Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Checking ECF Quotes
This morning I was thumbing through Appendix 1 of the book, Not By Scripture Alone, a volume with articles by different Catholic apologists, compiled and edited by Robert Sungenis. In this Appendix, Sungenis lists, "A Dossier Illustrating the Authority of Tradition and Church." The first quote he uses is from Alexander of Alexandria and appears on pages 487-488. Below I have reproduced the quote as cited by Sungenis. The entire context from Alexander can be found here.
As you read through this quote, let me know why this quote is against sola scriptura. Remember, sola scriptura does not deny the church has authority, nor does a correct understand of the doctrine fumble over "tradition" and such verses like 2 Thes. 2:15. I did highlight and underline one phrase below, not highlighted in Not By Scripture Alone (I wonder why...hmm...)
"Who will not either that any of the ancients should be compared with them, or suffer that any of those whom, from our earliest years, we have used as instructors should be placed on a level with them. Nay, and they do not think that any of all those who are now our colleagues, has attained even to a moderate amount of wisdom; boasting themselves to be the only men who are wise and divested of worldly possessions, the sole discoverers of dogmas, and that to them alone are those things revealed which have never before come into the mind of any other under the sun. Oh, the impious arrogance! Oh, the immeasurable madness! Oh, the vainglory befitting those that are crazed! Oh, the pride of Satan which has taken root in their unholy souls. The religious perspicuity of the ancient Scriptures caused them no shame, nor did the consentient doctrine of our colleagues concerning Christ keep in check their audacity against Him. Their impiety not even the demons will bear, who are ever on the watch for a blasphemous word uttered against the Son...
Concerning whom we thus believe, even as the Apostolic Church believes...
And besides the pious opinion concerning the Father and the Son, we confess to one Holy Spirit, as the divine Scriptures teach us; who has inaugurated both the holy men of the Old Testament, and the divine teachers of that which is called the New. And besides, also, one only Catholic and Apostolic Church, which can never be destroyed, though all the world should seek to make war with it; but it is victorious over every most impious revolt of the heretics who rise up against it. For her Goodman has confirmed our minds by saying, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."3 John 16:33 After this we know of the resurrection of the dead, the first-fruits of which was our Lord Jesus Christ, who in very deed, and not in appearance merely, carried a body, of Mary Mother of God, who in the end of the world came to the human race to put away sin, was crucified and died, and yet did He not thus perceive any detriment to His divinity, being raised from the dead, taken up into heaven, seated at the right hand of majesty.
These things in part have I written in this epistle, thinking it burdensome to write out each accurately, even as I said before, because they escape not your religious diligence. Thus do we teach, thus do we preach. These are the apostolic doctrines of the Church, for which also we die, esteeming those but little who would compel us to forswear them, even if they would force us by tortures, and not casting away our hope in them."
If you do have a chance, I strongly suggest reading the entire context of this quote. It's not that long. I found it interesting that after Alexander produced Biblical argumentation about the Deity of Christ, he states,
"Wherefore I do not think that he is to be reckoned amongst the pious who presumes to inquire into anything beyond these things, not listening to this saying: 'Seek not out the things that are too hard for you, neither search the things that are above your strength.' For if the knowledge of many other things that are incomparably inferior to this, are hidden from human comprehension, such as in the apostle Paul, 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.' "