Clarifying sola Scriptura

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Clarifying sola Scriptura

Post by tuttle » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:43 pm

In an effort to minimize misrepresentations and misunderstandings I thought it might be helpful to start a thread clarifying a doctrine which gets run through the ringer round here--sola Scriptura.

It is harder to discuss things if we are constantly battling misconceptions rather than solid understandings of the terms/phrases/teachings we use in conversation.

Since this is a forum, and since most of us probably won't click/read a linked essay of about 6 million words I think it would be better use of time to give some snippets or brief illustrations of what sola Scriptura is and what it isn't. I would ask any other well meaning individuals to contribute in clarifying this position (not necessarily arguing that this position is right but clarifying in light of prevelant misconceptions).

I have no reason really to think that a topic like this might ever be clearly understood by all, but I think this is better than trying to argue misconceptions in every thread.

If this is something that is helpful perhaps we could try to have other 'Clarify' threads. If this is something that causes Uncle Bob and the Mods to have a heart attack then maybe we'll just keep duking it out the old fashioned way :box:
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Post by tuttle » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:44 pm

Found this today and I thought it was very helpful (kind of the inspiration for the thread...)
Douglas Wilson wrote:Protestants hold that Scripture is the only "ultimate and infallible" authority for faith and practice. There are true spiritual authorities in this world that do not occupy the highest place
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Post by Del » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:55 pm

While we're at it.... What is "proof text"?
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Post by GiantNinja » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:00 pm

I've often read where Protestants (and sometimes Catholics as well) call Scripture infallible. I simply don't understand that. Scripture is Scripture. It is, in a sense, static. It's not as though Matthew 16 will contain different words in 25 years or in 250 years than it does today. In that sense, Scripture can't 'choose' X or not X. How can it be infallible? I understand inerrant. But I don't understand calling any determined thing 'infallible'. Freedom, in my way of thinking, is a prerequisite.

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Post by dasmokeryaget » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:01 pm

Great thread topic Tuttle and I also hope that people wont try to validate and invalidate Sola Scriptura, but rather clarify and gain understanding.

For starters, my impression is that people who don't subsribe to SS tend to overcomplicate it or formulize it. (is that a word?)

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Post by GiantNinja » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:04 pm

My (working) definition of Sola Scriptura: the belief that the Bible is the sole rule of faith

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Post by coco » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:06 pm

Del wrote:While we're at it.... What is "proof text"?
A "proof text" is a biblical text used to support a given teaching. The early church fathers used such texts extensively, though many today have not continued the practice.
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Post by GiantNinja » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:09 pm

coco wrote:
Del wrote:While we're at it.... What is "proof text"?
A "proof text" is a biblical text used to support a given teaching. The early church fathers used such texts extensively, though many today have not continued the practice.
I think Del is asking about the verb, not the noun.

What is 'proof texting'?

My (working) definition of proof texting: the taking of a single verse (or part of a verse) of Scripture out of context for the sake of defending one's preconceived notion(s)

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Post by dasmokeryaget » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:13 pm

I suspect that before we can begin, we'd have to spend a bit of time defining terms and identiying authorities and other such foundational groundwork. So I have to ask if this is absolutley necessary in order to continue or can we just clarify using the tools that Tuttle suggested.

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Post by Pooka » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:41 pm

Does this q. have any relation to current events? Just curious.
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Post by coco » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:44 pm

GiantNinja wrote:
coco wrote:
Del wrote:While we're at it.... What is "proof text"?
A "proof text" is a biblical text used to support a given teaching. The early church fathers used such texts extensively, though many today have not continued the practice.
I think Del is asking about the verb, not the noun.

What is 'proof texting'?

My (working) definition of proof texting: the taking of a single verse (or part of a verse) of Scripture out of context for the sake of defending one's preconceived notion(s)
I was using the same phrase in a different sense, that is to say, properly using a text to support one's point.
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Post by wosbald » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:53 pm

+JMJ+

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Post by Pooka » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:05 pm

coco wrote:
GiantNinja wrote:
coco wrote:
Del wrote:While we're at it.... What is "proof text"?
A "proof text" is a biblical text used to support a given teaching. The early church fathers used such texts extensively, though many today have not continued the practice.
I think Del is asking about the verb, not the noun.

What is 'proof texting'?

