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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:52 am 
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Closet Catholic wrote:
Yes, it is appropriate because it better helps us understand what is meant. That does not mean that the two do not mean the same thing. But go ahead, argue against straw men all you want. It won't actually mean anything, though.


You saw a thread that refers to the difficulty of convincing Protestants that sola scriptura is illogical. I addressed that point by saying that the Christian Bible was put together long after the Christian Church was formed. You asked me what I meant by the term, and I used the one which I believe the OP meant, i.e., by Scripture alone. That is the obvious meaning of "sola scriptura."

You insisted that it doesn't mean that by introducing two articles: one arguing that Lutherans do not promote sola scriptura. Instead, they promote prima scriptura. The second argues that Lutherans are not Protestants.

If Lutherans are not Protestants (following your second article) and the thread is about Protestants, then what does your point have to do with the topic thread? Second, if you insist that it does (which implies that your second article is wrong), then why did you have to correct yourself by referring to "prima scriptura"? Or did you mean that "prima scriptura" actually means "sola scriptura"? If so, how?

So, you see, I was not attacking a straw man: you were. You were trying to refute an argument that was never raised in this topic thread. Do you now understand why I asked you earlier whether or not you are aware that "Protestant" does not necessarily mean "Lutheran"?


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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:45 am 
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Alexandros wrote:
If the canon is not an article of faith, then the canon is not required for salvation.
If the canon is not required for salvation, then one can produce their own canon, based on their own reason.

Correct. And the canon is not required for salvation. No SS advocate would say it does.

Quote:
If one produces their own canon, then there is a risk of losing information that “provides sufficient conditions of salvation” and hence lacks the “idea conveyed by [true] Scripture.”

But this is entirely beside the point. At worst, you are attacking the doctrine of assurance. Again, so long as I have sufficient reason to believe that some particular writing is Scripture, and so long as I have sufficient authority to regard that Scripture as divinely inspired, then if that Scripture presents sufficient conditions for salvation, then that's enough. And as it happens, I have all of that. There is more than sufficient reason to regard the Gospel of John as inspired. The Gospel of John includes verses like John 3:16, John 6:47, John 20:31, etc, all of which state that if I believe in Christ then I have everlasting life. In other words, faith is a sufficient condition for having everlasting life. I have faith in Christ, therefore, I have everlasting life.

The only response at this point is to argue that I do not have sufficient reason to regard the Gospel of John as inspired, in which case you are, again, just making the canon an article of faith, which means you are attacking a straw man. Moreover, if you claim there are other Scriptures that provide different sufficient conditions for salvation, then I'll shrug my shoulders. Perhaps there are. We can talk about them separately. If, on the other hand, you claim that other Scriptures contradict John 3:16, rendering that sufficient condition, in fact, insufficient, then I just reject your position out of hand because you then make Scripture to be false. And none of this, then, has anything whatsoever to do with SS.

Quote:
If one lacks knowledge and guidance concerning these “conditions of salvation” then salvation cannot be grasped.
Hence, the canon must be an article of faith.

And this just does not follow. As I said once before, you don't need a single verse of Scripture to grasp what must be done to be saved. All you need is to know is what really is required for salvation, regardless of where you get that from. If you get it from Scripture or if you get it from a preacher who got it from Scripture or if you get it from Jesus Himself in a dream or if you get it from a Church authority -- the important question is, "What must I do to be saved?" Now, whatever your Church says, Scripture says that to be saved, you must "believe on Jesus." That's sufficient. And whether or not I know that is a Scriptural truth is entirely beside the point. Once again, to be as clear as I can, the epistemological question of how I know what I must do to be saved is different from the ontological question of the nature of salvation itself. And given that the Gospel of John presents faith as a sufficient condition for salvation, the only relevant epistemological question is whether or not I have sufficient warrant in claiming that the Gospel of John is, in fact, Scripture. I think I do have that warrant, so I am compelled to accept the words of Jesus as true.


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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:16 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Alexandros wrote:
If the canon is not an article of faith, then the canon is not required for salvation.
If the canon is not required for salvation, then one can produce their own canon, based on their own reason.

Correct. And the canon is not required for salvation. No SS advocate would say it does.


I am aware that no SS advocate, at least here, would say the canon is required for salvation.

However, that is the exact issue I am trying to get at.

Here’s the scenario: No one possesses the canon of Scripture. How are you saved without knowing what Scripture is? According to you, the canon is not required for salvation – if it’s not required, then one can be saved without it. And if no one knows the canon, no one possess its contents, then explain how you are saved. (i.e. no Scripture that says “believe in Christ” etc.)

Quote:
Quote:
If one produces their own canon, then there is a risk of losing information that “provides sufficient conditions of salvation” and hence lacks the “idea conveyed by [true] Scripture.”


But this is entirely beside the point. At worst, you are attacking the doctrine of assurance. Again, so long as I have sufficient reason to believe that some particular writing is Scripture, and so long as I have sufficient authority to regard that Scripture as divinely inspired, then if that Scripture presents sufficient conditions for salvation, then that's enough. And as it happens, I have all of that.


