2000 Issue 3 - Sola Scriptura - Counsel of Chalcedon

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<ul><li><p>8/12/2019 2000 Issue 3 - Sola Scriptura - Counsel of Chalcedon</p><p> 1/15</p><p> ola criptura</p><p>by</p><p>Joe Morecraft</p><p>Again today it can be said</p><p>that</p><p>no</p><p>one</p><p>has expressed the</p><p>Roman</p><p>Catholic</p><p>view</p><p>of</p><p>the Bible</p><p>as Roman</p><p>priest</p><p>Henry</p><p>G.</p><p>Grahame</p><p>in</p><p>his</p><p>book,</p><p>WHERE</p><p>WE</p><p>GaT</p><p>THE iH"BLE, which</p><p>has</p><p>gone through</p><p>about</p><p>20 printings since it</p><p>was</p><p>first</p><p>published in</p><p>1911,</p><p>(Rockford: Illinois, Tan Books and</p><p>Publishers, Inc.)</p><p>".our Blessed Lord Himselfnever, so far as we</p><p>know, wrote a line of c r i p t u r e ~ e r t a i n l y none</p><p>that has been preserved.</p><p>He</p><p>never told His</p><p>apostles to write anything. He did not command</p><p>them to commit</p><p>to</p><p>writing what</p><p>He</p><p>had delivered</p><p>to them .. What</p><p>He commanded and meant them to</p><p>do was precisely what He had done Himself,</p><p>viz ..-deliver the Word</p><p>of</p><p>God to the people by the</p><p>living voice</p><p>...</p><p>not intrust their message to a dead </p><p>book .. and so by a iving tradition, preserviDg and</p><p>handing down the Word ofGod as they had re</p><p>ceived t, to all generations...."- pp. 17-18</p><p>''Noihing'was fuItlu;r from the IIlinds</p><p>ofthe</p><p>apostles and evangelists than the idea ofcompos</p><p>mg</p><p>works wmch should be collected and formed </p><p>into one volume, and so constitute the Holy Book </p><p>ofthe Ghristians ...No one would have been more</p><p>shocked at the idea ofhis letters usurping the place</p><p>of</p><p>he authoritative teacher-the church, than the</p><p>greatapostle ..."- pp; 19-20</p><p>"The Gospels, then, are incomplete and frag</p><p>mentary, giving us certainly the.most important</p><p>tilings to know about our Savior'S earthly life, bllt</p><p>still not telling us allwe might know,</p><p>or</p><p>much we</p><p>da know jn fact now and understand better, through</p><p>the teaching of he Catholic Church, which has</p><p>preserved traditions,handed down since the time of</p><p>the Apostles ...When, now, what I said about the</p><p>Gospels is equally true of he Epistles .... "- pp. 24-</p><p>25 ,</p><p>" ... they [the Scriptures] nowhere claim to state</p><p>the whole of Christian tmth, or to be a complete</p><p>guide ofsalvation to anyone... the Church existed</p><p>and did its work before they were written, and it</p><p>would still have done so, even though theyhad</p><p>never been written at all ... andwe may confidently</p><p>assert that the very last place We should expect to</p><p>find a complete summary ofChristian doctrine is in</p><p>the Epistles</p><p>ofthe</p><p>New Testament."- p. 27</p><p>"Venerable and inspired as Catholics regard the</p><p>Bible, great as is their devotion to it for spiritual</p><p>reading and support of</p><p>doctrine, we yet do not</p><p>pretend to lean upon it alone, as the Rule offaith</p><p>and morals. Along with it we take that great Word</p><p>that was never written, Tradition, and hold by both</p><p>the one and the other interpreted by the living voice</p><p>of he Catholic Church speaking through her</p><p>Supreme Head, the infallible Vicar ofChrist."