1. The Defining Question on Sola Scriptura and Tradition
2. The Rule of Faith in the Early Church
and also view and listen to the debate on Sola Scriptura between Dr. James White and Mitch Pacwa.
In response to my article on Rod Bennett's recent appearance on Marcus Grodi's The Coming Home Network,
a Roman Catholic who goes by Arvinger, wrote: (see more details leading up to this in the combox)
I think you have missed my point, Ken - I did not argue that the doctrine of Trinity is not explicitly taught in Scripture and we rely on authority of the Council, I agree with you that it is based on sound exegesis of Scripture. Scripture explicitly teaches deity of the Father, deity of the Son and deity of the Spirit, there is no question about it. However, specific Christological teachings like two wills of Christ, condemnation of monoenergism and condemnation of monotheletism byt Third Constantinople are not provable from Scripture alone (especially in the case of monoenergism, which, as I said, was deliberately vaguely defined to provide a compromise between Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians), thus these teachings are relying on authority of the Council.
This (above) was his response to my first response (below in blue) about the implication of Scripture passages that imply everything we need will be written down:
In the debate linked to below, from around the 1 hour mark to 1 hour and 8 minutes, Dr. White's questions to Mitch Pacwa answer your first objection.
When I have time I will flesh it out more. the fact that the RCC has never dogmatically declared any words of the apostles that are not in Scripture shows that all that we needed was written down. (which Pacwa admitted was true - that there are no apostolic oral traditions that have been dogmatically defined as words of the apostles)
What Pacwa is trying to say is that centuries later interpretations are "traditions" that are developed as new issues and questions are raised, and he tries to carefully parallel those RC doctrines and dogmas with the doctrine of the Trinity. But Pacwa admitted that the doctrine of the Trinity is based on sound exegesis of Scripture.
My main point was to point Avinger to the debate between Dr. White and Mitch Pacwa and the question that Dr. White posed to Mitch Pacwa, and Pacwa's answer that he admitted that the RCC has not infallibly defined any extra-biblical statement as coming from the apostles, which is not already written down in Scripture. Arvinger mostly went to the last part of my response, about the development of doctrine and the doctrine of the Trinity.
I have decided to embed the debate between Dr. White and Mitch Pacwa again here.
My response to Arvinger's second response, which is now edited and expanded upon. See the combox for my original answer.
I confess I don't know much about "mono-energism" - I need to study that.
But I know about Mono-theletism (the heresy that Jesus has only one will). That seems easy, along with the 2 persons of Christ, that He had two wills, because He surrendered and submitted His human will in the Garden when He prayed, "Not My will, but Thy will be done" (Luke 22:42) That is clear enough in Scripture, in my opinion.
Monotheletism was an attempt to win the Monophysites to the Chalcedonian Creed of 451 AD.
I think that the Byzantine Emperors Justinian (527-565 AD) and Heraclius (Emperor 610 to 641 AD) (and probably others between them) were too harsh against the Copts, Monophysites, Jacobite-Syrians and Armenians, (those groups that disagreed with the Chalcedonian Creed of 451 AD), and that created a bitterness among those groups with the unfortunate result that they at first welcomed the Arab Muslims when they invaded the Byzantine Empire and fought the Chalcedonian Creed Byzantine troops quartered there, but the people were mostly Monophysite. when Islam conquered in 636 AD onward.
That is one of the big mistakes of the early church - the complete unity between religion and politics and military might.
My main point was about those verses that seem to imply that everything the church needs for ministry will be written down. See the first article linked below for the Scripture passages.
As to your very first point that you make about the issue of questioning that everything we need for ministry, doctrine, etc. was written down, and those verses I supplied seem to imply that. That point is strengthened when we understand the promise to the disciples in John 14 and 16 - "the Spirit will lead you into all the truth" and "the Spirit will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you", etc.
Notice the promise is to the disciples/ apostles. This is not a general promise of guidance for the church for the rest of history, although that is certainly an application of the promise, but the specific promise here is to give the disciples/apostles the rest of revelation ("all the truth", "all things", John 16:12 - "I have many more things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now", etc.). This promise was extended to the apostle Paul later, and would include the other writers of NT books who were writing under apostolic authority. Mark writing for Peter; Luke interviewing the other apostles and Mary and other eyewitnesses, and under apostolic authority as the fellow-missionary on Paul's team; James and Jude as half-brothers of Jesus, and James is specifically called an apostle in Galatians 1:19 and 1 Corinthians 15:7, and who saw Jesus in His resurrection body. The book of Hebrews, though Luke and Silas and Apollos have also been suggested, seems to have been written by Barnabas, who is also called an apostle in Acts 14:4 and 14:14. Tertullian thought Barnabas wrote Hebrews. (On Modesty, 20) The other NT books were all written by apostles themselves, John, Matthew, Peter, and Paul.
These 2 articles linked to below, at my other blog, "Apologetics and Agape", flesh that out more, as we see that the RCC has never infallibly defined any words as coming from the apostles that is not already in Scripture (Dr. White's question to Mitch Pacwa in the debate on Sola Scriptura, see in first link), and the rule of faith that functioned in the early church was a doctrinal statement, organized around the 3 persons of the Trinity, per Matthew 28:19, and whenever it is fleshed out and explicated in the early church (see in second article) it is always a doctrinal creed in content that is all Biblical truth. There is nothing in these lists of "the rule of faith" or "the tradition of the apostles" that is a particular doctrine or seed of a later Roman Catholic particular doctrine that Protestantism disagrees with. The context, especially in Irenaeus and Tertullian is against Gnosticism, which Protestantism also agrees that Gnosticism is heresy and wrong. The context of Athanasius is mostly against Arians (in his other writings, and where he writes, "Scripture is fully sufficient" (Against the Gentiles 1:3; and de Synodis 6), etc. see in this previous article) and the Tropici (who denied the Deity of the Holy Spirit), which Protestantism agrees with the early fathers that these were heresies and unBiblical. These early fathers and writers may have mentioned other things in other contexts (like the "Mary as the New Eve" statements), but those peculiar pious beliefs are not part of the rule of the faith, when it is explicated.
Things like Ignatius and the Didache and others using the word Eucharist, or the word "cath- holic" are not bad in themselves in their original context. The problem is that Roman Catholicism takes centuries later meanings of these terms and reads them back into the first or second century usage of them.
The Defining Question on Sola Scriptura and Tradition
The Rule of Faith in the Early Church
Also, Irenaeus' wrote that it was the Gnostics who pointed to a living voice and living oral tradition outside of Scripture, and this is what Roman Catholics attempt to do by pointing back to 2 Thessalonians 2:15 and John 20:30 and 21:25 - and then reading centuries later doctrines, practices, or "seeds" of those concepts back into those verses - this is what the Gnostics were doing in Irenaeus' day, in order to try and establish an authority from the apostles outside of written Scripture. See Against Heresies 1:8:1
Such, then, is their [Gnostics] system, which neither the prophets announced, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles delivered, but of which they boast that beyond all others they have a perfect knowledge. They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures . . .
When, however, they are confuted from the Scriptures, they turn round and accuse these same Scriptures, as if they were not correct, nor of authority, and [assert] that they are ambiguous, and that the truth cannot be extracted from them by those who are ignorant of tradition. For [they allege] that the truth was not delivered by means of written documents, but vivâ voce ("living voice") . . .
This is exactly what Roman Catholics do all the time when attacking Sola Scriptura.