Pinning belief in the canon on reason and authority (I assume you mean earthly authority) is not supernatural faith as given through grace. Belief in Christianity should be a supernatural virtue and believing that something is Scripture should involve both faith and reason together. Otherwise we have entities in Christianity that are established by rationalism.

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There is more than sufficient reason to regard the Gospel of John as inspired. The Gospel of John includes verses like John 3:16, John 6:47, John 20:31, etc, all of which state that if I believe in Christ then I have everlasting life. In other words, faith is a sufficient condition for having everlasting life. I have faith in Christ, therefore, I have everlasting life.


Faith conveys truths that must be followed. True faith will lead someone to follow these truths. Believing in Christ entails following these truths. It does not follow that every single one of these truths is contained in Scripture.




Quote:
The only response at this point is to argue that I do not have sufficient reason to regard the Gospel of John as inspired, in which case you are, again, just making the canon an article of faith, which means you are attacking a straw man.


I am not saying SS teaches the canon is an article of faith. What I am trying to say is that SS does not work because the canon is an article of faith. Why? Because without the canon you do not have, say, the Gospel of John you keep quoting:

If the canon is not an article of faith, then you can be saved without knowing what the Bible is – explain how that is possible using the definition of sola scriptura in mind.



Quote:
Moreover, if you claim there are other Scriptures that provide different sufficient conditions for salvation, then I'll shrug my shoulders. Perhaps there are. We can talk about them separately. If, on the other hand, you claim that other Scriptures contradict John 3:16, rendering that sufficient condition, in fact, insufficient, then I just reject your position out of hand because you then make Scripture to be false. And none of this, then, has anything whatsoever to do with SS.


I do not think Scripture contradicts itself.


Quote:
Quote:
If one lacks knowledge and guidance concerning these “conditions of salvation” then salvation cannot be grasped.
Hence, the canon must be an article of faith.

And this just does not follow. As I said once before, you don't need a single verse of Scripture to grasp what must be done to be saved.


I do not believe I ever said anything about every person needing to literally read scripture. I am trying to argue that if you do not know what books belong in the Bible, you cannot be saved according to SS; a pastor would have nothing to teach you, there would be no Gospel to preach to the illiterate. So, this must mean that the canon is "required for salvation" - if not explain how people can be saved without knowing what the Bible is in the first place.


Quote:
All you need is to know is what really is required for salvation, regardless of where you get that from. If you get it from Scripture or if you get it from a preacher who got it from Scripture or if you get it from Jesus Himself in a dream or if you get it from a Church authority -- the important question is, "What must I do to be saved?" Now, whatever your Church says, Scripture says that to be saved, you must "believe on Jesus." That's sufficient. And whether or not I know that is a Scriptural truth is entirely beside the point.

Once again, to be as clear as I can, the epistemological question of how I know what I must do to be saved is different from the ontological question of the nature of salvation itself. And given that the Gospel of John presents faith as a sufficient condition for salvation, the only relevant epistemological question is whether or not I have sufficient warrant in claiming that the Gospel of John is, in fact, Scripture. I think I do have that warrant, so I am compelled to accept the words of Jesus as true.


Salvation is not merely some generic definition of “faith.” People use Scripture to produce several different versions of the faith – requiring people to do things they shouldn’t, believing in heresies, or removing necessary elements of the faith required for salvation – and they all claim it’s “faith in Christ.”

Faith includes the necessity of all 7 sacraments and subjection to the Roman Pontiff in order to be saved, because faith in Christ is to follow Divine Revelation in its totality and the entity that transmits it – that is the true faith.

This definition conflicts with your version of faith, and yours and mine will conflict with many other Christians. Hence, Scripture alone is not sufficient to explain the faith and it alone is not sufficient for salvation.

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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:18 pm 
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EtcumSpiri22-0 wrote:
How so?


It appears you posted a definition from the Westminster Confession and he referenced one from Luther. But, I could be wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:53 pm 
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Alexandros wrote:
I am aware that no SS advocate, at least here, would say the canon is required for salvation.

However, that is the exact issue I am trying to get at.

Any time you tell someone that they are wrong about their own position, that necessarily means that you understand their position better than they do or that they understand their own position better than you. Might I advice you, simply on the principle of prudence, that you not act on the assumption that you understand SS better than I do?

Quote:
Here’s the scenario: No one possesses the canon of Scripture. How are you saved without knowing what Scripture is? According to you, the canon is not required for salvation – if it’s not required, then one can be saved without it. And if no one knows the canon, no one possess its contents, then explain how you are saved. (i.e. no Scripture that says “believe in Christ” etc.)

Did the Philippian Jailer know the canon? It's just silly on it's face to say that you need to know what constitutes the canon of Scripture in order to know the gospel, and that whether you are an SS advocate or not. It simply does not enter into the equation.