- p.</p><p>152</p><p>Grahame has not</p><p>exaggerated</p><p>the official</p><p>position of the</p><p>Roman Catholic</p><p>Church as</p><p>any can see if he reads the statements of</p><p>the</p><p>Council of Trent in the 16</p><p>th</p><p>Century,</p><p>Vatican II in the 20</p><p>th</p><p>Century, and the</p><p>recently published</p><p>CATECHISM .OF THE</p><p>CATHaLiC CHURC, (CCC).</p><p>The Roman Catholic Church "receives and .</p><p>venerates with a feeling ofpiety and reverence aU .</p><p>the books</p><p>of</p><p>both ofthe Old and NeW Testaments;</p><p>since one God is the author</p><p>of</p><p>both; also the '</p><p>traditions, whether they relate to faith or to morals;</p><p>as having been dictated orally by Christ or</p><p>by</p><p>the</p><p>Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church</p><p>in unbroken succession." - H.J. Shroeder (trans.),</p><p>CANaNS AND DECREES</p><p>.OFm</p><p>caUNCIL</p><p>.OF</p><p>TRENT, (Rockford, IllinoiS: TanBool</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 2000 Issue 3 - Sola Scriptura - Counsel of Chalcedon</p><p> 2/15</p><p>mation hearkened back to</p><p>the testimony</p><p>of</p><p>the apostolic and early church,</p><p>clarifying</p><p>that position, and declared Sola Scriptura</p><p>which</p><p>slogan of</p><p>the Reformation, the West</p><p>minster Confession of Faith sought to de</p><p>fine as precisely and as Scripturally as</p><p>possible.</p><p>.. .it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in</p><p>divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare</p><p>that His will unto His</p><p>Church; and afterwards, for</p><p>the better preserving and propagating of the truth,</p><p>and for the more sWe establishment and comfOlt of</p><p>the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and</p><p>the malice of Satan and of he world, to commit the</p><p>same wholly unto writing, which maketh the Holy</p><p>Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways</p><p>of</p><p>God's revealing His will unto His people being</p><p>now ceased. - I, 2.</p><p>The whole counsel</p><p>of</p><p>God, concerning all</p><p>things neceSSalY for His own glory, man's salva</p><p>tion, faith and life,</p><p>is</p><p>either expressly set down in</p><p>Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence</p><p>may be deduced from Scripture: unto which</p><p>nothing at any time is</p><p>to</p><p>be added, whether by new</p><p>revelations of he Spirit, or traditions ofmen. - I, 6.</p><p>The Old Testament in Hebrew .. and the New</p><p>Testalnent</p><p>n</p><p>Greek ... being immediately inspired</p><p>by God, and by His singular care and providence</p><p>kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so</p><p>as</p><p>in all controversies</p><p>of</p><p>religion, the Church is</p><p>finally to appeal unto them. - 1, 8.</p><p>The infallible rule of interpretation ofScripture</p><p>is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is</p><p>a question about the true and full sense ofany</p><p>Scripture, (which is not manifold, but one,) it must</p><p>be searched and known by other places that speak</p><p>more clearly. - I, 9.</p><p>The supreme Judge, by which all controversies</p><p>of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of</p><p>councils, opinions ofancient writers, doctrines of</p><p>men, alld private spirits, are to be examined, alld in</p><p>whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but</p><p>the Holy</p><p>Spirit speaking in the Scripture. -I, 10.