Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rhology's answer to my third cross-ex question

Read it here.


  1. I'm very sorry Rhoblogy disabled the comments section on this most recent cross-ex answer.

    I hoped to point out to him that
    1) not only did the Apostles not "practice" Sola Scriptura, but they did not (and could not) believe it or teach it. It was therefore not part of the "Faith once for all delivered" and so it had to be an innovation. I truly don't see any other explanation, and Rhoblogy does not provide one.
    2) No one denies that the Apostles had authoritative, inspired Scriptures. In fact the EOC confirms this over and over and over again in the Liturgy and the prayers and the hymns, etc. We know that the Apostles appealed to the Scriptures. What Scriptures? The Old Testament. If the Apostles had believed and taught Sola Scriptura, then they had to have been refering to the OT, in which case we have no business treating the New Testament as sacred scripture.
    3) To my knowledge (I could be wrong), the EOC does not refer to itself as the "Mother" of the Old Testament. Nor does it claim to have preceeded the OT. But it did write, compile, and approve the New Testament canon.
    4) I don't really see how his point #2 contradicts the EOC position.
    5) To his point #3: That is the way Church Tradition circulated. It is apparently very difficult for the Sola Scriptura crowd to understand that Tradition is simply the teaching of the Church as revealed by the Holy Spirit. That includes the Bible!!! The Bible isn't different from it or separate from it or contrary to it; it's part of it.
    6) Re the section on King Josiah: How does this support SS? Is anyone denying that someone can't receive enlightenment by reading Scripture?
    7) Re the Council of Nicaea paragraph: unless I'm mistaken, the Church entered its "normative state" on day 1 when the "Faith [was] once for all delivered."
    8) I don't believe he's demonstrated that the Orthodox way is "novel" and his way is "far more ancient." It's very easy to say that; it's something else to show it. He has not.
    9) Is the EOC "Sola Ecclesist"? Is it "Sola" anything?
    10) Neither the Scriptures nor the Church are the "source of divine revelation." The Holy Spirit is. He happens to use the Church and the Scriptures to reveal the Truth of Christ.

    That's just my two cents. Please forgive my intrusion.

  2. Matt:

    All excellent points -- I appreciate this.

    Rhology and I agreed to shut down comments on our individual post entries and direct them all to a single thread. I'd love to have you re-post this there so that Rhology can see it. The comment thread is here.

  3. Thanks David. Didn't know that was there. I'll read it first (it's very long) to make sure I'm not repeating what's already been written.

  4. Rhoblogy seems not to understand that scripture itself is a written tradition. It's not one unity, it's a set of scrolls....The scrolls that were consistent with what was handed down from the apostles (i.e. tradition), were in common usage and gradually became normative. Those that contradicted what was handed down or didn't have high esteem did not. The church gradually arrived at a common cannon. There was no council that decided the cannon.

    I don't know the reason why the EOC has more books than the RCC (I'm guessing either Jerome didn't manage to copy all the Septuagint books, or some books just weren't as esteemed in the West as in the East) but the fact that there is a difference, is not a major concern any more than the fact that the EOC has fewer books than the OOC, and most Church Fathers used fewer *New Testament* books than any Christian church today.

    What counted with the tradition. If the teachings were orthodox and consistent with tradition, then the books were valid since they were able to be interpreted properly through the tradition.

    I don't think that the EOC or OOC ever formally defined the cannon. Somehow (i.e. the Holy Spirit) a de facto cannon emerged.

    Rhoblogy might point out to the Council of Trent (for the RCC) as defining the cannon, but it didn't. It just restated whatever everyone already knew. It was a response to the Protestants who wanted to do the same as Marcion of Sinope did...remove any scripture that contradicted what they wanted to teach. Fortunately Luther didn't have the guts to remove "the gospel of straw" James.

    Similarly, the Church didn't just decide at a council that the Trinity existed. It was handed down from day one and only codified at a council because heretics wanted to say that because scripture didn't explicitly say that the Trinity existed, therefore they could trust "scripture alone" (i.e. their reduced cannon) to prove whatever they wanted.


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