2000 Issue 3 - Sola Scriptura - Counsel of Chalcedon

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  • 8/12/2019 2000 Issue 3 - Sola Scriptura - Counsel of Chalcedon

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    ola criptura

    by

    Joe Morecraft

    Again today it can be said

    that

    no

    one

    has expressed the

    Roman

    Catholic

    view

    of

    the Bible

    as Roman

    priest

    Henry

    G.

    Grahame

    in

    his

    book,

    WHERE

    WE

    GaT

    THE iH"BLE, which

    has

    gone through

    about

    20 printings since it

    was

    first

    published in

    1911,

    (Rockford: Illinois, Tan Books and

    Publishers, Inc.)

    ".our Blessed Lord Himselfnever, so far as we

    know, wrote a line of c r i p t u r e ~ e r t a i n l y none

    that has been preserved.

    He

    never told His

    apostles to write anything. He did not command

    them to commit

    to

    writing what

    He

    had delivered

    to them .. What

    He commanded and meant them to

    do was precisely what He had done Himself,

    viz ..-deliver the Word

    of

    God to the people by the

    living voice

    ...

    not intrust their message to a dead

    book .. and so by a iving tradition, preserviDg and

    handing down the Word ofGod as they had re

    ceived t, to all generations...."- pp. 17-18

    ''Noihing'was fuItlu;r from the IIlinds

    ofthe

    apostles and evangelists than the idea ofcompos

    mg

    works wmch should be collected and formed

    into one volume, and so constitute the Holy Book

    ofthe Ghristians ...No one would have been more

    shocked at the idea ofhis letters usurping the place

    of

    he authoritative teacher-the church, than the

    greatapostle ..."- pp; 19-20

    "The Gospels, then, are incomplete and frag

    mentary, giving us certainly the.most important

    tilings to know about our Savior'S earthly life, bllt

    still not telling us allwe might know,

    or

    much we

    da know jn fact now and understand better, through

    the teaching of he Catholic Church, which has

    preserved traditions,handed down since the time of

    the Apostles ...When, now, what I said about the

    Gospels is equally true of he Epistles .... "- pp. 24-

    25 ,

    " ... they [the Scriptures] nowhere claim to state

    the whole of Christian tmth, or to be a complete

    guide ofsalvation to anyone... the Church existed

    and did its work before they were written, and it

    would still have done so, even though theyhad

    never been written at all ... andwe may confidently

    assert that the very last place We should expect to

    find a complete summary ofChristian doctrine is in

    the Epistles

    ofthe

    New Testament."- p. 27

    "Venerable and inspired as Catholics regard the

    Bible, great as is their devotion to it for spiritual

    reading and support of

    doctrine, we yet do not

    pretend to lean upon it alone, as the Rule offaith

    and morals. Along with it we take that great Word

    that was never written, Tradition, and hold by both

    the one and the other interpreted by the living voice

    of he Catholic Church speaking through her

    Supreme Head, the infallible Vicar ofChrist."- p.

    152

    Grahame has not

    exaggerated

    the official

    position of the

    Roman Catholic

    Church as

    any can see if he reads the statements of

    the

    Council of Trent in the 16

    th

    Century,

    Vatican II in the 20

    th

    Century, and the

    recently published

    CATECHISM .OF THE

    CATHaLiC CHURC, (CCC).

    The Roman Catholic Church "receives and .

    venerates with a feeling ofpiety and reverence aU .

    the books

    of

    both ofthe Old and NeW Testaments;

    since one God is the author

    of

    both; also the '

    traditions, whether they relate to faith or to morals;

    as having been dictated orally by Christ or

    by

    the

    Holy Ghost, and preserved in the Catholic Church

    in unbroken succession." - H.J. Shroeder (trans.),

    CANaNS AND DECREES

    .OFm

    caUNCIL

    .OF

    TRENT, (Rockford, IllinoiS: TanBool

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    mation hearkened back to

    the testimony

    of

    the apostolic and early church,

    clarifying

    that position, and declared Sola Scriptura

    which

    slogan of

    the Reformation, the West

    minster Confession of Faith sought to de

    fine as precisely and as Scripturally as

    possible.