</p><p>In an</p><p>attempt</p><p>to refute</p><p>the</p><p>Reformation 's</p><p>sola</p><p>Scriptura</p><p>Modern</p><p>Roman.Catholic</p><p>apologetes try to turn</p><p>our</p><p>greatest</p><p>strength</p><p>into</p><p>an</p><p>argument against the Reformation.</p><p>The Protestant teaching that the Bible is the</p><p>sole spiritual</p><p>authority sola</p><p>Scriptura-is</p><p>nowhere to be found in the Bible. - From an article</p><p>by George Sim Johnston posted on the Catholic</p><p>Infornlation Network alld quoted in SOLA</p><p>SCRIPTURA, p. 183, (Morgan,</p><p>PA</p><p>: Soli Deo</p><p>Gloria Publications, 1995).</p><p>The Bible nowhere teaches that it is the sole</p><p>authority in matters ofbelief. n fact, the Bible</p><p>teaches that Tradition-the oral teachings given by</p><p>Jesus to the apostles and their successors, the</p><p>bishops-is a parallel source ofauthentic belie f.</p><p>From a tract issued by Catholic Answers and</p><p>quoted in SOLA SCRIPTURA, p. 183.</p><p>Sola Scriptura contradicts the clear teaching</p><p>of</p><p>God's Word that there exists, alongside Sacred</p><p>Scripture, a divine Tradition and a Teaching Au</p><p>thority (the Magisterium of the Church) which</p><p>must equally be heeded alld without which Scrip</p><p>ture is inevitably misinterpreted. - Gerald</p><p>Matatics,ANTITHESIS, Vol. I, No .5, September/</p><p>October 1990, p. 50.</p><p>My</p><p>intention</p><p>is to try to show that</p><p>our</p><p>Sola</p><p>Scriptura doctrine is in fact the teach</p><p>ing</p><p>of the written</p><p>Word</p><p>of God and by doing</p><p>so refute</p><p>the</p><p>Roman Catholic viewpoint by ,</p><p>the</p><p>grace of God.</p><p>But</p><p>first let me quickly</p><p>poin t out what</p><p>we</p><p>do NOT mean by Sola</p><p>Scriptura.</p><p>I.</p><p>We</p><p>are not arguing that all truth, such as</p><p>mathematics, physics, industrial science, etc., is to</p><p>be found in the Bible.</p><p>2. Or that the Bible is the only'form in which</p><p>God's truth has come to His</p><p>people-</p><p>God .. spoke long ago to</p><p>the</p><p>fathers</p><p>in the</p><p>prophets</p><p>in many</p><p>portions</p><p>and in many ways,</p><p>Hebrews I: 1.</p><p>3.</p><p>Or that every verse in the Bible is equally.</p><p>clear</p><p>to</p><p>every readeI'. Some passages are less</p><p>clear than others to be sure, viz. Revelation 20.</p><p>4. Or that the church in its preaching-teaching</p><p>office</p><p>is not of great value and assistance to the</p><p>people ofGod in wlderstallding the Bible, for</p><p>preachers and teachers are gifts of the ascended</p><p>Christ for</p><p>the equipping</p><p>ofthe saints</p><p>for the</p><p>.</p><p>work of service to</p><p>the</p><p>building</p><p>up of the bOdy</p><p>of Christ , Ephesians4: 10-12.</p><p>April/May,</p><p>Z - THE COUNSEL ofChalcedon -27</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 2000 Issue 3 - Sola Scriptura - Counsel of Chalcedon</p><p> 3/15</p><p>5. Or that</p><p>all</p><p>extra-biblical knowledge is unnec</p><p>essary, like</p><p>how</p><p>to'cook a meal or how to perform</p><p>brain sUtgery, .</p><p>6</p><p>. r that there is lio need for textual and</p><p>historical studY ofthe Bible.