So your question is pretty boring, actually. How am I saved without knowing what Scripture is? The same way any person who has ever been saved is saved . . . by placing my faith in Jesus Christ. You are not really suggesting that if I don't have the complete knowledge of what constitutes the divinely inspired Scriptures that I cannot trust Jesus Christ, are you? Don't be ridiculous. And I hope you take this criticism very seriously, because I plainly find it utterly absurd. I have less than zero respect for it as an argument. I find it beneath you and beneath the dignity of your Church and her intellectual history. And the fact that you you and others keep trotting it out as if you find it meaningful is something you ought to find embarrassing--as embarrassing as if someone were to seriously argue that the only way to really take the Bible seriously was to believe the earth is flat. It is on that level of absurdity and disrespectability.


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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:07 pm 
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I also want to comment on this as a secondary matter
Alexandros wrote:
I do not believe I ever said anything about every person needing to literally read scripture. I am trying to argue that if you do not know what books belong in the Bible, you cannot be saved according to SS; a pastor would have nothing to teach you, there would be no Gospel to preach to the illiterate. So, this must mean that the canon is "required for salvation" - if not explain how people can be saved without knowing what the Bible is in the first place.

So there is a saying we learned in Bible College and Seminary that goes like this: "Preach for faith." I think you have a very deep misunderstanding about what I'm doing each week in the pulpit. Often, when I preach, if I am not certain of the salvation of every member present, I will say something along the lines of, "So today we are going to be looking at this particular passage, and in this, I want you to see yada yada yada. But before we get going, let me say clearly that this is only meaningful if you have placed your faith in Christ. If you haven't, at best, this is just very old self-help and will be utterly useless to you. At worst, it's going to come across to you as crazy. But for those of you who have placed your faith in Him and believe this to be His very Word, then I expect you to trust Him in what you hear today."

Do you see the order in the presentation? I don't take Scripture to the unbeliever. Not as Scripture. And why would I? Do you take the Koran seriously as a revelation of God? I assume not. In other words, "the gospel," while certainly recorded in Scripture, and where theologically we make our claims about it based on what is written in Scripture--the gospel isn't preached as Scripture. It is proclaimed as what it is: the Good News of Jesus Christ. It's up to God to use the gospel (whether in our own words or reading directly from the translated word of the modern Bible or whether in our explanation of those words) to bring us to faith. That's His job, not mine.

So when I stand before my congregation and tell them what the Bible says, I'm not saying that so that they might go to heaven. I assume they already are. If they're not, they don't need a Bible lesson. They need the kergma. They need the proclamation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the atonement of their sins. Only AFTER they have come to the knowledge of that salvation do I proclaim to them the Words of Scripture that they may know this Jesus who has saved them more deeply. And if they want to know why they should believe the words of Isaiah really are divinely inspired, or that the words of Romans really are divinely inspired, or any other book, I give them an explanation (which, by the way, I make a practice of doing -- my own method is to preach through books, and I always give an initial sermon on the background of the book, and it's place in the canon is part of that lesson).

Please, then, understand, that you've misunderstood what we're doing from the pulpit each day. You've gotten the cart and the horse completely backwards.


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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:37 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Alexandros wrote:
I am aware that no SS advocate, at least here, would say the canon is required for salvation.

However, that is the exact issue I am trying to get at.

Any time you tell someone that they are wrong about their own position, that necessarily means that you understand their position better than they do or that they understand their own position better than you. Might I advice you, simply on the principle of prudence, that you not act on the assumption that you understand SS better than I do?


Talking about prudence is interesting keeping in mind the kind of assumptions that are applied to me here so far.

I have been in many discussions and debates in the past 15+ years where people acted like they knew more than me on a subject – I personally did not mind because that is how pretty much every single debate goes, as this is a debate forum after all.


So, let’s talk about knowing SS, because I need to clarify something.

First you said this:

theJack wrote:
What SS says is that " all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture."


Then you said this:

theJack wrote:
All this is to say that SS does not at all claim that all that is necessary for salvation is contained in Scripture. It claims that Scripture provides perfection sufficient conditions for salvation



Which is it? You know SS better than me, but you gave us two different definitions.



Quote:
Quote:
Here’s the scenario: No one possesses the canon of Scripture. How are you saved without knowing what Scripture is? According to you, the canon is not required for salvation – if it’s not required, then one can be saved without it. And if no one knows the canon, no one possess its contents, then explain how you are saved. (i.e. no Scripture that says “believe in Christ” etc.)

Did the Philippian Jailer know the canon? It's just silly on it's face to say that you need to know what constitutes the canon of Scripture in order to know the gospel, and that whether you are an SS advocate or not. It simply does not enter into the equation.


Of course it is silly – that is the whole point.

But I need more clarification: are you saying the Gospel message can be known without any one in the line of successive teachers ever knowing what scripture is in the first place?

Is scripture alone sufficient?
Or is it scripture merely materially sufficient?
Or is it sufficient by itself, but other entities are also sufficient by themselves?
Or is it back to the earlier definition: “all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture?”



