Is sola scriptura a 'fundamental'?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by BrianT, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT
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    In the VERY FIRST post in this whole forum, Squire Robertsson's "Catagories of Truth 2003", it lists 4 things to guide what is "fundamental" and what isn't. The first is if something is "Very Clear" in scripture. The responses in the other thread *prove* that "sola scriptura" is NOT "very clear" in scripture, since although there are lots of passages that deal with the authority of scripture, NONE deal with the authority of "only" scripture. The second thing in Squire's list is "Logical Conclusions". I have provided (repeatedly) logical reasons and conclusions, based on scripture, why "sola scriptura" doesn't cut the mustard. I had no real rebuttals, nor "logical conclusions" that support sola scriptura. The last two items on the list describe things that are not "truth", but are opinions and preferences. In Murphy's "Fundamental Forum Guidelines" thread, he says this forum is for people that "agree that the Bible is true and accurate, and will not question the Word of God in the course of the debate" and that on this forum, we "will not be allowed to deny or question a clearly revealed truth". I have repeatedly affirmed the Bible is true and accurate, and is the word of God. I have not denied nor questioned a clearly revealed truth. ...If I'm wrong, teach me, show me where "sola scriptura" is "very clear" in scripture, and show me where my logical conclusions are incorrect.

    *** Personal reference to a Moderator was removed to comply with Posting Rules. Left the essence of the original message without misplacing the topic. Kindly keep on course, otherwise we will have no other recourse but to delete your posts. Thank you for your kind understanding. Yours in Christ, Barnabas (your friendly Administrator) [​IMG] ***

    [ July 29, 2003, 06:17 PM: Message edited by: Barnabas ]
     
  2. Squire Robertsson

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    In a word, the answer is yes. The Catagories of Truth are based on a presupposition: Sola Scriptura. Catagory 1 was developed with followers of Modernism and Neo-Orthodoxy in mind. The sufficency of Scripture alone on which to base our Faith and practice was not an issue so was not addressed either by Pastor Innes or the late 19th century writers of The Fundamentals.
     
  3. BrianT

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    How??? It is a doctrine that is neither "very clear" in scripture nor can be logically deduced.

    Yes, a presupposition. Can a presupposition be "fundamental"? What if that presupposition is challenged, using scripture?

    If it was not even addressed, how can it be a "fundamental"?
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    Both of these are incorrect statements. Not only can the doctrine of sola scriptural be logically deduced, it is also explicit. Scripture alone has sufficiency for "every good work." You have been listening too much to people with a vested interest in the denial of this doctrine. Those who hold human authority up must deny this doctrine. They do not do so on the basis of Scripture or on the absence of Scripture, but rather on the authority of a man who has placed himself over Scripture.

    A presupposition is not used in an argument, per se. It is assumed in the argument. In other words, sola scriptura precedes any argument about fundamentalism. This presupposition cannot be challenged using Scripture. It can be challenged only using the authority of men, who as I said, have a vested interest in its denial.
     
  5. Gina B

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  6. BrianT

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    Then why is no one showing where/how, nor showing the errors in my statements?

    Actually, the passage says. "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: [17] That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." You added the word "alone", it is not in the text.

    Maybe. Yet I've yet to see a logical argument that stands up against their arguement, regardless of whatever motivations you assume someone has.

    Ah, yes. You have just described a circular argument. If it precedes any argument about fundamentalism, and then fundamentalism tries to argue for it, round and round you go.

    Paul told them to follow two authorities: what was spoken to them, and what was written to them:
    2 Thess 2:15 "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."

    Paul told us what is the pillar and ground of the truth:
    1 Tim 3:15 "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

    If scripture *does* tell us of these authorities besides scripture, and never says "only" scripture is authoritative, how can you say sola scriptura cannot be challenged scripturally?

    Pastor Larry, how do you know James should be included in the Bible? By what authority should we keep it in the canon?

    Unchained, thanks for the link. I will definitely give it a read.

    Brian
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    I didn't use the word alone in the verse. The word in the verse is "every." If it is profitable for every good work, that means we need nothing else. Therefore, it is alone.

    I have never seen anyone make any sense at all with their argument. It is simply wrong because it does not line up with Scripture. Scripture never instituted a pope and the bishops as the only interpreters of Scripture. It never gave them any authority over the Bible.