</p><p>7. Or that</p><p>theo,lo&amp;)'</p><p>is merely a matter ofproof-</p><p>texting. '</p><p>8. Or that Christian living was impossible before</p><p>the invention of he printing press. .</p><p>. 9. Or that God has failed to reveal Himself</p><p>elsewhere, .as in creation. .</p><p>10. Or</p><p>that</p><p>we only study</p><p>the</p><p>Bible and never</p><p>read theologians or early church fathers, as if we'</p><p>do not appreciate them. Listen to John Calvih's</p><p>insig)1tful comnients'on the value of he early</p><p>church fathers to Christians today, taken frOni his</p><p>prefatory address to King Francis I bfFrance in</p><p>hisINSnTUTES</p><p>OF THE CHRISTlANRELI</p><p>GION, VoL l, pp : 18-19, (Battles Edition):</p><p>"</p><p>...</p><p>hey (the Roman Catholic Church) unjustly</p><p>set the ancient fathers against us ... as if in them</p><p>they</p><p>hadsuppoitersoftheir</p><p>own impiety. lfthe</p><p>contest were to be determined by patristic author</p><p>ity, the tide ofviCtory-to put it very modestly- .</p><p>would turn to</p><p>Our</p><p>side. Now, these fathers have</p><p>writtentnaDy wise and excellent thiIigs. Still, what</p><p>commonly happens to:men has befallen them too .</p><p>,</p><p>.</p><p>', . . . : '</p><p>:</p><p>' . , . _ .,,', .'. - '</p><p>m some mstances. For these so-called pious</p><p>'children Of theirs, with all their sharpness ofwit</p><p>aiidjudgment and spirit, worship only the faults and</p><p>errors of he fathers. The good things that these</p><p>fathers have written they either do not notice,</p><p>or</p><p>misrepresent or peJ,'Vert. You might say that their</p><p>only care is to gather-dung amid gold. Then, with a</p><p>frightful to-do, they overwhelm us as despisers and</p><p>adversaries of he fathers</p><p>But</p><p>we do not despise</p><p>them;</p><p>in</p><p>fact,</p><p>ifitwere</p><p>to our present purpose, I</p><p>couldwith</p><p>no trouble at all prove that the greater</p><p>part</p><p>of</p><p>what</p><p>we</p><p>are s lying today meets their</p><p>approval. Yet we are so versed in their writings as</p><p>to remember always that all things are ours</p><p>.</p><p>, to</p><p>serve us, not to lord it over us. " and tbat we all</p><p>belong to the one Christ . , whom we must obey in</p><p>all thiIlgs without exception ... "</p><p>After listingwjl.</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 2000 Issue 3 - Sola Scriptura - Counsel of Chalcedon</p><p> 4/15</p><p>Word for you; indeed it is</p><p>your</p><p>life. And by "</p><p>this Word you shllll prolong your dllYS in the.</p><p>.land., ..- D ~ u t e r o n o m y 32:46-47</p><p>In these two</p><p>passages</p><p>we can see soml'l</p><p>'obvio\1s principles:</p><p>(I).</p><p>The Word Moses</p><p>)received from ODd and spoke to the people</p><p>';was</p><p>written</p><p>down. (2). The</p><p>people</p><p>,them- .</p><p>s:elves were commanded to read it</p><p>andit</p><p>. "</p><p>.was plain enough</p><p>that they were</p><p>able to .'</p><p>read and understand it</p><p>with</p><p>the ,Spirit's</p><p>assistance.</p><p>(3).</p><p>In this</p><p>written</p><p>Law-Word</p><p>the people could find life in the fullest</p><p>sense. (4). The covenant</p><p>people</p><p>do</p><p>not</p><p>need any additional institution to interpret</p><p>correctly the Word of Ood. The priests ; ,</p><p>prophets and</p><p>scribes</p><p>oflsrael certainly</p><p>function to help people ministerially. But</p><p>the Word</p><p>alone</p><p>was</p><p>sufficient for salvation.