Quote:
So your question is pretty boring, actually. How am I saved without knowing what Scripture is? The same way any person who has ever been saved is saved . . . by placing my faith in Jesus Christ.


Right. But, it’s not only you that doesn’t know the Scripture – there no one else to read and tell you what the message is contained therein. Or are you trying to tell me that faith in Christ without even knowing what a Bible is in the first place (even your pastor) is now sufficient?

If not, how is faith possible without anyone having Scripture to know and/or communicate the Gospel?

If you say, “it’s not possible” then the canon is required for salvation. If you say, “it’s still possible,” then Scripture alone is not sufficient for salvation as some other method is enough to deliver the salvific message and hence, it can do the job of Scripture.




Quote:
You are not really suggesting that if I don't have the complete knowledge of what constitutes the divinely inspired Scriptures that I cannot trust Jesus Christ, are you?


I am not suggesting that, that is not something I believe in. What I am trying to do is take SS and demonstrate that it is untenable.

The very fact that someone can be saved without Scripture is proof that Scripture alone is not sufficient as there are other ways to communicate the Gospel and obtain true faith. It is also not sufficient in identifying itself, interpreting itself, and there are no passages that say everything needed for salvation is contained in scripture or that scripture is sufficient for salvation.



Quote:
Don't be ridiculous. And I hope you take this criticism very seriously, because I plainly find it utterly absurd. I have less than zero respect for it as an argument. I find it beneath you and beneath the dignity of your Church and her intellectual history. And the fact that you you and others keep trotting it out as if you find it meaningful is something you ought to find embarrassing--as embarrassing as if someone were to seriously argue that the only way to really take the Bible seriously was to believe the earth is flat. It is on that level of absurdity and disrespectability.


Sorry, I am not trying to annoy you. I do not think what I am trying to tell you is being understood properly, that could be my fault.

Quote:
In other words, "the gospel," while certainly recorded in Scripture, and where theologically we make our claims about it based on what is written in Scripture--the gospel isn't preached as Scripture. It is proclaimed as what it is: the Good News of Jesus Christ. It's up to God to use the gospel (whether in our own words or reading directly from the translated word of the modern Bible or whether in our explanation of those words) to bring us to faith. That's His job, not mine.

So when I stand before my congregation and tell them what the Bible says, I'm not saying that so that they might go to heaven. I assume they already are. If they're not, they don't need a Bible lesson. They need the kergma. They need the proclamation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the atonement of their sins. Only AFTER they have come to the knowledge of that salvation do I proclaim to them the Words of Scripture that they may know this Jesus who has saved them more deeply.


I’m not sure if I am intercepting you correctly here, so here is two responses to this:

1. It almost appears like you are saying people can be saved without Scripture, because they possess faith.

Is faith possible if no one had access to Scripture (you and everyone else)?

2. The scenario that I was trying to lay out was one where a church had no access to Scripture. Your example above indicates that you have Scripture and you just communicate the basic Gospel message: “have faith in Christ.” That is not the scenario I am talking about.



If you and your church had no idea what constitutes correct Scripture, can you be saved?

If yes: then Scripture alone is bunk.
If no: then the canon is required for salvation.


Again: Is faith possible without anyone knowing what Scripture is in the first place (not knowing what Scripture is means you do not receive the message contained in Scripture because no one has it in the first place)?

If yes: SS is bunk.
If no: then the canon is required for salvation.



Of course, some or most of my responses may be moot as I think we need calcification of exactly which SS definition we are going with.

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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:17 pm 
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I didn't change the definition anywhere in my words. In the first quote, the line JUST BEFORE the one you quoted was, "There are a great many truths that are not taught in Scripture." And just a few lines later, I go on to say, "You need both Scripture and reason to discover truth," which has been the claim sense Luther himself. As I pointed out way back then, you seem not to understand what SS even is. The second quote you bring up to accuse me of contradicting myself is my attempt to offer you the nuance that you are ignoring, to help you understand the subject on which you are obviously confused. So, again, as a matter of prudence, I suggest that you learn more before you argue.

Anyway, to answer some other questions:

Quote:
are you saying the Gospel message can be known without any one in the line of successive teachers ever knowing what scripture is in the first place?

Of course I am. Once again, SS does not say that knowledge of Scripture is a necessary condition for salvation. We are saved by grace, not by theological education. The issue of needing a preacher versed in Scripture is a practical one due to the way God has sovereignly chosen to make the world, and so we have Rom 10:14. But that's a practical point on the general rule and doesn't speak anything to the actual nature of the question itself.

Quote:
Is scripture alone sufficient?
Or is it scripture merely materially sufficient?
Or is it sufficient by itself, but other entities are also sufficient by themselves?
Or is it back to the earlier definition: “all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture?”

I've already answered all of these. Look back on the last page at my words around "pertain to." Understood correctly, Scripture alone is sufficient, insofar as Scripture gives one adequate knowledge necessary for salvation. As Scripture is provided in human language, natural prerequisites apply, and those natural prerequisites are not themselves provided by Scripture. They are provided by reason.

Quote:
But, it’s not only you that doesn’t know the Scripture – there no one else to read and tell you what the message is contained therein. Or are you trying to tell me that faith in Christ without even knowing what a Bible is in the first place (even your pastor) is now sufficient?

Once again, I don't know why you are having a hard time grasping this. The gospel <> the Canon of Scripture. You do not need the Canon to place your faith in Christ. All you need is someone to tell you that God became flesh in Christ, died for your sins, and rose three days later so that all who believe have everlasting life. That was what was preached before there even was a NT, and it is what we preach whether or not we have a NT.

Put differently, the Bible was written for believers, for Christians, for people who already know and believe the gospel. It was not written for unbelievers. Indeed, unbelievers find the whole notion foolish (if you believe Scripture). What I'm saying is not radical. It is the essence of sola gracia. There's a reason that, sola fide, and sola scriptura, all go together.

Quote:
The very fact that someone can be saved without Scripture is proof that Scripture alone is not sufficient as there are other ways to communicate the Gospel and obtain true faith.

And that you keep making this argument is absolute and definitive proof that you do not understand SS. You sound like a young earth creationist insisting that evolution has to be wrong because we still have monkeys. You are creating problems that don't exist. Put more logically, you're trying to advance an reductio ad absurdem, but your absurd conclusion doesn't follow the premises of SS. You think it does, but you are wrong. So stop arguing and learn.

Again, take Acts 16:31. Don't look at it as Scripture at all. Forget the actual words of the Bible as Bible. Just think about the actual story when it really happened in real time before there ever was a book of Acts, before a single book of the NT was written, before Jesus' name had been written even one time. The Philippian Jailer asks what he has to do to be saved. Does Paul say, "Wait a second -- I need to write some Scripture so you can read it and believe!" No. He just says to believe in Jesus. And then he told him about Jesus. And guess what? The jailer was saved through faith in Jesus. He didn't need one word of Scripture. Do you honestly believe that a single SS advocate would say that in order for the jailer to be saved, it is a necessary condition for him to have read Scripture? No one would say that. It doesn't follow from the premises of SS. It's a stupid argument, beneath you and your church. Stop it.

Quote:
Sorry, I am not trying to annoy you. I do not think what I am trying to tell you is being understood properly, that could be my fault.

You, personally, are not annoying me. This argument that keeps getting floated around here as if it has any weight is annoying. And it is so irritating at an emotional level for me because I have such a deep and abiding respect for your church that every time I see this presented as if it has weight, I just role my eyes. It's like when Aquinas says (I think in Summa Contra Gentiles, the chapter on whether an eternal world is possible) that the Catholic faith must not be based on bad philosophical argument lest we give our opponents something to mock us with.

Alexandros -- hear me. There may be good arguments against SS but this nonsense about SS failing because it can't, as a matter of faith, produce a canon, is not it. You are making a mockery of your church. And that annoys me.

Quote:
1. It almost appears like you are saying people can be saved without Scripture, because they possess faith.

Is faith possible if no one had access to Scripture (you and everyone else)?

2. The scenario that I was trying to lay out was one where a church had no access to Scripture. Your example above indicates that you have Scripture and you just communicate the basic Gospel message: “have faith in Christ.” That is not the scenario I am talking about.

Not a single person who has been saved was saved because they possess Scripture. Not a single one. And there have been plenty of Christians and indeed entire churches with no access to Scripture. Another common criticism around here is that non-Catholics tend to think church history went from the first one hundred years and then jumped fifteen hundred years forward straight to Luther. You seem to have forgotten, however, that there was a first hundred years! Do you really think those early churches had a canon of Scripture? The churches that Paul or James wrote to? Hint: they didn't have a NT because a NT did not exist yet, and yet those churches were filled with saved folk.

Quote:
If you and your church had no idea what constitutes correct Scripture, can you be saved?

If yes: then Scripture alone is bunk.
If no: then the canon is required for salvation.

Yes, you can, and no, "Scripture alone" is not "bunk." For the ten millionth time, SS does not make knowledge of Scripture to be a necessary condition of salvation. No one has ever said it does. SS says that what Scripture does, in fact, say about salvation is sufficient to bring one to said salvation. If you don't address that, you're just building a straw man to burn down.

Quote:
Again: Is faith possible without anyone knowing what Scripture is in the first place (not knowing what Scripture is means you do not receive the message contained in Scripture because no one has it in the first place)?

If yes: SS is bunk.
If no: then the canon is required for salvation.

And same answer as just above. Our faith is not in Scripture. Our faith is in Jesus. Scripture tells us who Jesus is and what He did. It reveals to us the gospel. But Scripture itself is not the gospel. Now, what Scripture does say about the gospel is sufficient to know the gospel. And if someone argues about the gospel that which is contrary to Scripture, then they are wrong. But none of that means you need Scripture to know the gospel or to know heresy. The Galatian churches, for instance, didn't have the book of Galatians before it was written, and Paul is shocked that they had fallen away from the gospel! They didn't have the books of Matthew or Mark or Luke or John or Romans. They just had the gospel. They had, to use the scholarly term, the kergma--that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh, died for their sins on the cross, and three days later rose from the dead so that all who believed in Him might have everlasting life. That's what they were told. That's what they believed. No SS advocate has ever said anything different from that, and that you insist that something else is necessary is just proof that you don't understand the thing you are objecting to.

So fine. Catholicism is fine because you make Mary a part of the Trinity.

See how stupid that sounds? I wouldn't make that argument because it is beneath me to misrepresent your church. You should have the same self-respect and the same respect for your church not to represent her as so intellectually reprehensible.


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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:57 pm 
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Some friends and I were in a remote (access only by a bush pilot or days on a motorbike over the trail) town in the mountains of Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo, Indonesia. There were some Christians in the area but most of these folks were Muslim and had no concept of the Scripture or of Christianity. Our procedure was simple and direct. We acted in accordance with the procedure followed by the disciples in Luke 10. Also based on the promise in The Book of Joel; "In the last days I will freely pour out of my Spirit on all flesh". We visited people in their home/businesses/school and invited them to receive a blessing/ accept the peace of God. Almost everyone said yes. We would then explain that we would invite God to bring his peace (as he promised) and then wait for his response. In every instance God kept his promise. One woman kept a shop in the front room of her home. Her husband was employed by the Indonesian govt and was rarely home/ gone for weeks at a time. She said that she had a dream the previous night in which a bright shining man in white robes spoke peace to her and said that he was sending two men to give her the answer she needed. She confided that she lived in constant fear/ anxiety/ loneliness. It severely affected her health. We prayed a simple salvation prayer with her and her mother. Her countenance changed. She said that something lifted and she was filled with a warmth and peace that overwhelmed her. She had never known such peace and freedom. Her mother spoke of the same experience. A local woman, a Christian, has been discipling them ever since. The point. This woman knew nothing and Jesus, personally, came to her rescue. My friend and I prayed a simple prayer, which she and her mother repeated, asking Jesus to forgive, fill them with his Holy Spirit and make them his daughter. Thats it. One moment she was a Muslim, the next moment she was so committed to Jesus Christ that wild horses couldn't pry her loose. I have witnessed hundreds of similar events.


Last edited by EtcumSpiri22-0 on Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:20 pm 
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I met a young man, an engineering student from Communist China. First time in the US for a 4 day engineering conference. I met him on his lunch break. He said all he knew of Christianity is that it is forbidden even to talk about in China but he was curious. I said, lets wait and see what God will do. We waited quietly. I could see that he had moved into a deep meditative like state. In 5 minutes or so he opened his eyes and said that he was before the thrones of God and Jesus. There were also 5 or 6 Angels standing by him. Remember, 5 minutes ago this guy had no paradigm/ didnt know any of this. He knew nothing of the existence of Jesus/ a throne/ angels... nothing.

He said he was there for quite a while and asked multiple questions of God. God answered them thoroughly. I asked if he wanted to become as son of the God he just met. He said yes. Then he said wait, I have two more questions. Same procedure/ same response... God answered his concerns. He then asked forgiveness and the right to sonship. That was God's impromptu seminar. God planted the curiosity and then answered. No Canon necessary.


Last edited by EtcumSpiri22-0 on Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:28 pm 
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Yup. Because the C&MA is so heavily involved in missions, we have missionaries in places we aren't allowed to talk about. They come home from time to time and share what God is doing in the field. Those sorts of things are not uncommon at the extremes of the field. Something we tend to forget in our largely (post)-Christianized culture is that evangelism is ultimately God's work, not ours. He'll do amazing things if we follow and then get out of the way.


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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:33 pm 
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So, believe it or not, this entire time I have been re-reading responses. I have read your responses about 5 times over through the course of the discussion, but whether it’s me or not, I do not think there is a precise answer here.

theJack wrote:
I didn't change the definition anywhere in my words. In the first quote, the line JUST BEFORE the one you quoted was, "There are a great many truths that are not taught in Scripture." And just a few lines later, I go on to say, "You need both Scripture and reason to discover truth," which has been the claim sense Luther himself. As I pointed out way back then, you seem not to understand what SS even is. The second quote you bring up to accuse me of contradicting myself is my attempt to offer you the nuance that you are ignoring, to help you understand the subject on which you are obviously confused. So, again, as a matter of prudence, I suggest that you learn more before you argue.


That’s not what I am talking about – you are referring to what is necessary for salvation not truth in general.

Read again:


theJack wrote:
What SS says is that " all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture."


Then you said this:

theJack wrote:
All this is to say that SS does not at all claim that all that is necessary for salvation is contained in Scripture. It claims that Scripture provides perfection sufficient conditions for salvation



Is everything necessary for salvation in Scripture?

Yes or no? I assume we are on the latter definition at this point (for now).


When re-reading everything, the topic has drifted from “all things necessary for salvation” are contained in scripture alone, to scripture is “sufficient alone,” to “scripture is sufficient.”

