Theology: October 2003 Archives

Sola scriptura in the Bible?


Ken Shepherd is one of our frequent commenters, and I have appreciated his comments on these pages (especially on the Clowning for Christ discussion thread.) In response to RC's entry about the pope retiring, Ken says, "I'm just a Protestant with a strong penchant for sola scriptura."

Before I continue, I'll say that some of my best friends are Protestants, as are practically all of my relatives by blood and marriage. I don't mean to single you out, Ken, and I'll delete this post if this is embarrassing. But since I suspect you won't mind, I'll ask you this: where in the Bible do you find sola scriptura?

I tried to find it, and was unsuccessful; that's one reason I left Protestantism for Catholicism. You say, "Traditions are fine and good if they are based solidly on Scripture and are in accordance with the move of the Spirit in the Church." That leads to a few more questions, like...

1. How do you know what is scripture, and what isn't?
2. How does one determine an authentic "move of the Spirit," as opposed to a move of the devil masquerading as the Spirit?
3. Who can authoritatively answer questions #1 and #2?

Again, this isn't to attack you or anything. It's one of those perennial questions, and it's well worth discussing.

JanVanEyck-LastJudgment.jpgAfter spending a lot of time reading through the Navarre Gospels, I've decided to step back in time to the Old Testament. Specifically, I want to learn more about the prophets and the psalms. One thing that's always struck me about the latter is that they are impossible to reconcile with the squishy, saccharine God of the Suburbs. (Who is a false image, an idol deserving to be smashed.)

The smug bumper sticker that says, "God is too big to fit into one religion" is true if they're talking about the anorexic, consumerist version of religion that passes for Christianity in far too many American churches. The God of the psalms is shown in his plenary nature, and is too big for an emaciated religion. The psalmist regards each aspect of the deity with love one moment, fear the next; he cries out for mercy because of his sinfulness in one psalm, then begs God for his enemies' destruction in another. The hearts of the lion and the lamb truly dwell within this eclectic collection of songs.

Good times in Philly

CL co-founder Steve Schultz and I had a good time today attending a symposium at his seminary in Philadelphia. The moral teaching of Pope John Paul was the theme, and it's fair to say the highlight...

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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This page is an archive of entries in the Theology category from October 2003.

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