</p><p>.;.... The function of the prophets and priests</p><p>was</p><p>not</p><p>to add to or even clarify</p><p>the</p><p>rather, they</p><p>applied</p><p>it to the</p><p>people</p><p>who</p><p>were sinfully indifferent."-</p><p>Rober</p><p>t Godfrey,</p><p>What Do We Mean By Sola</p><p>Scriptura?</p><p>in SOLA</p><p>SCRIPrURA;</p><p>p . 4. Thc;refore</p><p>we</p><p>.see that .during the days of Moses, the</p><p>written Law-Word</p><p>of ODd</p><p>was .</p><p>clear enough</p><p>anq'oomprehensive enough</p><p>that</p><p>it wasthe</p><p>s)lfficientn le of faith and practice. 9 s</p><p>J:. aw</p><p>never directs</p><p>the</p><p>priests</p><p>r</p><p>the</p><p>people</p><p>;</p><p>to</p><p>give equal reverence to some e c c l e ~ i a s t j </p><p>cal orpriestly</p><p>tradition</p><p>; instead, they a f l ~</p><p>repeatei;lly</p><p>pointed back</p><p>to the</p><p>clear</p><p>r ~ v e l a .</p><p>tionof Ood.'s covenant."- Douglas Jone.s,</p><p>ANTITHESIS, Vol. I,</p><p>No.5, September</p><p>09t()ber 1990, p. 47.</p><p>Furthermore,</p><p>the</p><p>Law itself explicitly </p><p>tqrbids</p><p>both</p><p>c,?venant people and the</p><p>Levjtic"l priests from adi;ling another stan- .</p><p>dard to ODd's Written revelation: You shall</p><p>nO</p><p>.t</p><p>add</p><p>to</p><p>the</p><p>Word which</p><p>I</p><p>am com</p><p>manding</p><p>you, nor take away</p><p>from</p><p>it,</p><p>that</p><p>you m ~ keep the c o ~ m n d m e n t s of the</p><p>LORD your God</p><p>which I command</p><p>you,</p><p>Deuter</p><p>onomy4</p><p>:2. This commandment Was</p><p>given to all of Isra'eJ, Deuteronomy 4:1.</p><p>The</p><p>people therefore</p><p>were</p><p>expected</p><p>to .</p><p>understlmd and apply God's Word for thein</p><p>selveswitho</p><p>'ut abddging</p><p>or supplementing</p><p>i f</p><p>with human or priestly traditions, even</p><p>if</p><p>the priests were unfaithful and added to it</p><p>God alone has the authority to add to His Word,</p><p>and, at this point in redemptive history, He directs .</p><p>them to His written Word as their supreme stan</p><p>dard alone and not</p><p>to</p><p>another Biblical institutionor</p><p>tradition. The law then, serves</p><p>as</p><p>exemplary</p><p>support for the doctrine</p><p>of</p><p>Sola Scriptura</p><p>and</p><p>since the Law serves as the standard in the histori</p><p>cal revelation that follows Moses, we shonld</p><p>expect to see the written Word as the standard of</p><p>faith andpractice there</p><p>as</p><p>well, and we do (cf.</p><p>Joshua 1:7- do not turn from it to the right or .</p><p>to the left - [loSiall] Go,</p><p>inquire</p><p>ofthe</p><p>LORD</p><p>,</p><p>- -'</p><p>for me and the people and all Judah conCern</p><p>ing the words of this book that has been</p><p>found, for</p><p>great</p><p>is the wrath of</p><p>the</p><p>LORD that</p><p>burns</p><p>against us, because</p><p>our</p><p>fathers</p><p>have</p><p>n ~ t</p><p>listened to thewords</p><p>of</p><p>this booli, to do .</p><p>according to all</p><p>that</p><p>is</p><p>written</p><p>concerning us,</p><p>rrKi gs</p><p>22: 13.</p><p>.</p><p>- -'</p><p>" ...the Old Testament does not contain anything</p><p>close</p><p>to</p><p>a body ofauthpritative tradition or an ' .</p><p>infallible institution on par with Scripture. ,No... ..