    No fundamentalism does not argue for it. Biblical orthodoxy argues for it. It is a presupposition to fundamentalism.

    What was spoken to them and written to them is what we have today in the Scriptures. There is no more apostolic authority and that is where the RCC is dead wrong. They pretend that apostolic authority has been passed down. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The fact is that now, the only authority mentioned that still exists is the Bible. The church is the guard of the truth. But to do so, the church must be in line with the truth. When a church abandons the truth, they forfeit any authority.

    By virtue of the fact that the early church agreed on its canonicity as a whole.

    While you are reading, Warfield's The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture is a classic you need to read as well. There are a number of good works that defend this position.
     
  8. aefting

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    In addition to The Fundamentals, I would also recommend the various articles and debates concerning Sola Scriptura found HERE on James White's website.

    Andy
     
  9. Gunther

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    Brian, I will just jump in to bring in a few ideas.

    I do believe in presuppositional apologetics. That is, I presuppose certain things about God before I go anywhere.

    For example, for God to be THE God, he must have certain qualities that set him over and above all other "gods". God is immutable. He does not have mood swings. God is all powerful. No one can stay his hand. God is all knowing. No one can compete with knowledge and wisdom. You get the idea.

    For us to know this God, he must make himself know to us in some way. All that we do know about him must be from his revelation (general or specific).

    We know certain things about his power due to creation and the law upon the heart of man.

    Okay, the above is generally accepted among conservative evangelicals.

    Now, to the specific, in order for us to know with certainty the correct view of God, he must give specific revelation. General revelation is not enough at this point. The Muslims worship a powerful God. However, he is littered with flaws and weaknesses.

    Anyway, when Christ came, he reiterrated the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. What we consider the O.T. was generally accepted as the Scripture and Christ constanty brought people back to the Word and a correct understanding of it. He also felt the freedom to rely on it for all matters that relate to truth and conduct.

    At the very least, the O.T. would fall under the "Sola Scriptura" realm.

    I am leaving now but will be back later to finish with the N.T. If you respond, please give me enough time to complete my thought.

    Thanks.
     
  10. aefting

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    Yes, and let me supplement that point with this:

    1. God chose Apostles and/or apostolic men to communicate further revelation (Acts. 10:39-42; Eph. 2:20; John 14:26; John 16:12-15).

    2. God authenticated His spokesmen (Acts 14:3; 2 Cor. 12:12; Heb. 2:3-4)

    3. The Apostles authenticated each other’s books as Scripture (2 Thes. 2:15; 2 Peter 3:15-16)

    4. God gave gifts to the early church to authenticate revelation (1 Cor. 14:26-37, notice in verse 37 that Paul expected his writings to be acknowledged as Scripture)

    5. Apostles directed their writings to be widely disseminated (Gal. 1:1-2; Col. 4:16)


    This is just a quick outline, but in short, you have a situation in the early church that ensured that only the right books would be accepted as authenticate revelation from God. (1) The penmen were identified (apostles or those who saw the risen Lord), (2) God authenticated these men with signs and wonders; (3) apostles and prophets identified their works and works of others as true Scripture, and (4) these books were disseminated to believers as Scripture.
     
  11. Rob't K. Fall

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    Let me pull my pastor out from the crossfire on this thread. Pastor Larry lays out pretty much Pastor Innes' position on the matter. I can say from personal knowledge of the man that Brother Innes holds to Sola Scriptura as a presuppositional Truth. Therefore, using his Catagories of Truth in the root post for this discussion is at the least inappropriate and borders IMO on a perversion of them.
     
  12. BrianT

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    You said scripture "alone" has sufficiency for "every good work", that's what I meant. That verse simply says scripture is profitable...that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. It does not say scripture alone is profitable for every good work, just that scripture is[/] profitable for every good work. Look up "every good work" in a Bible search program. 2 Cor 9:8 says God's grace is beneficial to "every good work". Col 1:9-10 says that praying for someone else's wisdom is good so that they will be fruitful in every good work. 1 Tim 4:8 says godliness is profitable for all things. Just because "A" is beneficial for every "B", that does not mean "only A" is beneficial for every "B".

    I am not talking about Catholics in this thread. I am simply examining the logic of the sola scriptura argument, and whether or not it is "fundamental".

