Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sola Scriptura is false

In this post, I will accomplish 2 things.

1) Counter an attempted defense I found from a Protestant of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
2) Demonstrate how the doctrine is not merely un-Biblical but illogical and untenable as well.

As you will see, In fact, my opponent really never makes much of a defense at all of Sola Scriptura, as defined by Protestants but creates a few strawmen to try and divert you from the actual issue at hand. For those of you who don't know, a "Strawman" is a false argument that refutes a position the opponent never actually took.

Let's start with an honest discussion of what Sola Scriptura suggests and how that diverges from logic and truth. There are five basic professions upon which protestants build their case for Sola Scriptura.

Let's take them one at a time.

1) The inerrancy or infallibility of Sacred Scripture.

Simply stated, all Divinely inspired Scripture is free from doctrinal or moral error.

Many protestants will insist that Catholics disagree with this foundational principle but that argument is silly and untenable. While defending the infallible way that truths are transmitted by God, through the Scriptures, we cannot make a blanket defense of how those truths are received by readers. Protestants routinely make very errant interpretations of inerrant scriptures. It's kind of like me talking to my teenage daughter. I say one thing, she hears something very different. My message was correct, the way she interpreted it wasn't.

2) The authority of Scripture.
As God's word in human form, the Scriptures are, of course, supremely authoritative. That is, the truths expounded and the commands given are binding. Again, though, the transmitted truths and the received interpretations, are often dangerously at variance. We are bound by what God says in the Scriptures, not by what misguided protestants zealously and incorrectly quote incorrectly and out of context.

As far as being authoritative, the Scriptures are. As far as being authority, they are not, for exactly the reasons stated above.

I am not splitting hairs. It is a true and valuable distinction.


Having or arising from authority; official: an authoritative decree; authoritative sources.
Of acknowledged accuracy or excellence; highly reliable: an authoritative account of the revolution.
Wielding authority; commanding: the captain's authoritative manner.

the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine.
2. a power or right delegated or given; authorization: Who has the authority to grant permission?
3.a person or body of persons in whom authority is vested, as a governmental agency.
4.Usually, authorities. persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law; government: They finally persuaded the authorities that they were not involved in espionage.

The Scriptures, therefore, are not God's authority itself but rise from God's authority and are, thus, authoritative. Simply put, the Bible is not God's authority but are created by an exercise or action of God's authority.

The reason the distinction is so critical is that one is possible to mis-interpret, the other, impossible.

At Judgement, when you see God face-to-face, all human misunderstanding is stripped away and you will know God's judgement of you. Here, in flesh and blood, on earth, it is infinitely harder to determine His will for us. Anyone unwilling to concede this point is simply dishonest.

The Scriptures, therefore, though perfect in their authoritativeness, are not authority themselves because they cannot speak for themselves. If you are confused about the Scriptures, you will seek someone or something that you trust to help your understanding. This has been proven true by Matt and even this little truth, by itself, nullifies Sola Scriptura. As God transmits His word to us, and followers write that word, it is constrained by the limitations of written word.

I will prove it.

If you grew up in America and you had never seen a Bible and I presented you one written in Vietnamese, it would be of no value to you. The inerrancy and authoritativeness of the word is not diminished in the least. Yet, it has reached you in a form you cannot understand and is therefore, of no value to you. This again, refutes Sola Scriptura's "authority" argument. The words are authoritative but they are not authority because the printed words do not have a will or a power of their own but are human expressions of the Divine will and power, with the human limitations.

This is part of the trade off of a God who seeks to reach us through human cooperation. He has no limitations, but we do. There are no limitations in the Inspiration of His word but there are in it's recording and, even more so, in it's interpretation. Therefore, the Bible is not and cannot be an authority because it requires interpretation.

The Bible says the same about speaking in tongues.

1 Corinthians 14:4-6
4He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.
6Now, brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction?

3) The material sufficiency of scripture.
Simply stated, the doctrine of material sufficiency is the notion that everything we need to know about salvation can be found in the scriptures and that not one word can be added or subtracted to any of the teachings in the 66 specific books in the Protestant canon.

The notion is, of course, absurd and untenable.

