Sunday, February 26, 2017

Answering Practical Objections To Sola Scriptura

  • Is Sola Scriptura Based On Circular Reasoning?:
          -This objection would hold water if, and only if, adherents were to argue for belief in the divine inspiration of Scripture solely on the basis of what Scripture says about itself. That would be a fallacious claim by reason of being a viciously circular argument.
          -Arguments giving credence to the inspiration of Scripture:
            *Excellent moral teaching/life transforming power of Scripture
            *Incredible manuscript evidence for the authenticity of New Testament Scriptures
            *Consistency with world history/archaeological discoveries. If the four gospels for instance can be shown to be as reliable (or even more so than) as extra-biblical authors such as Plutarch, Josephus, and Tacitus, then we must accept Jesus Christ as being the Son of God. Radical skepticism toward the text would not be appropriate in that instance.
            *Scripture's fulfillment of prophecy points to its supernatural origin
          -If the Bible is truly the Word of God, then it follows from that premise everything set forth by that standard must also be true. That would not be circular, but sequential thinking.
          -Sola Scriptura is not a denial of the usefulness of extra-biblical sources. It does not mean we cannot consult material outside of Bible.
          -Some degree of circularity will always exist in the operational processes of any system that functions on the basis of an ultimate source of authority. It does not matter whether whether it be Catholic, Protestant, or secular. 
  • High Illiteracy Rates In The Early Church: 
          -Being illiterate does not mean that a person is dumb or has less of an ability to understand concepts. Sola Scriptura was still possible for the early Christians because:
            *Scripture can be taught orally by those who are literate.
            *Scripture can still be memorized or recited from memory.
            *Scripture can still be studied, though it may take more time to grasp the meaning behind certain passages of Scripture.
            *The Scriptures were read in the Synagogues and churches. In fact, the heretics of the early church would use Scripture to engage Christians.
          -The fact that persecution of Christians in the early church was problematic for the spread of the gospel did not reduce the importance of the unconverted hearing that message. In similar fashion, illiteracy rates would indeed be a problem for the study of Scripture. But at the same time, that point does nothing to lessen the authority of Scripture.
          -If the Jesus Christ passed on infallible, extra-biblical oral traditions that were meant to be heard by us, then what about the people who are deaf? If illiteracy rates disqualify Scripture from functioning as the only infallible rule of faith, then is the Roman Catholic "three-legged stool" disqualified because deaf people cannot hear oral teaching?
  • Malnutrition In The Early Church:
          -Even if this is true, everybody in the church at this point in time had essentially the same diet. It takes no more nourishment to understand teachings found in a catechism than it does to understand passages of Scripture.
          -In order to refute Sola Scriptura, one has to demonstrate that the principle somehow conflicts with Scripture. The authority of Scripture is not determined by our intelligence. The authority of Scripture is not determined by our health. The authority of Scripture is not determined by its availability. Scripture is inherently authoritative because it is God-breathed.

No comments: