Sola Scriptura: Historically Sound


#1

this reason I’m posting this article by Brian Culliton, is because he mentions our friend Jimmy Akin

one-fold.com/0507.htm


#2

OK, let’s just accept Mr. Culton’s argument and just move on.

No wait, He says,

Not all the books rejected, however, were rejected for heretical reasons; some were rejected from the canon of scripture because it was known that people other than the apostles or those who were close to them wrote them. Many of these books, such as Clement 1 and Polycarp, were read in the churches along with the inspired texts and were considered profitable for Christians to read or hear. But the council of Laodicea, which marked the official end of Christian liberty, would only allow the books they canonized to be read in the churches.

Polycarp was not close to John?!? Polycarp was personally taught by the Apostle John. Clement was ordained by Peter (or Paul). That’s not close enough to the Apostles?

Also, where does it say that the council of Laodicea marked the official end of Christian liberty?

Are we sure who wrote Hebrews? According to Mr. Culton we have to be sure, or else we’d need to de-canonize it.

I think the canonization of Revelation was a tad bit more difficult than the author indicated. And I’m not sure the “Catholic Letters” were canonized simply because they came from Peter, John, and James. Weren’t there other letters of Paul and John that were known to have come from them, considered profitable, and yet not canonized?


#3

I just read it.

Every paragraph can be picked apart on error.

He excludes too much.


#4

Here are two questions that I want someone to honestly answer please.

Q1. According to these verses below, in context please, what is Jesus’ attitude toward tradition here?

Mark 7:8
"Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.“
Mark 7:13
13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

Q2. According this verse below, in context, is it possible for human traditions ot lead people astray?

Col 2:8
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.


#5

When a tradition of men contradicts the commandment of God, it must be rejected.

According to these vereses below, in context, what is Paul’s attitude towards certain traditions?

1Co 11:2 " Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you."
2Th 2:15 “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”

Q2. According this verse below, in context, is it possible for human traditions ot lead people astray?

Col 2:8
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

It certainly is.

According to these verses, in context, what what is the correct means to avoid this, private interpretation, or being taught by a Holy Spirit-guided authority?

2Pe 3:15-16 "And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures."
2Ti 1:12-14 “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”


#6

Excellent article; kudos to Culliton. :thumbsup:

[quote=Notworthy]Polycarp was not close to John?!? Polycarp was personally taught by the Apostle John. Clement was ordained by Peter (or Paul). That’s not close enough to the Apostles?
[/quote]

He did not say that Notworthy; perhaps your perception was clouded for some reason when you first read the article?

[quote=Lazerlike42]When a tradition of men contradicts the commandment of God, it must be rejected.

According to these vereses below, in context, what is Paul’s attitude towards certain traditions?

1Co 11:2

" Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you."

2Th 2:15

“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”
[/quote]

In what tense were those traditions delivered, and taught? Past, present, or future?

Perhaps you should consider rejecting some traditions.


#7

Perhaps you should consider accepting some that got lost. :slight_smile:

The point is not when the traditions were delivered, it is how they are handed down for all time, which occured in the past, occurs in the present, and will occur in the future.

I also know you are hinting at development, which is a different issue. It has Scriptural and Patristic support. It’s not appropriate for this thread, however.


#8

[quote=Lazerlike42]Perhaps you should consider accepting some that got lost.
[/quote]

Which were lost?

[quote=Lazerlike42]The point is not when the traditions were delivered, it is how they are handed down for all time, which occured in the past, occurs in the present, and will occur in the future.
[/quote]

We have those in my church as well.

[quote=Lazerlike42]I also know you are hinting at development, which is a different issue. It has Scriptural and Patristic support. It’s not appropriate for this thread, however.
[/quote]

Can’t put nothing over on you. :slight_smile:


#9

Are you suggesting that later, hundreds of years after the death of the last apostle perhaps, someone or some group just invented a bunch of new “traditions” that had no basis in historical fact and had not been handed down from the Apostles?


#10

[quote=Lazerlike42]It’s not appropriate for this thread
[/quote]


#11

Exactly where in his post did he prove that Sola Scriptura was Historically Sound?


#12

The article begins badly with this paragraph:

If a person were trying to learn about Jesus by reading the Bible, why would they wonder how they could know for sure which books belong there, especially since every Christian denomination accepts the Bible as genuine and inspired? What point would there be to the question, unless somebody came along and planted seeds of doubt?

Why wonder about the trustworthiness of the Bible? Gee, I dunno. Maybe because the Book of Mormon claims to be “Another Testament” about Jesus Christ? Maybe because the Discovery Channel and the History Channel regularly broadcast shows that make the case for the Gospel of Judas or Thomas or whatever heresy they happen to be touting on any given day? Maybe because anyone approaching the subject of Christianity and the historical person, Jesus Christ, has a right to ask: “How can I be sure these things are true?”?