Protestants will often point to Revelation chapter 22 to support this position;

18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

The problem is that that admonition refers to the book- Revelation and not to the library of books- the Bible, to which it belongs. Similar admonitions occur in the Old Testament books of Deuteronomy and Proverbs and the Gospel of Matthew was written 18 years after Revelation.

One place where the Scriptures talk about what would be required, in terms of material sufficiency to record all of Jesus teachings, tells it quite plainly;

John 21:25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

To intimate that everything God could ever have to say could be contained in 66 specific books is beyond silly. We, as humans, could not hope to contain the full mind of God in any kind of recorded form.

4) The practical sufficiency of scripture.
If accepting material sufficiency is swallowing a camel, accepting practical sufficiency is swallowing a whale. Material sufficiency suggests that everything we need to know about salvation exists in (is transmitted to) the Scriptures. Even if it were proven true-and it certainly can't be- it still would not validate Sola Scriptura. For Sola Scriptura to be provable, one must demonstrate practical sufficiency.

In other words, if there are no extra-Biblical authorities upon which we can depend, then the Bible-itself must be able to tell me it's own story. That is, I must be able to-without any assistance- open my Bible, read it and easily understand it unto my own salvation and anyone else must be able to do likewise.

This is an absurd doctrine that directly contradicts scripture.

2 Peter 3:16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

5) The doctrinal and historical basis of Sola Scriptura.
Boasting that it is inviolate as a doctrine of faith, protestants deny that it is a new doctrine and claim that they are simply restoring what the early church taught. As we proceed, you will see Matt produce zero historical or Biblical evidence to support such a claim.

Now, having given you a foundation from which a discussion can grow, let's get started with Matt's observations.

For ease of view, my opponent's comments will be in orange.

The Bible’s case for Sola Scriptura and the regulative principle

Regulative principle) “The theory of church government and worship that stipulates that not only church doctrine but also church practice must be based on clear scripture warrant. That is we must have a clear Biblical command or precedent, expressed or implied, for all we introduce into the work and worship of the church. It is the position laid down in the Westminster Confession of Faith and is the opposite of the normative principle espoused by Lutherans and Anglicans.”
Alan Cairns Dictionary of Theology.

In his very first paragraph, this person undercuts his own entire case, that the Bible stands alone, by eliciting the observations of another person. Of course, he is welcome to agree with another fellow's views and share them here. The problem is that he opens himself up to the same "adding to the Bible" accusations he will try to use on me.

Nevertheless, his citation is instructive because, as I told you he would, he is trying to set a premise upon which our debate will rest.

"not only church doctrine but also church practice must be based on clear scripture warrant. That is we must have a clear Biblical command or precedent, expressed or implied, for all we introduce into the work and worship of the church."

What he is arguing here is practical sufficiency as a premise. The problem is that practical sufficiency is what is disputed in this very argument. Practical sufficiency is one of the pillars of his case. It must certainly be established to allow even the plausibility (if not the necessity, of Sola Scriptura). In essence, he is attempting to offer, as evidence, the very thing that is in dispute!

He is making a circular argument. A circular argument is an argument in which the conclusion is found in the premise.

Person A: "I am George Washington".
Person B: "How can I know you are George Washington?"
Person A: "Because I, George Washington, just told you so"

Atheists correctly accuse protestants of using this type of argument to defend the Bible.

Protestant: "The Bible is God's word"
Atheist: "How can I know it's God's word?"
Protestant: "because it says so"
Atheist: "So does the Koran"

Unfortunately, it is the Atheist that wins the argument. Not on the merits of his implied equivalency between the Koran and The Bible (they are certainly not equivalent) , but in the weakness of the Protestant's circular argument.

Let's read more ;

Authority of the scriptures

Psa 33:4-19 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. A horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

Here he is making an argument that is a complete non-sequiter. He argues here, in favor of God's authority and the validity of God's word (which have never been disputed), attempting to imply that that proves Scriptural sufficiency by consequence. It doesn't. The issues are unrelated.

An analagous argument would be to say that Oaks are not trees because Redwoods are. That Redwoods are trees is not in dispute. However, to argue that, since Redwoods are trees, Oaks cannot be trees is a complete non-sequiter.
The argument makes no sense.

