Dear Mailman - I’m so happy your brought up the Bible. It is wonderful isn’t it?
However, there seems to be a few things not written by you that I thought you might want to consider. I don’t know, perhaps you’ve already thought about them, but here goes:
In your post you state: ““All Scripture is inspired by God (Greek theopneustos, “God-breathed”) and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults and giving instruction for right living” (2 Tim. 3:16).”
But the Scriptures St. Paul was referring to was of course the Old Testament for all the Books of the New Testament at the time of the writing of this letter to St. Timothy were just being written. If one took this literally then one would have to exclude all of the New Testament from one’s reading list of Scriptures that are useful for teaching, rebuking, etc. St. Paul when he wrote this letter had no idea he was adding to our acceptable canon of Scriptures. But we know he was operating under the influence of the Holy Spirit and this letter he wrote was LATER added to our acceptable canon of Scriptures.
After your use of Second Timothy, you say: "But is Scripture the sole arbiter of our faith? That is amply answered above. " I fail to see this as true because if I did, I would chuck my New Testament because I know the Scriptures St. Paul was refering to were the Scrolls of the Old Testament! I having common sense, know that isn’t what he meant for me to do.
Besides that, the passage quoted does not mention directly faith. It says that the Scriptures, the Old Testament Scriptures, are useful “to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.” http://www.newadvent.org/bible/2ti003.htm But it doesn’t specifically say FAITH or arbitrating one’s faith. Is this possible?
So, let me get this right, reading the passage from Second Timothy I find that by reading Scriptures of the OLD TESTAMENT I might be taught, reproved, corrected, and instructed in justice, things I need to become perfect. But wait aminute, prayer isn’t even mentioned nor getting Baptised nor a few of the other things I know we’re supposed to do if we hope to grow in holiness. Ummmmm…you’re *sole arbiter *theory has some holes in it already.
But then you state: " But a simpler way to get a clear answer is by asking two questions: 1) WHO is the sole arbiter of our faith? The answer to that would have to be “God,” not man."
If I take this literally then I really would have to throw my whole Bible away because I’d be interpreting it myself and being merely human I couldn’t possibly interpret correctly! I’d have to wait for God Himself to read it to me!
Fortunately, I know better and listen carefully when the Church speaks of such things, for God guides her with His promised Holy Spirit and since His Holy Spirit resides in her, the Church in abundance, I can trust the development of my faith to her.
Then you say: “2) HOW would God arbitrate our faith?” My simple answer is: By what He tells us to do or not do."
My answer was given above, but I’ll say it one more time because I like to type…The Church is used by God, you know the One He built and preserves in faith which gives a living witness to the fecundity of His Words in its 2000 year plus existence, to tell us what to do and not do. I listen to her as I would God. But You disagree with this and state for yourself: “In other words, we are judged by our obedience or disobedience to what He tells us (His Word).”
I’d agree that Mary, His Mother (and mine) told the servers at the Wedding Feast of Cana to “Do whatever He tells you…” Yet how do I accomplish this in light of the conclusion of St. John’s Gospel that states: 24 This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things and hath written these things: and we know that his testimony is true.** 25 But there are also many other things which Jesus did which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written.** http://www.newadvent.org/bible/joh021.htm
Ummmmm…wait a minute Not Everything God wants me to do is recorded in the Bible? Uh oh! Does St. John imply more will be written in time for our instruction, edification, etc.? My answer would be yes! We call it Sacred Tradition! So, when the world is completely covered with books, then God will be done writing! Until then I think I’ll just trust the Church thank you very much Mailman for your opinion on you, God and your Bible saving you.
BTW, I became a Catholic after reading the Bible. How is it that I can read the SAME BOOK and proceed to call a Rectory and get Baptised, while you read the same book and sit back in an easy chair and grow smugger? Perhaps you should take our Lady’s advise and “Do WHATEVER He tells you!”
P.S. I’m confused - do YOU believe Mary knew she was sinless? I do.