Friday, March 28, 2008

Quotable Catholics #2

"Sola scriptura is a grave theological error that has led countless souls to doctrinal ruin, a purely human construct that all Christians who love and obey God's Word should reject as a tradition of men that nullifies and distorts that Word."

Source: Patrick Madrid, "Sola Scriptura: A Blueprint For Anarchy" in, Robert Sungenis, ed. Not By Scripture Alone, (Santa Barbara: Queenship Publishing Company, 1997), p.2.

6 comments:

Carrie said...

Is sedevacantism considered a "grave theological error"? They believe in an infallible authority and not Sola Scriptura.

Likewise, the Mormons and JWs believe in an infallible authority and not Sola Scriptura. Does that fact validate their theology?

Howard Fisher said...

"Sola scriptura is a grave theological error that has led countless souls to doctrinal ruin, a purely human construct that all Christians who love and obey God's Word should reject as a tradition of men that nullifies and distorts that Word."

How does he love God's Word if he doesn't know what it means? It is always interesting to watch RCs argue from the Bible how the Bible is insufficient to explain itself. This seems to be the clearest thing the Bible teaches and does so clearly and sufficiently.

If he were stuck on that proverbial island with the Bible alone, would it be sufficient?

What if he were stuck on the island with the Bible and all of the thousands of pages of Rome's materials and the materials of Utah, which ultimate authority would he follow as the true interpretation?

Of course these things have been asked a thousand times. It is just interesting to watch men with external ultimate authorities argue.

Kepha said...

I cannot wait for Madrid's new book on Sola Scriptura. It is supposed to come out sometime this year.

James Swan said...

I cannot wait for Madrid's new book on Sola Scriptura. It is supposed to come out sometime this year.

Hi Kepha-

Yes, I heard about that book. In fairness to Patrick, I'm sure he's come a long way since Not By Scripture Alone. He's also going to Seminary now, if I recall. Madrid's chapter in the Sungenis book is not that good- nor were his arguments on this topic against Dr. White. I look forward to this book, in order to contrast it with what was written 10 years ago.

Nick said...

I people dont mind I would like to see Swan address this post I made a few days ago:

I wanted to comment on your recent post over at AOmin.
Your last line said, "Disunity is not the issue. Rather, the issue is whether God's Word or an alleged infallible interpreter is the ultimate authority."

This is a false 'either/or' premise which you built your whole post upon. It is like saying is it a 100% fuel efficient car that we need or a professional driver. There is no conflict here between car and driver, the car needs a driver otherwise it just sits there. Likewise the Scriptures need to be interpreted authoritatively (Acts 15; 16:4).

Your whole post failed to realize this distinction and you end up misrepresenting the Catholic position. We are not putting the Bible against the Interpreter and forcing you to pick one or the other.

The reason why Sola Scriptura causes disunity because it fails to do one thing - address the issue of interpretation. Disunity very much is the issue, and without an authoritative interpreter steps in there will still be disunity.

That Sungenis quote was saying unity doesnt depend on how many people are agreeing with an interpretation, and it especially doesnt mean that once someone disagrees there is all of the sudden disunity. Unity in the context of Christian doctrine depends on those claiming to be faithful followers of the Church adhering to the doctrines which the Church leadership (interpreters) proclaim.

In Catholicism the Magisterium (Pope and Bishops in communion) are the Interpreter, and anyone who accepts their teaching is in union with the Catholic Church. Anyone who calls them self Catholic but disagrees with the Magisterium is embracing heresy.

Protestants have semi-magisterial documents in the form of the Westminster Confession, London Baptist Confession, Book of Concord, etc. The problem is Protestants fail to realize the magisterial nature of these documents which issue their interpretations and condemn those opposing them. The various groups who adhere to those respective documents are each in their own pseudo-unity. The problem however is that none of those groups claims their own documents are free of all error (infallible) and thus these documents fail to rise above the level of opinion. You cant have people claiming to be in unity when the document is mere opinion because disagreement with an opinion is allowed. Yet, if a group claims their document's interpretation of Scripture is infallible (and thus must be adhered to under pain of heresy) they end up looking like the Catholic Church's Magisterium.

Howard Fisher said...

"The problem is Protestants fail to realize the magisterial nature of these documents which issue their interpretations and condemn those opposing them."

No, we Reformed Evangelicals do not fail to do so. Yes, we Evanjellycals do fail to do so.

This, however, fails to understand the epistemology of starting with God's Word as being infallible. It is the only infallible source. To have any other is to have 2 competing infallible sources. This is not possible.