If you are confused, take a moment to reread my remarks distinguishing God- the Authority from the Bible- the authoritative expression of God's word.

One is infinite, omnipotent power, the other is ink on paper, with the inherent limitations that brings. It is crucial that you not miss what I am saying here.

The written Biblical word flows through a marriage of the Divine and infinite with the human and material. If you spill spaghetti on your Bible, you certainly won't ruin God's word....but you may very well ruin your ability to read the written, human expression of that word...unless you can get a new Bible.

If I give you a Bible written in Chinese, it is certainly no less infallible than yours, but manifestly less practically sufficient to you.

So, while he goes to great extent to manifest God's authority- an undisputed point, he fails to draw a straight line connecting God's transmitted will, to His own (allegedly infallible) reception of that will. Thus, though we can say that every word from God is truth, we cannot say that this person has received that truth unmolested. In fact, he is playing a shell game here. In purporting to defend God's word, he is in fact, trying to remove objection to his own interpretation.

Follow along, I will show you.

Many of us who read the Word of God don’t understand just who is talking to us. The authority of the Word of God created the universe we live in six days. Yet we think it is not authoritative over man!

Observe the clever theological slight of hand. It is subtle but discernible if you take it in slices.

Many of us (implication- those who disagree with him) who read the Word of God don’t understand just who is talking to us. The authority of the Word of God created the universe we live in six days. Yet we think it is not authoritative over man!

What my opponent is suggesting here is that the Word of God in written form is the same as the Word of God in Divine form. Not that it is from the same but that it IS the same. He then uses this premise to create a strawman I have already rebuffed- namely that the Word of God, in written form, is not authoritative. It certainly is authoritative, as I have already said. That is, it springs from God's authority. It is however, not the Authority itself.

My opponent's Bible did not create the world in six days anymore than my opponent created the world in six days, by quoting it. The Bible is not God. We do not worship a book. In like manner, the Church you go to is not God, it is a place you go to worship God, but built by human hands. The Bible is not God. The Bible is a man-made means by which we can come to know God but, by no stretch of the imagination, is it the only means by which we can come to know God and nowhere does it ever claim to be.

Please listen patiently to me and do not be drawn in by a clever shell game. By playing on two totally different manifestations of the term Word of God, my opponent is trying to equate all who disagree with him, on scriptural issues, as being in opposition to the incarnate word. It is a laughable proposition at best.

He is, exactly as I said, setting up those who disagree with him as disagreeing with God. The implication of such an argument is his ability to infallibly interpret Scripture- an ability he will not even attempt to demonstrate.

If he were in the actual prescence of the Divine Word, he would have none of the man-made superstitions he has. God's will-in direct revelation- is impossible to misunderstand, yet God's will, through a human pen, presents difficulties that are harder to overcome.

Not impossible, mind you, but certainly requiring more effort than he is willing to expend. Yet, rather than provide a cogent defense of his own (incorrect) interpretation, he accuses those who disagree with him of rejecting God's word. It is silly.

I don't reject God's word. I reject my opponent's word which bares little resemblence to God's.

Let's continue;

2Pe 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,2Pe 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.2Pe 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:2Pe 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

You again, see that he is trying to sell you on the argument that those who do not accept his premise of practical sufficiency are scoffing against the very power (omnipotence) of God or the authority (inerrancy) of His word. As you can plainly see, this argument holds no water because they are three, independent theological qualities.

Liberal Protestants and Catholics who deny the fact of God’s creation have started their gospels blaspheming God and specifically Jesus Christ.

Now you can see my opponent's desperation. No Catholics deny God's creation and they certainly don't blaspheme Christ. but what choice does he have but to set up straw men and knock them down? It might also be mentioned that I am a rock-rib Conservative who does not believe in Darwinistic evolution. My opponent simply assumes otherwise.

I told you folks, quite plainly, that he would never make a Scripturally based apology for Sola Scriptura. He won't because he can't. His arguments are vapid so he can only resort to jousting windmills.

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Do you see a pattern here? All he can do is reaffirm God's authority, as if it has ever been disputed. His only hope to win this debate is to persuade you that I have a diminished sense of God's Divine authority. It is concession of my argument by refusing to contest it.