    Fundamentalism does not argue for it? Then why is it a "fundamental"? [​IMG]

    Why should we presuppose it? KJV-onlyism presupposes the KJV is inerrant, and then they claim the KJV is the sole authority. How is sola scriptura any different?

    And you know this how? Also, doesn't your statement also imply that at least for them, "sola scriptura" wasn't acceptable. Christ established a church, he didn't establish a book. The book is authoritative, but not alone.

    So Jesus' promise to be with the church wasn't real? The Holy Spirit stopped guiding the church after the ink in the last NT book dried?

    I agree. It sometimes exercises authority to guard that truth. Such as when it decided on the official canon.

    By virtue of the fact that the early church agreed on its canonicity as a whole.
    </font>[/QUOTE]You response shows how your whole argument breaks down. You have just explicitly accepted the authority of the early church (as do I) on this matter. Without the authority of the church, you would not even have an authoritative canon to begin with, you'd have a bunch of different lists by a bunch of different people, all open to debate and based purely on opinion. If "sola" scriptura is authoritative, then you have to admit that the list of canon may be wrong because it was formed by an authority other than scripture.

    Bottom line, I accept the NT canon because the early church accepted it, not because scripture tells me to accept it. So do you. We have accepted their authority on this matter. We cannot be "sola scriptura-ists", for we have accepted a second authority.
     
  13. BrianT

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    I'm sorry if you feel this way. I simply mentioned it because it was used as definitive post for this whole forum, explaining principles by which we can determine truth in this forum. I am simply applying those principles to the topic of sola scriptura, to see if sola scriptura is "fundamental" in the first place.
     
  14. BrianT

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    Let me try to make my point in a different way:

    By what authority should I accept "sola scriptura"?
     
  15. Helen

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    Brian, Each day we have to make decisions about what we are going to do, say, where we go, what we buy, even what we will read or think about. Each person makes these decisions based on something he or she holds to be true and a plumb line by which to judge him or herself.

    What is yours?

    Ours is God's Word. The Bible. By reading and knowing the Bible, I have a reliable guide for every part of my life. By knowing my Lord's word, I can discern between the truth and lies in many areas.

    If the Bible is not your final and sole authority, what would be? When Paul talked about the word passed on, he was talking about his teachings and those of the other Apostles -- for they went and spoke to the new converts as well as wrote them letters! But we have it all in writing now -- or as much of it as God deems necessary for us.

    And so we hold it dear and close and know we can trust it over and above anything any man says or any tradition among men.

    The Bereans were commended for checking all teaching against Scripture in Acts 17. Paul told Timothy it was sufficient for character development. In Romans Paul lays out, step by step, Christian doctrine. Jesus lays down, in his last discourse in John, relationships and expectations, and what will happen.

    We human beings are so easily deceived -- that is why God has given us three witnesses, and not just one: the Holy Spirit within believers, the Bible (which tells of both the Father and the Son), and creation itself. Of these three, the first and the last can be disputed by other people -- and often are. But the Bible sits there, in black and white print, for thousands of years, saying the same thing. Born again Christians know we can depend on the indwelling Holy Spirit, but non-Christians do not have Him. The Bible, on the other hand, belongs to everyone who wants to read it, ever sure, ever faithful.

    It has to be Sola Scriptura. What else is possible?
     
  16. BrianT

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    Mine too. But how do you make the decision about whether or not to accept Philemon or James or Revelation as part of your Bible?

    Amen.

    The Bible *plus* God working through the church. What is "the pillar and ground of the truth"? See 1 Tim 3:15 for the answer.

    Yes, they had two authorities: the writings and the speakings.

    How do you know this? Did the Holy Spirit resign when the last NT book was written?

    Yes, I agree. Again, I am not talking about the authority of scripture. I am talking about "only" scripture being authoritative.

    Scripture says God also established a church, that would be guided by the Holy Spirit.

    By what authority should I believe sola scriptura?
     
  17. Helen

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    OK Brian, let me ask you this: if there is a disagreement between the church you attend or the church doctrine you profess and the Bible itself, which one is your final authority?

    Which one do you trust with your spiritual wellbeing?
     
  18. BrianT

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    Good question. [​IMG] Of course, individual churches can be wrong, and the Bible never is. So in that case, the Bible is the higher authority when any individual church that disagrees with it.

