Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Sola Scriptura merry-go-round. How's that working for you?

Dr. Phil McGraw uses that line when people vehemently defend their selfish behavior out of foolish pride. "How is that working for you?" The question is brilliant in it's simplicity and ability to cut to the quick.

Doctor Phil's argument is but one way the doctrine of Sola Scriptura can be debated.

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura can be disputed any number of ways.

It can be disputed-ironically enough- Scripturally. Nowhere, in the Old or New Testaments are we told that truth is based on Scripture alone. In fact, we are told the opposite.

John 5:39 You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf

2THES 2:15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

It can be disputed logically.

You cannot make the case that the Scriptures are God's word solely based on an appeal to the Scriptures. Such an argument is nonsensical and circular. You cannot have an argument where the conclusion is in the premise. Proponents of Sola Scriptura do that all the time and they wind up making Christendom look like a kingdom of fools.

How can I know that the Bible is God's Word?
Because God's Word says so.
How do you know it's God's Word?
Because it says so in God's Word.

To fail to see the total lack of sound logic in that type of argument is to be blind.

How can I know that you are Santa Claus?
Because I said so.
How is that of any value?
Becaue I am Santa Claus!

Some Fundamentalists try to get around that by appealing to Jeremiah to support Matthew and Matthew to support Paul and Paul to support Luke etc... Thus, they are now affirming that Jeremiah and Romans and Luke are, in fact, seperate and distinct testimonies by different authors, writing in different times and different places.

That is a much more sound argument for a believer, to be sure.... but for an unbeliever, it is still found wanting.


Look.... You are presenting The Bible to me, as a singular volume. First, I must trust, as an article of faith, that each of these books was written originally by the author you state. You cannot provide the original manuscripts for these books so we cannot know for certain where they came from.

However, even if I conceeded the authorship of these books, I have no way of knowing that everything these books say is true and that God is the ultimate author of any of it unless there is some other kind of evidence that verifies it!

The Atheist has a point. He has made a very sound, logical and cogent argument.

Of course, the Fundamentalist (We will call him Matt ) will then start lecturing the Atheist about how he is going to hell because he is evil etc... At this point, the Atheist- predictably- will yawn and walk away and Matt-as is always the case- will have converted no one.

When debating someone- for the purpose of evangelism-, your arguments must be sound and credible and you must be willing to concede a strong argument from the other side, if you expect to gain their trust.

Therefore, one cannot evangelize a non-believer on the basis of Sola Scriptura and expect a positive result.

The doctrine of Sola Sciptura can be disputed historically.

Prior to Luther and the - so-called - reformers, there is zero historical evidence that any Christian Church anywhere, at any time, believed this doctrine. That is a pretty curious fact for a doctrine that is supposedly foundational to be absent from practice for the first 1500 years of the Church!

However, the most unassailable proof that Sola Scriptura is Sola Balogna is the Dr. Phil test.

"How's that working for you?"

There are 30,000 protestant denominations now that can't agree on the color of dirt! In fact, I dare say that the only doctrine that Protestants agree on today is Sola Scriptura.

On the basis of their agreement on the Bible alone, protestantism is divided on the issue of Salvation by faith alone. It is divided on the necessity of Baptism. It is divided on Rapture theology. It is divided on the Real Prescence. It is divided on the use of wine as a sacramental. It is divided on what a church hierarchy should look like. It is divided on the Trinity. It is divided on the Ressurection. It is divided on homosexuality. It is divided on abortion. It is divided on the prophetic nature of Israel. It is divided on the idea of a ministerial priesthood. It is divided on the necessity of the tithe in today's world. It is divided on whether or not Catholics are Christians. It is divided on works. It is divided on Hell. It is divided on creationism. and on and on and on.

Jesus said A house divided against itself cannot stand. Matthew 12:25.

Sola Scriptura Protestants! How is that working for you? Why not take another look at a house united? Every Roman Catholic that is in full communion believes the same thing. That is one of the Essential marks of the true church. Ephesians 4:5

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