It get's worse....

The way we view the authority of the Word of God is going to reflect on the way we understand God and Christ.

Again, with the implication of a rejection of God and the clever wordplay.

It really is very, very subtle and clever and dishonest.

When he says "The way we view the authority of the Word of God", just what is he saying? The context is critical and yet it is deliberatly not provided. That way, as earlier, he can play both sides.

The "Word of God", Jesus is, of course, the authority. The "Word of God", the Bible is not. The latter comes from the former. As I stated before, the Bible simply cannot be more than it's material limitations will allow. Matt's Bible will eventually rot and become part of the earth- as many of the ancient scrolls did. Does that mean the "Word of God" rots and diminishes? far from it!

If he were arguing merely that opposing the expressed Word of God, vis-a-vis the Scriptures is expressing an open defiance of Our Lord, he would have a salient point, if he had a basis for saying so. The problem for him is that he has, once again, relied on a wholly unsubstantiated premise to make his case. He, once again, is riding round and round on a circular argument.

The Bible, as interpreted by him, is the only way God can express himself.
My opponent's interpretation is infallible because he interpreted it that way and if you disagree with him, you don't believe in God or creation.

Of course, the rest of us can see right through such an outrageous claim.

If we truly believe in God we will understand his omniscience and omnipresence.

and yet, being omniscient and omniprescent, His revelation to us is exclusively confined to 66 specific books of which my opponent is impotent to speak to the veracity of. What a ridiculous argument. Absent anything in scripture to support Sola Scriptura, relying on the very canon set by the very Magisterial authority he rejects, my opponent arrogantly claims that the rejection of a doctrine he cannot support is nothing less than a denial of the omniscence and omniprescence of God.

In doing so, it is MY OPPONENT that denies God's omnipotence and omniprescence. It is exactly that Omnipotence and Omniprescence that saved millions during the first 350 years of the Church when there was no Bible! It was exactly that Omnipotence and Omniprescence that saved millions more for the thousand years more before the printing press made Bibles common place.
My opponent is arguing that God cannot save man without the Bible! I have news for him! If every single Bible in the world turned into a puff of smoke tomorrow, countless millions would still find salvation through the Catholic Church. It is the Church that gave us the Bible. The Bible is a tool of the Church and draws it's authority from the Church because only the Church can speak to it's veracity.

"I would not even believe the Scriptures if not first led to them by the Church" ~ Augustine (one of the principal people responsible for the formation of the Bible.

but just listen to my opponent trap himself even more....

Once we have truly understood the sovereignty of God we respect his deity and reject the religious sovereignty of man.1Pe 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:1Pe 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

and yet, my opponent's entire religion is based on 66 Books written by men. Oh, we could very well say that they are inspired by God, though written by men but, no, my opponent says that we must reject all religious sovereignty of humans.

What does God say about that?

Matthew 23

1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you.

Luke 10:16"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

1 Thessalonians 4:7-9
7For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Yet, my opponent says;

Once we have truly understood the sovereignty of God we respect his deity and reject the religious sovereignty of man.

Chapter and Verse, please?

Instead of making a scriptural defense for the Bible as the sole authority (or even an authority at all), my opponent seems content to build unsubstantiated premise upon unsubstantiated premise. He insists that the worship of God demands rejection of all human authority yet the Scriptures state just the reverse...but, by all means, let's continue....

The word of God is pure
Psa 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.Psa 12:7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.

Once again, built on the unsupported (and unsupportable) premise that the Bible only is God's Word.

For if the Bible ALONE is God's word than, by sheer necessity of consequence, we must be told that, IN THE BIBLE, in no uncertain terms.

Where is it? I am still waiting for him to stop dancing and provide a SCRIPTURAL defense, not just a philosophical defense.

Isn't it ironic that Mr. Bible alone cannot defend this doctrine from the Bible?

