Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sola scriptura?

I'm reading a somewhat interesting book (well, more like a booklet) called Scripture Alone? 21 Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura. The author touches on a few key points that I happen to agree with, such as that while scripture is very important, it should not be the sole basis of our Christianity. He points out that sola scriptura is difficult to defend very simply because it is the organization of Christianity (or the "church") that first had to determine what exactly constitutes "scripture."

Thus, by definition, "scripture" would not be "scripture" without something outside of scripture (Christians themselves) to determine what scripture is.

Ultimately, I don't believe in "sola scriptura" because I believe that God can (and does) teach us to follow Him in so many different ways, different ways that do not always involve scripture. That said, I do believe that scripture is ultimately the core and basis of our Christian faith. In addition, it is immensely beneficial in teaching us to seek God's wisdom in everything we do.

Back to the book: I disagree with the author's assertion that scripture alone should be rejected because the Church itself confers essential parts of Christianity. So what's wrong with this? Nothing, if we consider the body of believers to be "the church". Unfortunately, the author very strictly interprets "the church" as "the Roman Catholic Church", and rather than simply acknowledging that Christians can learn from each other, he instead refers to Christians having an "infallible" leader on Earth (referring to the Pope). A simple survey of the history of the Catholic Church reveals very obviously the lack of "infallibility" of the Pope. Ironically, the author rejects the idea of sola scriptura on the basis of evidence that points to its logical rejection, while embracing wholeheartedly that the Catholic Church is the "one true Church" and that the Pope is "infallible", despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Overall, a thought-provoking read.

1 comment:

NoJGenny said...

May I quote Richard Foster? "...the goal of reading Scripture is to recreate an awareness or consciousness of Christ as articulated by the original New Testament writers. By reading, meditating, and praying the Scriptures, and basing this activity within the broader context of the worshiping community, believers are able to understand the life and work of Jesus Christ and appropriate this understanding for their own life." It's not the all in all, and doesn't mention the Old Testament, but I like it.