The seeker might also have questions about why one Bible has 73 books and another only 66. He might also wonder what the differences are between the King James Version, the Revised Standard Verstion, the New International Version, and the New American Bible. He might also wonder which is most accurate and what a “paraphrase” is.

Every non-Christian I have every spoken with has doubts and questions…they don’t have to be “planted”…the “seeds of doubt” have already germinated and sprouted. But this rhetorical question does provide the seque Culliton needs to launch his attack against Catholic apologists who rightly point out the need for an understanding of the canon. Since this discussion always goes badly for non-Catholics, I can understand why Culliton wants to attempt to cut off the discussion by implying “How dare you plant ‘seeds of doubt’ by raising the subject of the Canon? People will just accept the Bible at face value if you just keep your mouths shut.” Unthinking people perhaps, but inquiring minds want to know.

A perusal of any basic Christian apologetics works would enlighten the author of this article as to why (and how) a reasoned defense of the Bible’s authenticity needs to be made.

Protestant author Josh McDowell spends more than 700 pages in his book, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, discussing exactly this kind of historical documentation.

Mr. Culliton obviously did not know his Catholic faith; I’m not convinced he’s learned much since he left.


#13

Culliton lays out his complaint in no uncertain terms:Seeds of doubt are exactly what Catholic apologists are trying to plant in the minds of anyone who is willing to learn of Christ through His word. If they are going to convince people that the Catholic Church has greater authority than the Bible, they know they must somehow undermine biblical authority without damaging its inerrancy.
What he calls “seeds of doubt” are, in fact, steps in a logical argument. The fact that he doesn’t like where they lead is beside the point.

Culliton is either a beginning apologist or simply a lousy one. He assembles a weak straw man and fails to topple it convincingly.


#14

BTW, it appears that Brian Culliton may never have been Catholic.

The website hosting the article referencing Jimmy Akin is run by non-Catholics, but there is a resignation letter from Culliton and his wife to the LDS church dated 11/11/2000 posted in the “Testimonies” section.

While I am happy to see that Mr. Culliton has left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I realize that he has not come into a full communion with the Church of Jesus Christ.

Yet. :slight_smile:


#15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Carson forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_cad/viewpost.gif
Are you suggesting that later, hundreds of years after the death of the last apostle perhaps, someone or some group just invented a bunch of new “traditions” that had no basis in historical fact and had not been handed down from the Apostles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazerlike42
It’s not appropriate for this thread


Sandusky

Typical cut & paste work…

Lazerlike42 says that a discussion of doctrinal development is not appropriate for a thread on sola scriptura, but in true Protestant fashion, Sandusky sapplies the quote to my question which was a direct cross-exam on the points about tradition which he had raised previously.

Originally Posted by sandusky forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_cad/viewpost.gif
*Excellent article; kudos to Culliton. :thumbsup: *

He did not say that Notworthy; perhaps your perception was clouded for some reason when you first read the article?

In what tense were those traditions delivered, and taught? Past, present, or future?

Perhaps you should consider rejecting some traditions.

How come he can discuss tradition but I can’t?


#16

Honestly? It seems that you don’t understand the difference between sacred tradition, the the traditions of men. Of course people can be led astray by human traditions, just as much as they can be led astray by an improper interpretation of the Holy Written Word.


#17

Well, he couldn’t, because it is not!


#18

…Traditions…

Sandusky,

Thanks for your candor and appreciation for the truth of this point. Every church has both small “t” and large "T " traditions. We simply do not share the exact same set in each category. A solution to this problem would certainly mean a lot to Christianity and to the world per John 17.


#19

article by Brian << So the logic goes something like this: Who decided which books belonged in the Bible and which ones didn’t? The answer: the church, of course. So the church must have greater authority than the Bible. >>

The Church is not greater than the Bible, but the Church is required to tell us which books belong in the Bible. The article does not answer that point, but in fact agrees with it.

<< holding to the idea of sola scriptura means that one believes that the scriptures are sufficient for gaining knowledge of God, believing in Jesus Christ, and trusting Him for their salvation. >>

That is an insufficient definition of sola scriptura. A 4-page gospel tract is sufficient for gaining knowledge of God, believing in Jesus Christ, and trusting Him for salvation. So is a TV preacher or gospel missionary sufficient for such a purpose. A fuller and more accurate definition of sola scriptura is that the Scriptures, the 66 books of the Protestant Bible, are the only infallible rule of faith for the Church, and that neither tradition nor the authority of the Church is required to arrive at an accurate interpretation of the Bible. That is what must be defended from Scripture and history.

<< Since the time John wrote his gospel, nobody ever disputed its authenticity. >>

Nobody disputed the Gospel of John since nobody disputed the Church tradition that the Gospel was indeed written by and derived from the apostle John. The document itself is anonymous. We are trusting the tradition of the Church at that point.