Regulative instruction
Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.The proponents of Catholicism and the normative principle interpret this in a very ignorant way. They simply spout off that that if this passage were to be taken literally we could have no more books than the torah. However, the text is not concerned with whether there would be any more revelation or not. We simply look at the clause “word which I command you” and also “that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD” it is obvious this was a prescribed hermeneutic. Since the words of God are pure we must give all of the message authority and not simply shrink back from difficult laws or passages. We should not reinterpret the revelation brought to us from Jehovah but instead receive them.

So, again. The words of Jesus.

Luke 10:16"He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

God COMMANDED you to be obedient to the Church. Why aren't you?

God chose Prophets to speak on His behalf, were we free to reject them?

My opponent's entire argument is the height of duplicity. For, without the Catholic Church, you have no mechanism by which to even know which of the hundreds of writings purporting to be Scripture actually are. Absent the Church how can you POSSIBLY know that the Gospel of Thomas is not Sacred Scripture but the Gospel of Luke is? Absent the Catholic Church, you wouldn't even know the author of the first Gospel!

You rely wholly on Catholicism to even have a Bible yet you presume that it nullifies the commands of God and 2,000 years of orthodoxy because you say so???

The arrogance is astounding!

Make it plain.Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.It is the contention of all God mimicking false religion that the Word of the Lord is not understandable. That God has went about the effort of preserving Bible and the faith of billions throughout the millennia but only to give us a mysterious code
which most Christians will be incapable to understand.

So, Peter is lying here about Paul?

2 Peter 3:16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Cain and abel
Gen 4:3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.Gen 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:Gen 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.Aaron’s SonsLev 10:1 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not.Lev 10:2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.Saul’s disobedience of the regulative principle 1Sa 15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,1Sa 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. The phrase “repenteth me” basically means that God is going to change his relationship with Saul. Since Saul has not followed Jehovah’s commandments.1Sa 15:12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.1Sa 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.And here we see Saul greeting Samuel with the claim that he has indeed been obedient to Jehovah. This is interesting because it appears Saul may really believe he has done this; since he has made the claim before even asked on the subject.1Sa 15:14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?1Sa 15:15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. So here we see Saul reinterpreting a commandment. He has decided that he may take away from the commandment of God; since has decided not to destroy everything of the Amalekites. Then he has decided to add to the commandment of God by instituting a sacrifice of the meats from there cattle. Both of these are a contradiction to the regulative principle.1Sa 15:16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.1Sa 15:17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?1Sa 15:18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.1Sa 15:19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?1Sa 15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.1Sa 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. Here Samuel starts his case with reminding Saul of his humble beginning. This reminds us of how small human authority is. There is also the possible indictment that Paul was not simply motivated by God but by greed since he kept their treasures. Saul believed he obeyed in a “normative” sense. He did not contradict the commandment outright he simply made a few adjustments to it. Then he argues that this was made up for anyway because he had the people sacrifice unto God.1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.This is a key point toward true and Godly Christian faith. Man’s worship is nothing if it is brought with the hypocrisy of disobedience. Worship is a statement of faith. Yet obedience is proof of faith. The fact of disobedience disproves the statement of faith in worship. 1Sa 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.1Sa 15:25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.1Sa 15:26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.1Sa 15:27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.1Sa 15:28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.1Sa 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.The indictment sticks. Saul tries to persuade Samuel to forgive his sin. He does not however petition the Lord as David later would and as a result; we see the “straight talk” of Samuel. The Lord is not like a man who can be manipulated. The Lord is unchanging and His word is unchanging. Therefore obedience to God must be complete, where we neither add nor subtract from his holy commands.

A pretty exhaustive collection of scriptures that prove that defiance of God is punishable, that God is sovereign, that His word is sovereign.... nothing that is in dispute or ever has been.

You will notice what he does not show. At no time does he demonstrate that Saul's authority or Moses' or Aaron's were not divinely instituted. At no point does Matt show that Moses did not exercise authority over his flock, or did David, or Solomon, or even the Pharisees.

He cannot show that and will not attempt to do so. What he will continue to do is keep clanging his hammer about ;
1) God's power
2) The cost of disobedience.

It is appropriate to review what my opponent has not made a defense for;

1) The Bible- itself as an acting authority.
2) Material Sufficiency
3) Practical Sufficiency.
4) A Biblical or Historical foundation for sole Scriptural rule.

He hasn't, he won't, he can't.

The Wisdom of the Regulative principle
Pro 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.Pro 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.Here we have a very obvious admonition in the book of proverbs not to add to God’s word. Here we will here the echoes of mindless pigs snorting “if that’s true then we should stop the Bible at proverbs!” The only question is, if we are not supposed to add to God’s word then what does this passage mean???

Well... one could argue that mindless pigs are not to create doctrines like Sola Scriptura out of thin air....but that would be provocative. I will let him stew in his own venom whilst I calmly refute his argument.

When one constructs an argument, the premise of the argument has to be established. If the premise is unestablished, you commit the logical fallacy of an insufficient premise. If the premise is untrue, you commit the fallacy of a false premise. If the false, or unsupported, premise is in the conclusion, you commit what is known as a circular argument.

I am disputing, and demanding that you support, your premise that there is no other way God speaks to, or has spoken to, His people except for the Bible. That only the Bible is God's word. Thus far, you have not even attempted to meet that burden of proof. Therefore, when you ask a question like

The only question is, if we are not supposed to add to God’s word then what does this passage mean???

My answer is that you can presuppose that it means anything you want to believe it means but you have not demonstrated;
1) That only the Bible is God's word.
2) That the Catholic Church has added anything to God's word, even it it were only the Bible.
3) That you have any authority by which you can even identify Scripture, much less properly interpret it.

Now, you are free, of course to believe such things. However, belief does not constitute evidence.
We are now very deep into this rambling diatribe of yours and you are still yet to provide evidence of a single disputed point. Not one.

All of your arguments are by implication. Not one is supported by direct evidence of any kind.

So, what does it mean "Don't add to God's word?"

The Book of Mormon?
The Koran?
The baptist confessions?

all false religions adding to expressed Christian doctrine.

Not even one of them within 900 years of Christ's death.

The uniform lordship of the lawDeu 11:8 Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;Who are we to declare the word of God null and void? If God’s Word tell us that a command does not apply, then that is one thing. But when we think that man has the authority to change the Word of God we are quite frankly degenerate idiots. We are like toddlers who are screaming at mommy and Daddy “NO!!!!”, when in fact we have no authority. The problem when a toddler traditionally does this they are asking for a spanking. This is what the religious world is in for. We have played the whore and have ruined the family name of God. So now we are in for a spanking.

Same pattern. Unsupported, unsubstantiated rhetoric . Nothing new here. A false premise, built on a circular argument, wrapped around a non-sequiter.

Ironic too, since is the one with all the doctrine that he cant defend.

The temptations of Christ Of the necessity of Scripture
Mat 4:2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.Mat 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.Jesus proclaims that the authority of the word of God is so essential that one may live by it even with out bread. Yet many sacramental churches practice the giving of bread with out the complete word of God.

1) Jesus does not say that we live without bread, He said we don't live by bread alone.

2) He said we live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, not only by those that are on paper.

3) God commands us to eat that bread in John 6

4) There is more scripture taught in a Catholic Church than all other Churches combined. Catholics cover pretty much the entire Bible in 3 years. Fundamentalists generally ignore about 80% of the NT.

5) Nobody has disputed the necessity of Scripture. That is like your bread argument. By affirming the need for bread, you would argue that I am denying the need for water. Another silly and inane argument.

Of manipulating God’s authorityMat 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,Mat 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.To save his life and reveal himself to be who he is Jesus would isolate and abuse one verse from the word of God. … of other authoritiesMat 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;Mat 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.Mat 4:11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.Jesus would not bow to any other authority than God even if it lost him the adulation of the world. Yet today preachers will revere pagan doctrine for just an ounce of popularity.

unsubstantiated, irrelevant, not germaine.
rinse, repeat.

Stil waiting for the verse showing the Bible alone. Is it coming?

Jesus on the Pharisees and traditions of men

Mat 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,Mat 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?Mat 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.Mat 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;Mat 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.Mat 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.Jesus is specific here in making a distinction between God’s Word and it’s authority against man’s word and it’s authority. Those who claim the power of human tradition are assaulting the Sovereign Lord. This type of worship of God is empty and worthless. It is truly pitiful to see these dead churches waste so much energy.

