to adhere to Mosaic law, did Peter or James go to the OT to find their answer? Did they reference the oral tradition that later became the NT? Nope… they made the ruling themselves, asserting that God had inspired them to see that there was no need for Gentile Christians to follow Jewish dietary law. In other words, they plainly demonstrated that the Bible was neither the sole nor the highest authority, but that apostolic teaching (what the Catholic Church means when it uses the term ‘Sacred Tradition’) was able to provide an authoritative answer on a matter of the faith.
- Scripture is true, infallible and without error.
People can be infallible; Scripture is inerrant. Yet, his assertion here is true (and I have no idea why he claims that most Catholics do not believe this assertion; probably because he wants it to mean fundamentalism – that is, that Scripture is literalistically true on the face of the letter). In any case, the fact that Scripture is inerrant doesn’t prove sola scriptura, either. You can believe that Scripture is inerrant and still believe in Sacred Tradition, as the Catholic Church does.
- Scripture is clear in matters of faith and morals.
That’s why there are so many denominations of Protestants, as well as scores of ‘non-denominational’ Protestants, right? And each of them holds to varying degrees of difference in matters of faith and morals, don’t they? That’s cause Scripture is clear and doesn’t require an authoritative interpreter, right? (If he wants to hold to this notion, he has to defend the idea that the Holy Spirit is rather incompetent, since only his interpretation is right, and every other Christian’s is wrong; either all other Christians are false in their desire to know Christ, or the Holy Spirit is asleep at the switch, allowing people of good heart and legitimate love of the Lord to go astray. Neither of these is particularly tenable for his case.)
- Scripture is sufficient for the Christian in matters of faith and morals is also the assumption that makes Paul’s advice to Timothy even thinkable.
Oddly enough, this argument hurts his case! If Paul meant sola scriptura, then why did he have to write the letters to Timothy at all? He could simply have written, “Read your Bible, Timmy!”, and that would suffice!
Yet, in 2 Timothy, Paul advises Timothy of another source that TImothy should utilize:
“Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us” (2 Tim 1:13-14). Here, Paul exhorts Timothy to use as his norm the teachings of Paul. Elsewhere, Paul boasts that he got his teachings directly from Christ, not from the other apostles (who were the sources of the Gospels). In other words, Paul is pointing to his own apostolic teaching and not toward the Gospels themselves. Are we to assume that there’s a “Gospel according to Paul” out there that’s lost? One that’s a norm that Paul espoused, but isn’t part of the canon of Scripture? ‘sola scriptura’, eh?
“[W]hat you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well” (2 Tim 2:2). In other words, the basis of Christian teaching isn’t Scripture, but Paul’s personal apostolic teaching.
“You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance … remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it” (2 Tim 3:10, 14). What is the principle upon which Timothy is to base his faith? Scripture? Nope – Paul’s teaching, and Paul personally is the principle upon which Timothy is to rely.
He himself makes this claim: “If Paul thought Timothy needed a supplemental body of truth that could only be found outside of scripture, this would have been the place to tell him so.” We can see, clearly, that Paul did so.
So, his four pillars which he claims “champion the principle” of sola scriptura do no such thing. They demonstrate the worth of Scripture, which any Christian should accept. Yet, they do not demonstrate that sola scriptura is a reasonable approach.