coll << Has anyone else noticed that, after Mr Madrid in 1993 so effectively dealt with his “Biblical” arguments for “sola scriptura” that the man has decided to change tactics? >>
Not to defend White, but I think he has been pretty consistent on his defense of sola scriptura (consistently wrong :D). He’s used the same old quotes from St. Athanasius since about 1992 (I don’t have his 1990 first debate with Matatics, apparently the tapes are lost). And his 1996 book RC Controversy does lay out “what is” and “what is not” SS I think fairly well.
I see the major changes in this “debate” as these:
Since 1993 or so Catholic Answers and Catholic apologists following them have made the distinction between “material” and “formal” sufficiency. This appeared first in Keating/Madrid’s Aug 1993 “World Youth Day” debate with Jackson/Nemec, then in Madrid’s Sept 1993 debate with White, then in the pages of This Rock Oct 1993 in that “White Man’s Burden” article, in a side bar by James (Jimmy) Akin. Before this time there was no “material” or “formal” sufficiency distinction ever brought up in popular Catholic apologetics, although it was explained by Yves Congar’s Tradition and Traditions in the 1960s. Professional Catholic theologians have known this distinction, and I think it is a fair one if you read Congar and his sections on the Fathers.
However, the “material/formal” distinction is not found in Keating’s 1988 classic Catholicism and Fundamentalism (for example). So since 1993 or so, Catholic apologists have placed an extra burden on Protestants to defend not just “material” but “formal” sufficiency. We can agree all Catholic doctrines are found in Scripture at least implicitly.
Then in 1997 White began admitting the Scriptures indeed do not teach sola scriptura since the doctrine is not applicable to the apostolic age. He did this first in his article on the “Bereans and Sola Scriptura” in reply to Steve Ray :
“…the doctrine [of sola scriptura] speaks of a rule of faith that exists. What do I mean by this? …You will never find anyone saying, ‘During times of enscripturation – that is, when new revelation was being given – sola scriptura was operational.’ Protestants do not assert that sola scriptura is a valid concept during times of revelation. How could it be, since the rule of faith to which it points was at that very time coming into being? One must have an existing rule of faith to say it is ‘sufficient.’ It is a canard to point to times of revelation and say, ‘See, sola scriptura doesn’t work there!’ Of course it doesn’t. Who said it did?”
Then in his debate with Matatics the same year (the Great Debate II):
Matatics: Did the people in Jesus’ day practice sola scriptura? The hearers of our Lord, Yes or No, Mr. White.
White: I have said over, and over, and over again, that sola scriptura –
M: It’s a Yes or No.
W: – is a doctrine that speaks to the normative condition of the church, not to times of enscripturation.
M: So your answer is No?
W: That is exactly what my answer is.
M: Thank you.
W: It is no.
M: Did the apostles practice sola scriptura, Mr. White? Yes or No?
M: Thank you.
But we can forget White and go to the source: George Salmon’s Infallibility of the Church if you want a strong anti-Catholic argument from a Protestant (Anglican). All of White’s arguments on the Papacy (the Peter quotes from “Maldonatus” and “Launoy”, statements about Pius IX and Vatican I, history of the early papacy, Clement, Irenaeus, Cyprian, etc), and many of his arguments against “tradition” come from this old book (orig 1888). I haven’t owned it but have checked it out a couple times, and just recently ordered it (I think 1953 edition) through an online used bookseller (Abebooks). Also getting B.C. Butler’s reply The Church and Infallibility since I only have that in photocopy form. Virtually all of White’s stuff on sola scriptura and the Papacy are dealt with by these two authors in detailed scholarly fashion.