    However, two thoughts come to mind:

    - "the Bible" is not the same as "my interpretation of the Bible", so in the case of a disagreement, it is possible that the individual church is correct and my personal interpretation is wrong. Following my personal interpretation in this case, even though I would at that time believe "that's what the Bible teaches", may in fact lead me *away* from truth. I think this is one of the reasons Christ promised to stay with his church, and send the Holy Spirit to guide it - because if everyone was left with only the scriptures as the authority, we'd all still have to filter it through our own biases and fallible interpretations, resulting in each of us ultimately being our own authority anyway. Posttribbers use the Bible to defend their view, while pretribbers also use the Bible to defend their view. Both Calvinists and Arminians use the Bible to defend their view. Anglicans and Lutherans both use the Bible to defend their views. Even if "only scripture" was authoritative, there would be no fewer debates, no real assurance that anyone's individual interpretation was correct.
    - most often, it is not a case of a church disagreeing with the Bible, but a case of a doctrine that is expounded on by the church or a doctrine that is established by the church when the scriptures are near-silent. In other words, not all "differences" are disagreements. For example, when the canon was formed, nothing was in scripture that defined the list of books that should be accepted as genuine scripture, yet the church exercised her authority to define that list. The list is not in scripture, yet we accept the list as provided by the church. In such cases, the church is not in "disagreement" with scripture, yet scripture is not the sole authority in the matter.

    Brian
     
  19. swaimj

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    BrianT, I'll repeat my post from the thread which was closed. Perhaps you can respond to it here as you were prevented earlier as per your PM to me.

    Your argument seems to be strong at first because of the way you use it. You're saying that if scripture is the only authority, then only books which claim to be scripture are scripture and those that do not claim to be scripture are not.

    But what if we flip the method around and apply your principle to ALL books which claim to be scripture? If I take every book ever written that claims to be a word from God (or the Word of God) and I accept the claim at face value with no other criteria, I have to accept the Book of Mormon, the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, not to mention the Koran. This leaves me with a belief system which is so demonstrably wrong and so hopelessly contradictory that it is utterly incoherent.

    So, I conclude that there is more than one test and more than one factor that determines whether a book should be in the canon. Your test of "does the book claim to be God's Word?" is a valid question, but it is not the sum total of how the content of the canon is determined.
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    You are missing the point. If Scripture is sufficient for "every good work" then it is all we need. We need nothing else. All other "sufficiency" is based on Scripture because it contains all sufficiency for every good work. There is no authority outside of Scripture that does not rest on Scripture. That is the point.

    Yes it does. I don't see how you can say this. Any other authority (such as the church or pastor) derives from Scripture. There is no authority apart from that.

    But the RCC is a major violator of this doctrine. To examine the logic isn't the point although it is helpful and clear. Examine the direct statements and teachings of Scripture.

    ARGHHHH !!!! :( Sola Scriptura is prior to any discussion of fundamentalism. It is like saying that the engineering of building a bridge doesn't argue that 2+2=4. It has much more complex formulas. Fundamentalism is a step past this more basic issue. By the time you get to the fundamentals, this problem has already been solved. Were it not true, we would not know what is fundamental to Christianity.

    Sola Scriptura is based on Scripture's teaching. KJVOnlyism is not.

    Duh!!!! Sola Scriptura cannot be true when "Scripture" does not exist. That seems most obvious. The point is not Scripture but revelation. Revelation is what is authoritative. Today, revelation is found in Scripture and only in Scripture. For the first century church, prior to the close of hte canon, they had direct special revelation. So do we, but ours is in a different form.

    What is this doing in this conversation??? It is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with this. Jesus promise to be with the church is real and the Holy Spirit still guides the church. So what?? That has no relevance here.

    The church did not decide the canon. It recognized the canon. This is a breakdown in your thinking, I believe. You think the church decided what books were in the canon. They did not. They merely recognized what God had decided would be in teh canon. Canonicity flows from God's revelation, not from the church's decision.

    See above. You are not thinking right on this one. You have authority confused. The church recognized. They had no authority to decided.

    You may; I don't. I accept only the authority of Scripture. Those books are there because their authority was recognized by the early church. Again, check out some of those sources.
     

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