</p><p>where in the Old Testament will You tind a body</p><p>of</p><p>living tradition like that advocated by Roman ...., \</p><p>Catholicism, i.e., a non-revelatory, secondary . .</p><p>explication . .. This sort</p><p>of</p><p>arrangement is unknown</p><p>in the Old Testament. Nowhere will [you] find</p><p>ti1e</p><p>.people ofGod appealing to o n - r e y e l a t o r y i n t e I P . ~ e </p><p>t a t i o n ~</p><p>or institutions</p><p>as</p><p>a norm on par with Scrip-.</p><p>..</p><p>- .</p><p>.. .</p><p>ture ."- Douglas Jones, ANTITHESIS, pp, 4 7 ~ n d , ;</p><p>55</p><p>" 1. . ,"</p><p>The New Testament case for Sola "'.</p><p>Scriptura has basically four points:</p><p>'r</p><p>1. The contrast between the wisdom of Ood</p><p>and the wisdom ofman: ""</p><p>2. The relation.ofthe Word ofGod to</p><p>t r j d i t i o n</p><p>in the teaching ofJesus. .</p><p>,</p><p>;</p><p>3. The nature</p><p>of</p><p>apostolic tradition. "</p><p>.</p><p>4: The ilecessity for the inscripturation Oftllll</p><p>Word</p><p>of</p><p>God.</p><p>'</p><p>.</p><p>' "</p><p>First, the contrast between the wisdom '</p><p>of God and the wisdom of men. Our 'cb'n</p><p>vitticHis and beliefs are not to be</p><p>b a</p><p>s ~ d o n "</p><p>w i ~ d o m and insights th at originatewjt1i</p><p>.</p><p>:.:</p><p>AprillMay,</p><p>2000 -</p><p>THE COUNSEL ofChaicedlln -</p><p>29</p></li><li><p>8/12/2019 2000 Issue 3 - Sola Scriptura - Counsel of Chalcedon</p><p> 5/15</p><p>man; because,human wisdom is fallible and</p><p>not</p><p>a sufficient foundation for believing</p><p>anything about God, because God alone is</p><p>qualified</p><p>to testify ,regarding</p><p>HimselL</p><p>As</p><p>Paulwrote :</p><p>Even</p><p>so</p><p>the</p><p>'</p><p>thoughts of</p><p>God</p><p>noone,</p><p>knows except</p><p>the Spirit of God, I</p><p>Corjnthians 2:</p><p>11.</p><p>'</p><p>, I Corinthians 2:5 informs,the Coririthfan</p><p>church that your faith</p><p>should</p><p>not rest on</p><p>die</p><p>wisdom</p><p>of men, buton the power of</p><p>God</p><p>. ',</p><p>Here</p><p>we see in opposition</p><p>to</p><p>one another '</p><p>the power of God and the wisdom</p><p>orman</p><p>showing that</p><p>our faith</p><p>is not to</p><p>stand in</p><p>the</p><p>wisdom Of man , but in the power of God.</p><p>For that</p><p>reason</p><p>Paul's message and</p><p>preaching were not in persuasive</p><p>,words i</p><p>of wisdom, but ln demonstration of the '</p><p>Spirit</p><p>'</p><p>andafpower,</p><p>2:4</p><p>, '</p><p>Wisdom</p><p>based</p><p>,</p><p>bnthe,autonomy of fallen '</p><p>man always</p><p>leads</p><p>away from God, but the revealed wisdom of</p><p>God is a sufficient basis and a sufficient ,,',,</p><p>powedo</p><p>build</p><p>one ' s life</p><p>andworldview</p><p>For</p><p>since</p><p>in</p><p>the wisdom ;of God the</p><p>world ,</p><p>through</p><p>its</p><p>wisdom</p><p>,</p><p>did</p><p>,</p><p>no</p><p>,t ,come"</p><p>to</p><p>;know</p><p>God, God was</p><p>'weIJ ,</p><p>pleased</p><p>, through the foolishness of preaching to</p><p>slivethose who</p><p>believe, I Cor</p><p>,inthian &gt;</p><p>, '</p><p>1:21.</p><p>'</p><p>.</p><p>...</p><p>"PaUl continues</p><p>thiscoiltrast</p><p>between the</p><p>wisdom of man and the wisdom of God,in ,</p><p>2:12.I'J-,;Now we</p><p>bave</p><p>received,</p><p>noitbe :</p><p>spfrU oHh


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