My (working) definition of proof texting: the taking of a single verse (or part of a verse) of Scripture out of context for the sake of defending one's preconceived notion(s)
I was using the same phrase in a different sense, that is to say, properly using a text to support one's point.
Sad to say, I think I've encountered more of the "working definition" than a more (I think) accurate method which could be called "proof contexting" - actually deriving a doctrine from what the Bible says throughout.
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Post by coco » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:24 pm

Pooka wrote:
coco wrote:
GiantNinja wrote:
coco wrote:
Del wrote:While we're at it.... What is "proof text"?
A "proof text" is a biblical text used to support a given teaching. The early church fathers used such texts extensively, though many today have not continued the practice.
I think Del is asking about the verb, not the noun.

What is 'proof texting'?

My (working) definition of proof texting: the taking of a single verse (or part of a verse) of Scripture out of context for the sake of defending one's preconceived notion(s)
I was using the same phrase in a different sense, that is to say, properly using a text to support one's point.
Sad to say, I think I've encountered more of the "working definition" than a more (I think) accurate method which could be called "proof contexting" - actually deriving a doctrine from what the Bible says throughout.
For the sake of this thread, let's define "bad proof texting" as taking a scripture out of context and imputing a meaning onto it that is different than the meaning intended by the original author. "Good proof texting," then, is the use of scripture with proper respect to the context, etc. Good proof texting has been used by RC, Orthodox, and Protestants in the past.
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Post by coco » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:25 pm

wosbald wrote:+JMJ+

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You should have a 64 oz. Coke to go with that.
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Post by Del » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:39 pm

Any thread explaining Sola Scriptura needs to address the Great Scandal.

The Great Scandal of Sola Scriptura is this: A whole bunch of bible-believing churches have a great diversity in what they actually believe. There have been schisms and persecutions and even wars over various interpretations of the Bible. (I recall the Anabaptist martyrs at the hands of Zwingli and Calvin.)

Factions are anti-biblical. Sola Scriptura seems to be the cause of the factions. And Sola Scriptura is not sufficient to teach one clear truth against the factions.

I would love to hear how apologists for Sola Scriptura address this scandal.
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Post by coco » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:51 pm

Del wrote:Any thread explaining Sola Scriptura needs to address the Great Scandal.

The Great Scandal of Sola Scriptura is this: A whole bunch of bible-believing churches have a great diversity in what they actually believe. There have been schisms and persecutions and even wars over various interpretations of the Bible. (I recall the Anabaptist martyrs at the hands of Zwingli and Calvin.)

Factions are anti-biblical. Sola Scriptura seems to be the cause of the factions. And Sola Scriptura is not sufficient to teach one clear truth against the factions.

I would love to hear how apologists for Sola Scriptura address this scandal.
The problem is not the clarity or sufficiency of scripture, but the sin of the human heart
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Post by jruegg » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:59 pm

coco wrote:
Del wrote:Any thread explaining Sola Scriptura needs to address the Great Scandal.

The Great Scandal of Sola Scriptura is this: A whole bunch of bible-believing churches have a great diversity in what they actually believe. There have been schisms and persecutions and even wars over various interpretations of the Bible. (I recall the Anabaptist martyrs at the hands of Zwingli and Calvin.)

Factions are anti-biblical. Sola Scriptura seems to be the cause of the factions. And Sola Scriptura is not sufficient to teach one clear truth against the factions.

I would love to hear how apologists for Sola Scriptura address this scandal.
The problem is not the clarity or sufficiency of scripture, but the sin of the human heart
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Post by Kerdy » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:09 pm

Which scripture? Please clarify.
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Post by Pooka » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:14 pm

Any thread explaining Sola Scriptura needs to address the Great Scandal.

The Great Scandal of Sola Scriptura is this: A whole bunch of bible-believing churches have a great diversity in what they actually believe. There have been schisms and persecutions and even wars over various interpretations of the Bible. (I recall the Anabaptist martyrs at the hands of Zwingli and Calvin.)

Factions are anti-biblical. Sola Scriptura seems to be the cause of the factions. And Sola Scriptura is not sufficient to teach one clear truth against the factions.

I would love to hear how apologists for Sola Scriptura address this scandal.
The failure here is that Sola Scriptura, when taken as "SolO Scriptura" discards what every Christian faction has: tradition. Whether we like it or admit it or not, SolO Scriptura doesn't work because, whether we admit it or not, tradition is in the mix.

So the scandal is not really Sola Scriptura. It's denial of the entire concept of church, headship, accountability etc. I don't believe there's an instance in Scripture where God leaves it up to individual interpretation.

Of course, unless we want to count all the "Did God Really Say..." moments. :cry:

What is left is the consensus of where interpretation and authority are in error. That's where contextual proofing comes in.
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