<< Every believer may not have had a copy of the writings, but the church in every place certainly did. >>

The early Church in every place did not have a complete copy of the Scripture. Circulation took time. But even given that, either the Church as a whole is trustworthy in giving us the Scriptures and the true interpretation of the Scriptures, or the Church is not. If not, the Bible cannot be trusted.

This also presupposes the Church is interpreting the Bible and apostolic tradition correctly. As the author mentioned, the individual did not have access to the Scriptures, and could not read anyway. So in the end, we must trust and listen to the Church.

<< This in turn caused a reaction in the church prompting many well-educated Christians (mostly bishops) to retaliate with writings of their own. >>

And he quotes St. Irenaeus and Tertullian. Yes, I suggest reading the Fathers in their full writings. You will consistently find an appeal to the Church and tradition for the rule of faith, the canon of the Bible, and the true interpretation of the Scriptures.

<< There were a lot of other writings circulating during the first few centuries that claimed to be inspired. As previously mentioned, many of these writings originated in heretical groups and were designed to pull Christians away from the truth. This was one of the primary reasons why the church felt it necessary to canonize the authentically inspired books. >>

Correct. And how do we know what is “heresy” and what is “orthodoxy” and what is “truth” without appealing to something outside our own individual interpretation of the Scriptures? One must appeal to the Church and tradition, and the succession of the bishops from the apostles, as the early Fathers did.

<< But even if a person restricted their sola scriptura to the twenty books that were never disputed, it would still be more than sufficient for their salvation and growth as a Christian. We know, however, that all twenty-seven books of the New Testament were found to be authentic by men living in the fourth century. >>

Who were these men living in the fourth century? What did these men believe? Hint: they were Catholic bishops. As already mentioned, a 4-page gospel tract is sufficient for knowledge of Christ, so again that is an inadequate definition of sola scriptura.

That article is a weak defense of sola scriptura, and doesn’t even give us a correct definition. I’ll counter with Schaff, Kelly, and Pelikan as usual. :thumbsup:

Phil P


#20

Hello, I’ll counter with Schaff, Kelly, Pelikan once again:

“The church view respecting the sources of Christian theology and the rule of faith and practice remains as it was in the previous period, except that it is further developed in particulars. The divine Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as opposed to human writings; AND the ORAL TRADITION or LIVING FAITH of the catholic church from the apostles down, as opposed to the varying opinions of heretical sects – TOGETHER FORM THE ONE INFALLIBLE SOURCE AND RULE OF FAITH. BOTH are vehicles of the same substance: the saving revelation of God in Christ; with this difference in form and office, that the church tradition determines the canon, furnishes the KEY TO THE TRUE INTERPRETATION of the Scriptures, and guards them against heretical abuse.” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, volume 3, page 606)

“It should be unnecessary to accumulate further evidence. Throughout the whole period Scripture AND tradition ranked as complementary authorities, media different in form but coincident in content. To inquire which counted as superior or more ultimate is to pose the question in misleading and anachronistic terms. If Scripture was abundantly sufficient in principle, tradition was recognized as the SUREST CLUE TO ITS INTERPRETATION, for in TRADITION the Church retained, as a legacy from the apostles which was embedded in all the organs of her institutional life, an UNERRING GRASP of the real purport and MEANING of the revelation to which Scripture AND tradition alike bore witness.” (JND Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, page 47-48)

“Thus in the end the Christian must, like Timothy [cf. 1 Tim 6:20] ‘guard the deposit’, i.e. the revelation enshrined in its completeness in Holy Scripture and CORRECTLY interpreted in the Church’s UNERRING tradition.” (Kelly, page 51)

"…Together with the proper interpretation of the Old Testament and the proper canon of the New, this tradition of the church was a decisive criterion of apostolic continuity for the determination of doctrine in the church catholic. Clearly it is an anachronism to superimpose upon the discussions of the second and third centuries categories derived from the controversies over the relation of Scripture and tradition in the sixteenth century, for ‘in the ante-Nicene Church…THERE WAS NO NOTION OF SOLA SCRIPTURA, but neither was there a doctrine of traditio sola.’…To identify orthodox doctrine, one had to identify its locus, which was the catholic church, neither Eastern nor Western, neither Greek nor Latin, but universal throughout the civilized world (oikoumene). This church was the repository of truth, the dispenser of grace, the guarantee of salvation, the matrix of acceptable worship. Only here did God accept sacrifices, only here was there confident intercession for those who were in error, only here were good works fruitful, only here did the powerful bond of love hold men together and ‘only from the catholic church does truth shine forth.’ " (Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition, volume 1, page 115-117, 334-335)

Thank you Schaff, Kelly, and Pelikan. :smiley:

Phil P


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