Protestants are so often blind to the pedigree of their own ideas. Studying Luther and Calvin (and Zwingli and Bucer and Bullinger and the early Anglicans, and the Anabaptists) helps all of us to better understand why and how Protestantism got to where it is today.
Many Protestants like to play the game that they have no tradition at all, and that they are simply returning to the Bible, etc., etc. I could write for days about the resulting absurdities of this tunnel vision outlook.
In the case of my discussion of the canon, that is a problem that cannot be resolved by the Bible at all, because the Bible never lists its Table of Contents. The canon is logically prior to the Bible, because it determines the extent and specificity of what books are in what we call “the Bible” in the first place. So the “Word of God” doesn’t do much good there, does it? Christian Tradition has to decide. And for a Christian worldview that does not allow for an infallible Tradition, that is a HUGE problem indeed, and at the level of the very fundamentals of Protestantism: you can’t have sola Scriptura if you don’t have a non-circular, non-traditional rationale to determine what the Bible is that is to have sole infallible authority. I’ve always said that sola Scriptura and the canon issue are the two "Achilles’ Heels of Protestantism.
Our authority doesn’t come from a human personality but from the Word of God.
That’s impossible to do (in a practical sense). The book doesn’t interpret itself (though Protestants claim that it does). Furthermore, this “Bible vs. authoritative human beings in the Church” mentality is not the view of the Bible itself, which refers to Church authority and a binding tradition. So (ironically) to claim to be following simply the “Bible Alone” is to land right back into a Catholic notion of ecclesiology and authority. It’s inescapable.
Every Christian tradition is passed down through men. We freely acknowledge this. You and many Protestants want to play the silly game of pretending that you rely on no human authority. You certainly do. I can trace every belief you have back through some theological and/or denominational tradition. It always breaks down at a certain point. The question always reduces to: which Christian tradition has the most plausible claims of authority (because everyone has to choose some humanly-mediated tradition, or their own new tradition-of-one)?
Due to the Protestant experience of effectual calling and belief in the Word of God as sole authority This is a distortion of the classic Protestant understanding of sola Scriptura (and is more accurately described as SOLO Scriptura).
In the former conception, Scripture was the sole infallible or ultimate authority, but not the sole authority, period.most every ‘attack’ from Roman Catholics can usually only be met with a bemused grin. Go ahead, try to avoid this discussion and grin if you must. That won’t give anyone any confidence in your position who doesn’t already accept it on some other basis.
Thanks for the platitudes. It doesn’t move the discussion along one whit. People on my blog cannot get by simply on preaching. Their premises and presuppositions will be challenged and I expect folks to be able to defend themselves or else have the honesty to question their own belief-system if it can’t withstand scrutiny. I as a Protestant don’t care what Luther said about this or that, including his opinion - historically accurate or not - of any one book of the Bible.That’s typical of the rampant a-historicism in Protestantism
A Biblical Defense of Catholicism
More Biblical Evidence for Catholicism
The Catholic Verses: 95 Bible Passages That Confound Protestants