Question for Protestants


#1

An old Bible Study leader of mine (a Presbyterian minister) and I once debated Sola Scriptura. He said there are two types:

Solo Scriptura - Bible alone is authority, no exceptions

Sol**a **Scriptura - Bible is final authority, with Church as another, but not equal, authority.

I’ve read tons of Reform literature and have never run across this distinction (solo vs. sola). Did I miss something or was he just citing personal theology rather than historical ideas?


#2

[quote=Zski01]I’ve read tons of Reform literature and have never run across this distinction (solo vs. sola). Did I miss something or was he just citing personal theology rather than historical ideas?
[/quote]

One Reformed (I believe) book that directly discusses this issue is The Shape of Sola Scriptura. I’ve read other Reformed writings as well that make or address the distinction in question.

Why don’t you ask your old Bible study leader where he got his distinction from?

~Matt


#3

I would ask him but I moved away unfortunately. Thanks for the reply.


#4

I may be wrong about this, but I look at such references to “solo scriptura” vis a vis “sola scriptura” in the same way I view the statements “by faith alone” and the follow up statement “but it is a faith that is never alone.”

I believe, perhaps wrongly, that these kind of statements and qualifiers are an attempt to mask the weakness of of “sola scriptura” and salvation by “faith alone.” Neither of the positions are consistent with scripture. As a result, there has been an effort to bridge the scriptural gap with the aformentioned nuances.


#5

[quote=Zski01]An old Bible Study leader of mine (a Presbyterian minister) and I once debated Sola Scriptura. He said there are two types:

Solo Scriptura - Bible alone is authority, no exceptions

Sol**a **Scriptura - Bible is final authority, with Church as another, but not equal, authority.

I’ve read tons of Reform literature and have never run across this distinction (solo vs. sola). Did I miss something or was he just citing personal theology rather than historical ideas?
[/quote]

To be quite honest, I have never heard of the term “solo scriptura”. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist…lol.

Interesting differentiation there. I’m going to have to look into it.

~mango~


#6

solo scriptura? I believe that’s a grammatically incorrect phrase!
solo, sola… they mean the same thing! just different declension… d’oh!


#7

A lot of people don’t know this, but after the death of the Emperor, the charismatic smuggler returned to his homeworld of Coruscant and became an Evangelistic minister, and changed his name from Han Solo, to Solo Scriptura. Just a bit of info to make sure everyone is up to speed.


#8

[quote=Pax]I believe, perhaps wrongly, that these kind of statements and qualifiers are an attempt to mask the weakness of of “sola scriptura” and salvation by “faith alone.” Neither of the positions are consistent with scripture. As a result, there has been an effort to bridge the scriptural gap with the aformentioned nuances.
[/quote]

I’m not following you. Differentiation between Sola Scriptura and Solo Scriptura are attempts to clarify different positions within the Protestant movement. Does clarification of a position mean that the position is inherently weak? I should hope not, especially since most Catholics think their faith is misrepresented.

Sorry, no time to proof this.

~Matt


#9

[quote=Zski01]I’ve read tons of Reform literature and have never run across this distinction (solo vs. sola). Did I miss something or was he just citing personal theology rather than historical ideas?
[/quote]

a few things:

  1. The term “sola scriptura” is a historical term used by protestants in the reformation. “solo scriptura” is a term created by (I think) Douglas Wilson, a rather sarcastic reformed theologian. He invented the term to describe the modern individualistic version of sola scriptura. And yes, it is bad latin, though this was done on purpose as a form of syntactical irony (i.e… a corruption of the true doctrine of sola scriptura should be named with a corrupted version of latin).

  2. As far as the difference, it is quite real. In very general terms, the magesterial churches of the reformation (Reformed, Lutheran) followed a scheme whereby the scriptures were the primary authority with tradition acting as a secondary authority. The non-magesterial churches (anabaptist) had a decidedly less emphatic use of church and historical authority.

ken


#10

[quote=II Paradox II]a few things:

  1. The term “sola scriptura” is a historical term used by protestants in the reformation. “solo scriptura” is a term created by (I think) Douglas Wilson, a rather sarcastic reformed theologian. He invented the term to describe the modern individualistic version of sola scriptura. ken
    [/quote]

When did Douglas Wilson coin the term? Any other info on this?


#11

[quote=Pax]When did Douglas Wilson coin the term? Any other info on this?
[/quote]

I think it was him. As to the time, I have no idea. It does sound an awful like something he would come up with however.

ken


#12

As to the two positions 1) Bible alone, no exceptions; and 2) Bible alone, with tradition as secondary authority:

Which one was the original position of Luther at the time of the reformation? I understood it to be the Bible alone - no exceptions position.


#13

[quote=Britta]As to the two positions 1) Bible alone, no exceptions; and 2) Bible alone, with tradition as secondary authority:

Which one was the original position of Luther at the time of the reformation? I understood it to be the Bible alone - no exceptions position.
[/quote]

no, all of the magesterial reformers (Luther, Calvin etc…) held to the second variety. If you read their original works this is quite evident. For instance, in his larger catechism he introduces his gloss on the Creed with a classical restatement of the view that the creed summarizes the confession of the church about the core of it’s faith. This simple restatement in turn can be expanded upon through the scriptures for those capable of learning. He did dispute the authority of Rome and certain theories of the relation between tradition and scripture, but he was never taught “bible-alone” with no secondary authority.

He would never even waste time commenting on the creed if he didn’t believe it held some sort of authority.

ken


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