OK. It's time for me to put this to rest.

Oral, Sacred tradition.

2 Thessalonians
13But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you[b] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

Oral, Sacred tradition.

1 Corinthians 11
1Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Propriety in Worship 2I praise you for remembering me in everything and for
holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.

Oral, Sacred tradition.

2 Timothy 2
1You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.

1 Thessalonians 2
13And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

It is silly to believe Jesus was condemning Sacred tradition. Jesus was condemning hypocritical tradition.

Mat 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.Mat 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.Mat 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.Mat 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.Mat 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.Mat 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.Mat 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.When the religious authorities degrade the authority of the word of God they are able to magnify themselves to God-like status. When ever we approach a minister of God and they give us a sense of superiority or celebrity. They also have the hypocritical tendency to have higher standards for the disciples than for themselves.

Yet, Jesus said of them, to the people...

Matthew 23
Seven Woes 1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you.
But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

So, the church is run by sinners andJesus will deal with those who get out of hand.

But Jesus said YOU MUST OBEY THEM.

Here, read this one...

Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

and to think...you just told all your flock that they dont have to listen to earthly people. Perhaps you need to rethink that?

No other foundation

1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;1Co 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.When we claim Christianity and try to produce our own works and traditions and impose them upon His church we are building the house of God with wood hey and stubble. These are useless hindrances to ministry and they will be burned up in the Day of the Lord.

That isn't even what those passages refer to! Those are passages affirming the need for good works.
Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.Mat 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.Jesus wants build our lives upon him and his teachings. Man made teachings will not last. Remember that, manmade teachings will not last.

Once again, you have made an argument against Sola Fide but not one supporting Sola Scriptura. These Scriptures insist on doing God's will...which, of course means being a Catholic.

Authority for the church2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:2Pe 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:If Peter was the 1st Pope, then it would be wise for Catholics to adhere to his teachings. Specifically, to follow the teachings of the OT prophets and the NT apostles. We may have no record of the invention of apostolic succession. Yet we have clear testimony of the authority of the scriptures.

No record of Apostolic succession?? The Apostles did not replace Judas Iscariot? Apostolic sucession is a demonstrable historical fact.

My opponent still has not made a defense of Sola Scriptura.

Prohibitions on will worship

Col 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?Col 2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.Without the authority of scripture we are simply using our imaginations as it concerns the spiritual realm. Religion becomes manmade. Yet man has no qualifications for true religion and spirituality.

The defense still has not been presented.

Prohibitions on legendsTit 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;Tit 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.Fables 3454 muthos {moo'-thos}perhaps from the same as 3453 (through the idea of tuition); TDNT - 4:762,610; n mAV - fable 5; 51) a speech, word, saying 2) a narrative, story 2a) a true narrative 2b) a fiction, a fable 2b1) an invention, a falsehoodHere we see that the idea of following fables is ludicrous to Paul. This contradicts the liberal attitude about the Bible. If legends are prohibited then Scripture can not be legend.Prohibitions on philosophyCol 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.Here we see again that neither traditions nor philosophy may be added to the Word of God. Yet in the Catholic Church, the priests were trained in pagan philosophy as soon as they controlled the Roman Empire. In the case of the Alexandrine churches the pagan philosophy was instituted almost initially. The New Testament church is based solely on the scriptures. Not to say that NT are impervious to error. But their foundation is in the divine.Revelations cursesRev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.So here we see the regulative principle in action for the book of revelation. Now the apologist for liberal and Catholics argue this principle is only commanded of this individual book. Yet these same characters treat all the scriptures including revelation without applying those same principles. The liberals and Catholics deny the tribulation. The liberals deny the final judgement. The Catholics want to add millions of years of purgatory. The Mormons want add two other heavens deny hell and make Joseph Smith a judge in a panel with Christ and Elohim. The Muslims want to add 70 virgins, deny the Deity of Christ, change the name of God to Allah, and claim that Muslims will take the world over by force. The Jehovah’s witness want to only admit 144,000 who will no longer be Jewish, deny the reality of hell and have the power to claim the date of Christ return even though they have failed a dozen times. If we want a true relationship with God then we must listen to him and be careful that he is not misrepresented. Ultimately we must ask our selves as we worship the only wise Jehovah. Is it about him or us? Who gets the glory?We must remember the great request of our Lord’s recommended prayer. (The same one omitted by liberals and Catholics.) Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

In summary.

