Let me bring up again this post of mine (with some rewording) because it has been overlooked in the other thread I’ve started.
I’m into Sola Scriptura these past few weeks. As I’ve read in another forum, a Credobaptist explained that Sola Scriptura does not deny the role of the Church and is even vital for Scripture interpretation. This is exactly what he said:
Those who claim that we believe that the church has no value and ISN’T instrumental in teaching Scripture are wrong. The church is the pillar and foundation of the truth and this “community of God” is instrumental in keeping us in check with the rest of the Christian community. The church is the “interpreter” of Scripture, but the interpretation ISN’T relegated to certain men WITHIN the church.
and then a Catholic, who of course disagrees with Sola Scriptura, attempted to negate this by trying to ask which “Church” is it – is it the Arminian or Calvinist, who aer both having doctrinal or “soteriological” (to borrow the Baptist’s words) differences:
Ah yes of course, now the church has value. Great. Which church? The reformation churches? Which reformation church? Cite one. Would it be the same ‘reformed’ church that spawned two diametrically opposed doctrines side by side like arminianism and calvinism? Which church now is the correct interpreter - the arminian or calvinist? And how does this square with your belief in the right of private interpretation of scripture? Which takes precedence - the CHURCH OR YOUR PRIVATE INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE?
I think the Catholic’s point is quite clear on this: if Sola Scriptura is actually true, then why does it produce two groups having doctrinal or “soteriological” differences? or how could two groups, or denominations, arrive with different set of doctrines but at the same time adhering to only one principle (Sola Scriptura) which “pre-determined” it? (not sure about the word “predetermined”, I used it because Sola Scriptura teaches that all things regarding salvation, doctrine, and Christian way of life, are taught clearly in the bible, at least that’s what the Baptist said. This, I believe is the “root” of all their doctrines. Protestants first adhere to Sola Scriptura to come up with their doctrines)
this is what the Baptist has to say:
Also, of course, this is written under the assumption that [this Catholic]'s church is the true church and that his concept of the church is the correct one. Needless to say, I reject his concept of the church and reject his assumption that the Roman Catholic Church is the true church. Now that we got that out of the way, I want the reader to notice how he removes the concept of Sola Scriptura as I (the adherent) explained it and then reinterprets it to fit what he (the non-adherent) wants to believe about it. Further, he brings up a scenario which has been refuted before. [He] wants to make SS collapse by bringing up two factions within Protestantism that differ soteriologically. He thinks that this refutes what SS teaches. The Arminian and the Calvinist would both agree on the five Solas of the Reformation: Sola Gratia (by grace alone), Sola Fide (by faith alone), Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone), Sola Christus (in Christ alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone). They recognize and do not ignore how they differ on soteriologies, but only in the sense of how it is brought about. Yet, regardless of this difference they agree on the bottom line, that Scripture alone is sufficient in discussing this issue and, thus, we work with the goal of understanding it further, but the Arminian and Calvinist agree that it is salvation is bought about by the grace of God through faith alone. This is what truly saves and not our soteriological differences.
That last part of his statement is disturbing me up until now. I’m still having the impression that this particular guy is telling me just what I’ve stated in my other thread: That for the non-Catholic Christians who are adherents of Sola Scriptura, what “truly saves” is “the grace of God through faith alone” and not the doctrinal/soteriological differences.
I think he has it the reverse: having doctrinal differences with other denominations does not matter, bottomline is, we agree on that one principle that is Sola Sciptura.
but, is that really true? how valid is that?
this led me into asking in my previous thread: if doctrinal differences really don’t matter bec. it is not that that will save us but faith in Jesus, then why don’t they just join us at Mass? Come, participate in the Eucharist. Agree with the Papacy or Infallibility or Immaculate Conception. It doesn’t matter, right? so long as all of us have faith in Jesus, then we’re safe. doctrinal differences do not come in place.
What he’s telling me is yes, there are differences, “we’re working on it,” but “faith alone” first! Well isn’t that what has brought them (including this Baptist with other Sola Scriptura adherents) to soteriological differences in the first place? By all the more focusing on “faith in Jesus” rather than “who Jesus is and what He teaches”? (and up to this point I would like to ask: who’s really making it a “dichotomy” here, is it me or our Protestant brothers?)
Still quite don’t get what our Protestant brethren are saying here. If doctrinal differences do not “truly” save, why “work with the goal of understanding it further”?
For those Protestants (adhering to SS) and also Catholics who understand the Baptist better than me, then perhaps you could point out to me what I’m missing.