There is a clear difference when someone says Scripture is materially sufficient, formally sufficient, and then attaches the word “alone” (or not) the whole process. I cannot get a clear answer on these things (especially when we have a clear change in the definition earlier in the thread). Why can’t I? Keep reading, I have more questions pertinent to this discussion.


Quote:
Anyway, to answer some other questions:

Quote:
are you saying the Gospel message can be known without any one in the line of successive teachers ever knowing what scripture is in the first place?


Of course I am. Once again, SS does not say that knowledge of Scripture is a necessary condition for salvation. We are saved by grace, not by theological education. The issue of needing a preacher versed in Scripture is a practical one due to the way God has sovereignly chosen to make the world, and so we have Rom 10:14. But that's a practical point on the general rule and doesn't speak anything to the actual nature of the question itself.


Quote:
Quote:
Is scripture alone sufficient?
Or is it scripture merely materially sufficient?
Or is it sufficient by itself, but other entities are also sufficient by themselves?
Or is it back to the earlier definition: “all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture?”


I've already answered all of these. Look back on the last page at my words around "pertain to." Understood correctly, Scripture alone is sufficient, insofar as Scripture gives one adequate knowledge necessary for salvation. As Scripture is provided in human language, natural prerequisites apply, and those natural prerequisites are not themselves provided by Scripture. They are provided by reason.


Quote:
Quote:
But, it’s not only you that doesn’t know the Scripture – there no one else to read and tell you what the message is contained therein. Or are you trying to tell me that faith in Christ without even knowing what a Bible is in the first place (even your pastor) is now sufficient?


Once again, I don't know why you are having a hard time grasping this. The gospel <> the Canon of Scripture. You do not need the Canon to place your faith in Christ. All you need is someone to tell you that God became flesh in Christ, died for your sins, and rose three days later so that all who believe have everlasting life. That was what was preached before there even was a NT, and it is what we preach whether or not we have a NT.


Given these responses, is something else also sufficient alone to give “adequate knowledge of salvation?"



Quote:
Quote:
The very fact that someone can be saved without Scripture is proof that Scripture alone is not sufficient as there are other ways to communicate the Gospel and obtain true faith.

And that you keep making this argument is absolute and definitive proof that you do not understand SS. You sound like a young earth creationist insisting that evolution has to be wrong because we still have monkeys. You are creating problems that don't exist. Put more logically, you're trying to advance an reductio ad absurdem, but your absurd conclusion doesn't follow the premises of SS. You think it does, but you are wrong. So stop arguing and learn.


Perhaps it is difficult to learn due to the definition changes and resulting ambiguity.

Anyway, I do not see why this is so hard to grasp. An object that cannot interpret itself or identify itself is not logically “sufficient alone.”

Something has to tell you what it is – this renders it insufficient. Trusting in whatever tells you what the Bible is (rationalism, faith, tradition, guy on TV, your mom) breaks sufficiency alone. If you remove that source, then scripture goes away. It is reliant upon that source. Further, it cannot be sufficient alone for salvation as there are a myriad of interpretations that claim “do X to be saved” and “do not do Y, or you will be damned.” You can give a third different SS definition if you want, and maybe that can get around the problem.


Quote:
The jailer was saved through faith in Jesus. He didn't need one word of Scripture. Do you honestly believe that a single SS advocate would say that in order for the jailer to be saved, it is a necessary condition for him to have read Scripture? No one would say that. It doesn't follow from the premises of SS. It's a stupid argument, beneath you and your church. Stop it.


I have said “no” to this question before. Stop chasing the strawman.


Quote:
Alexandros -- hear me. There may be good arguments against SS but this nonsense about SS failing because it can't, as a matter of faith, produce a canon, is not it.


Quote:
Scripture alone is sufficient, insofar as Scripture gives one adequate knowledge necessary for salvation.


This sounds like materially sufficiency. If a thing is “sufficient alone” then it needs nothing else. If Scripture needs something else, to interpret and to identify it. It is not “sufficient alone” It’s very simple.

Is there another definition of “sufficient” and “alone”?


Quote:
You are making a mockery of your church. And that annoys me.


What can I say? I am a professional, after all. ::):


Quote:
Not a single person who has been saved was saved because they possess Scripture. Not a single one. And there have been plenty of Christians and indeed entire churches with no access to Scripture.


So, there is something else that give “adequate knowledge of salvation” apart from Scripture?


Quote:
Another common criticism around here is that non-Catholics tend to think church history went from the first one hundred years and then jumped fifteen hundred years forward straight to Luther. You seem to have forgotten, however, that there was a first hundred years! Do you really think those early churches had a canon of Scripture? The churches that Paul or James wrote to? Hint: they didn't have a NT because a NT did not exist yet, and yet those churches were filled with saved folk.


Yep, I talked about that page 2.


Quote:
For the ten millionth time, SS does not make knowledge of Scripture to be a necessary condition of salvation. No one has ever said it does. SS says that what Scripture does, in fact, say about salvation is sufficient to bring one to said salvation. If you don't address that, you're just building a straw man to burn down.