At no point does my opponent even attempt to defend the doctrine of Sola Scriptura Scripturally. He talks about everything from the worship of Angels to a doxology added to the Lord's prayer.

I guess he thought that I would be tired or impressed by his many words.

Nevertheless, if he could have defended Sola Scriptura, he would have done so quickly.

My opponent will claim that he did indeed make a Scriptural defense of Sola Scriptura (after all, that is what he titled his piece). Anyone can see that he did not.

Before I go into a practical refutation of Sola Scriptura, let me recant the major points that have been made here and what he will claim he argued vs what he actually did argue.

Sola Scriptura means the Bible alone. My opponent was very clear in his assertion that no church doctrine or practice can accepted that is not clearly expressed on the face of scripture. He not only makes this claim, but arrogantly so.

In his words;

Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.It is the contention of all God mimicking false religion that the Word of the Lord is not understandable. That God has went about the effort of preserving Bible and the faith of billions throughout the millennia but only to give us a mysterious code which most Christians will be incapable to understand.

Of course, God Himself, says, of hypocrites;

Proverbs 30:11-13
11 "There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers;
12 those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
13 those whose eyes are ever so haughty,whose glances are so disdainful;

Luke 18
9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Isaiah 6:10
Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed."

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'

Acts 28:27For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'

2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

So, it is not by a mysterious code that my opponent is unable to see. It is by the haughtiness of his own arrogant and stubborn heart. It is my opponent's own prideful disobedience that shuts him off to God's truth. For, in obstinantly clinging to the contention that he alone is the sole judge of God's revealed truth, he has cut himself off from the truth of God.

My opponent is not arguing God alone or The Bible alone, he is truly arguing himself alone. For everyone who interprets God's word differently than he is a "snorting pig". Therefore, God has chosen to give him over to his own willful blindness.

He resorts to such name calling and histrionics out of frustration because, try as he might, he cannot demonstrate the lynchpin of his entire idealogy- the practical sufficiency of scripture.

Bible infallibility and Bible sufficiency are two entirely different doctrines. My opponent believes they are joined at the hip. If the Bible is infallible, it is also sufficient. If the Bible is deemed non-sufficient, it is, by consequence, deemed fallible, so he says..

The argument, of course, is a complete non-sequiter. He is clearly free to believe such a notion but let's understand clearly that believing it and demonstrating it are two very different things.

2 + 2 = 4

That is an infallible statement with regard to mathematics. That is, that the statement is free from error. If, however, I made the claim that that statement was a materially sufficient expression, through which all mathmatical knowledge could be gleaned, you would- at the very least- demand evidence to support such a claim.

Further, if you spoke only Chinese, it is likely that the equation 2 + 2= 4 would mean nothing to you. It's not practically sufficient. That is, it cannot stand on it's own. Someone must teach you it's meaning.

My opponent's contention that the Scriptures are sufficient is wholly unsupported by him. It is a man-made invention.

Further, it is untennable historically.

1) The first Bible was not produced until almost the fifth century and it could not be produced rapidly enough to be brought to the masses until a thousand years after that. Simply stated, if the Scriptures are the one and only revealed truth, than almost all Christians were lost for the first 1500 years of the church.

2) That the protestants accept the New Testament canon set in 384 AD, and ratified by Pope Dmasus, is an assent to Church authority. Otherwise, each protestant would simply assemble his own collection of scriptures. The church chose these specific 27 books out of hundreds of books purporting to be Scripture. Only assent to Church authority could produce an identical NT canon.

3) In addition to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura's being wholly absent from Scripture, it's exercise, as a foundational practice, is absent from all Church history for at least the first Millenium and a half. It appears, out of the blue, some 1500 years after the church was formed, with zero evidence of previous practice.

As a practical matter, as well as a Scriptural matter, Sola Scriptura is completly untenable, unworkable and unsupported. That, my friends, are just the facts.

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