    .. .it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in

    divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare

    that His will unto His

    Church; and afterwards, for

    the better preserving and propagating of the truth,

    and for the more sWe establishment and comfOlt of

    the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and

    the malice of Satan and of he world, to commit the

    same wholly unto writing, which maketh the Holy

    Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways

    of

    God's revealing His will unto His people being

    now ceased. - I, 2.

    The whole counsel

    of

    God, concerning all

    things neceSSalY for His own glory, man's salva

    tion, faith and life,

    is

    either expressly set down in

    Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence

    may be deduced from Scripture: unto which

    nothing at any time is

    to

    be added, whether by new

    revelations of he Spirit, or traditions ofmen. - I, 6.

    The Old Testament in Hebrew .. and the New

    Testalnent

    n

    Greek ... being immediately inspired

    by God, and by His singular care and providence

    kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so

    as

    in all controversies

    of

    religion, the Church is

    finally to appeal unto them. - 1, 8.

    The infallible rule of interpretation ofScripture

    is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is

    a question about the true and full sense ofany

    Scripture, (which is not manifold, but one,) it must

    be searched and known by other places that speak

    more clearly. - I, 9.

    The supreme Judge, by which all controversies

    of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of

    councils, opinions ofancient writers, doctrines of

    men, alld private spirits, are to be examined, alld in

    whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but

    the Holy

    Spirit speaking in the Scripture. -I, 10.

    In an

    attempt

    to refute

    the

    Reformation 's

    sola

    Scriptura

    Modern

    Roman.Catholic

    apologetes try to turn

    our

    greatest

    strength

    into

    an

    argument against the Reformation.

    The Protestant teaching that the Bible is the

    sole spiritual

    authority sola

    Scriptura-is

    nowhere to be found in the Bible. - From an article

    by George Sim Johnston posted on the Catholic

    Infornlation Network alld quoted in SOLA

    SCRIPTURA, p. 183, (Morgan,

    PA

    : Soli Deo

    Gloria Publications, 1995).

    The Bible nowhere teaches that it is the sole

    authority in matters ofbelief. n fact, the Bible

    teaches that Tradition-the oral teachings given by

    Jesus to the apostles and their successors, the

    bishops-is a parallel source ofauthentic belie f.

    From a tract issued by Catholic Answers and

    quoted in SOLA SCRIPTURA, p. 183.

    Sola Scriptura contradicts the clear teaching

    of

    God's Word that there exists, alongside Sacred

    Scripture, a divine Tradition and a Teaching Au

    thority (the Magisterium of the Church) which

    must equally be heeded alld without which Scrip

    ture is inevitably misinterpreted. - Gerald

    Matatics,ANTITHESIS, Vol. I, No .5, September/

    October 1990, p. 50.

    My

    intention

    is to try to show that

    our

    Sola

    Scriptura doctrine is in fact the teach

    ing

    of the written

    Word

    of God and by doing

    so refute

    the

    Roman Catholic viewpoint by ,

    the

    grace of God.

    But

    first let me quickly

    poin t out what

    we

    do NOT mean by Sola

    Scriptura.

    I.

    We

    are not arguing that all truth, such as

    mathematics, physics, industrial science, etc., is to

    be found in the Bible.

    2. Or that the Bible is the only'form in which

    God's truth has come to His

    people-

    God .. spoke long ago to

    the

    fathers

    in the

    prophets

    in many

    portions

    and in many ways,

    Hebrews I: 1.

    3.

    Or that every verse in the Bible is equally.

    clear

    to

    every readeI'. Some passages are less

    clear than others to be sure, viz. Revelation 20.

    4. Or that the church in its preaching-teaching

    office

    is not of great value and assistance to the

    people ofGod in wlderstallding the Bible, for

    preachers and teachers are gifts of the ascended

    Christ for

    the equipping

    ofthe saints

    for the

    .

    work of service to

    the

    building

    up of the bOdy

    of Christ , Ephesians4: 10-12.

    April/May,

    Z - THE COUNSEL ofChalcedon -27

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    5. Or that

    all

    extra-biblical knowledge is unnec

    essary, like

    how

    to'cook a meal or how to perform

    brain sUtgery, .

    6

    . r that there is lio need for textual and

    historical studY ofthe Bible.

    7. Or that

    theo,lo&)'

    is merely a matter ofproof-

    texting.