I think I see where this is going, but I am not sure - what is needed is probably an answer to my questions above in this post.

Previously you said:

Quote:
What you need is to hear the idea conveyed by Scripture -- you need to understand the gospel.


Actually, this is whee the confusion may lie. Do I need to hear the idea conveyed by scripture = need scripture to teach someone and then they convey the idea to me?

Or does it mean: need to know the Gospel in some way, which can come by people never actually accessing scripture in the first place?

If it is the latter, then that means something else is sufficient in conveying the Gospel – what it is?



Quote:
So fine. Catholicism is fine because you make Mary a part of the Trinity.

See how stupid that sounds? I wouldn't make that argument because it is beneath me to misrepresent your church. You should have the same self-respect and the same respect for your church not to represent her as so intellectually reprehensible.

Here’s what is going on:

1. Two different definitions of SS.

2. The use of words like “need,” sufficient” and “alone” where (I think) we are finding out that we don’t really “need” scripture and it “alone” is not “sufficient” – but we can keep using those words, because why not? “Sufficient alone” means that we must rely on something else, which means it’s not sufficient, but yet it is – at the same time.

3. The possibility of extra-Scriptural entity that also is sufficient in giving one “adequate knowledge necessary for salvation” – and if this thing is real, which you are alluding to (or perhaps not?), then that would render the “alone” portion moot (the opposite being merely sufficient, which is entirely different from sufficient alone).

So, what is stupid here? A strange arguemntation, the change in the definition of SS, and words that have a no real meaning, perhaps? How I am supposed to know exactly what is going on? I am not saying you are intentionally doing anything bad here, I just think SS puts you into a corner where this type of argumentation is necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:48 am 
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Alexandros wrote:
Here’s what is going on:

1. Two different definitions of SS.

2. The use of words like “need,” sufficient” and “alone” where (I think) we are finding out that we don’t really “need” scripture and it “alone” is not “sufficient” – but we can keep using those words, because why not? “Sufficient alone” means that we must rely on something else, which means it’s not sufficient, but yet it is – at the same time.

3. The possibility of extra-Scriptural entity that also is sufficient in giving one “adequate knowledge necessary for salvation” – and if this thing is real, which you are alluding to (or perhaps not?), then that would render the “alone” portion moot (the opposite being merely sufficient, which is entirely different from sufficient alone).

So, what is stupid here? A strange arguemntation, the change in the definition of SS, and words that have a no real meaning, perhaps? How I am supposed to know exactly what is going on? I am not saying you are intentionally doing anything bad here, I just think SS puts you into a corner where this type of argumentation is necessary.


Scripture... alone = (only) (by itself) (standing alone) (plus nothing) ... is sufficient.

IOW Scripture contains all necessary information. It is the tool sufficient to do the job. (of conveying the concept of salvation)

At the same time; The salient issue is getting people's attention to focus on salvation, not idolizing Scripture.

Jesus said (paraphrased) ... "You search the Scripture... The Scripture points to me." (the source of the information)

Scripture (standing) alone is a sufficient tool ... it is not the only tool (standing) alone that is sufficient to do the job of conveying the concept of salvation.

God is not limited to Scripture in getting the job done. Sola Scriptura does not imply that.

Other methods are just as sufficient.

Jesus performed miracles to bring people to believe. His actions later became part of Scripture ... but they were not part of the Canon of "Sola Scriptura" at the time. The Canon didnt exist.

God used an earthquake as well as Paul's testimony to get the jailer's attention and do the job.

In the experience I related above, God used a dream and my testimony to get the job done.

A word of knowledge was sufficient to convince Nathanial when Jesus said he saw him under the fig tree.

Sola Scriptura does not mean or imply "all or none".


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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:09 pm 
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Okay, Alexandros. I'm done arguing with a straw man. I have told you over and over and over again what SS is and what it is not. You keep coming back, in every single post, and telling me that I'm wrong about what SS is. I really don't care anymore. So to make you feel better, I've been wrong about what SS is my entire life. So was Martin Luther. So is Etcum. So is CC. So is everyone else. Apparently, SS holds that every single truth both pertaining to and necessary for salvation are explicitly stated in Scripture, up to and including those instructions as how to reason, how to read, grammatical and vocabulary lessons, background philosophy, cultural history, and all the rest. That is absolutely what Martin Luther and non-Catholics have always meant when we talk about SS. It doesn't matter that you've been told dozens of times that is not what we mean. In fact, either it is what we mean and we have been lying or else you understand what we mean better than we do. So I bow to you on your definition of SS. And bowing to your definition of SS, I reject SS with you. That's a stupid doctrine.

Having established that, you still haven't once commented on anything relevant to what I or other non-Catholics actually believe, so take your debate victory for whatever value you think it's worth.


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 Post subject: Re: hard to convince protestants sola scriptura is illogical
PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:03 pm 
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I think this thread has run its course. I'm not opposed to the topic coming up again, after the parties have had some time to digest and reflect.

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