Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Juxtaposition: Scripture Sufficient for Salvation

A husband shocked a Manhattan, N.Y., court by giving his wife's murderer a Bible and encouraging him to save his soul, the New York Post reported on Tuesday: "Just read this Bible, and come to him (Jesus), and save your soul..." he told the convicted killer.
(Source: The New York Post, 13 April, 2010)

"I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: Just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing, – the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. He has written it down in a book. Oh, give me that book!"
John Wesley (1703-1791)

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple (Psalm 19:7).


Matthias said...

Pastor on Sunday we had a sermon by one of our members- a Mexican born woman,once a dentist,now an evangelist.she made the point that being born in a Latin Catholic country ,there was more emphasis upon
- fulfilling all the criteria for the sacraments "tick the boxes"were her words ,than being taught the Scripture
-that she loved to hear the Storoes of Jesus when read out by the nuns but that was not often.
-she concentrated upon not committing mortal sins but not too worried about the minor ones UNTIL
she was about to marry a South african who's parents were Christians and they told her all she needed to do was to confess her sins-no difference between them-and accept Christ as Saviour. when she read the Bible before hand she got confused but trusting in the Holy Spirit after conversion made the Gospel come alive.

Cardinal Pole said...

But ... sola Scriptura is not in Scripture.

'acroamaticus' said...

Do you have any evidence for your assertion?
Thanks in anticipation.

Cardinal Pole said...

"Do [I] have any evidence for [my] assertion?"

The New Atheists are wrong about many things, but they are quite right about how it can be difficult to prove a negative. In order for me to prove the negative proposition "sola Scriptura is not in Scripture" I would have to go through every single verse of every single chapter of the Bible (on whose contents we don't even agree!), and then, having explained how each part does not prove sola Scriptura, I would have to write a long essay about how the whole does not prove sola Scriptura either.

Remember also that it is your proposition (namely, that "Scripture [is] Sufficient for Salvation" which is affirmative, whereas mine is negative, and 'he who affirms must prove', as the maxim goes. So you give me the evidence for your assertion, and I'll show you how it doesn't prove sola Scriptura.

(I must admit, though, that I do have a trump card up my sleeve, but I don't want to play it yet; I'm well within my rights to stick to the principle that 'he who affirms must prove', and we'll see how things go from there.)

'acroamaticus' said...

OK Reginald, let me frame it this way: Prove that whatever authority it is that you wish to add to God's Word written - tradition, church fathers, Pope, whatever - is both legitimate and able to serve as such an authority in practice. But perhaps before you answer we should determine just what it is that is at issue; it is that scripture is sufficient for salvation, yes?

Cardinal Pole said...

"But perhaps before you answer we should determine just what it is that is at issue; it is that scripture is sufficient for salvation, yes?"

Yes, of course, which is why your immediately preceding request is a red herring, and one which, though I'm capable of answering (and would, in a different discussion, be eager to answer!), would prefer not too, since the matter at hand is the sufficiency of Scripture; you could quite easily refute any proof I would advance in answer to your request simply by giving me your (Scriptural) sola Scriptura proof-texts.

'acroamaticus' said...

Very well, since you apparently do not accept argument based upon scripture, how about a thetical statement: Since everything asserted by the inspired writers must be held to be asserted by the Holy Spirit, it follows that the books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation.

Cardinal Pole said...

"since [I] apparently do not accept argument based upon scripture"

A laughable slur; I accept argument based on Scripture (but not Scripture alone), and a Scriptural proof for sola Scriptura is precisely what I want from you.

Also, the conclusion to your thetical statement is a tautology: What you say is that the books of Scripture are the sacred writings, with which no Catholic will disagree; all you're saying is 'by Scripture', not 'by Scripture alone'. What you need to say is

"the books of Scripture alone must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error all that truth which God wanted us to have for the sake of salvation"

Note that I have deleted the words "put into sacred writings", thus rectifying the tautology (since the Catholic contention is that some Revelation is contained in the sacred writings, and some of it in unwritten Tradition), and added the words "alone" and "all", in order to be perfectly explicit. That thesis is what you need to prove, and, naturally, from Scripture.

'acroamaticus' said...

You've been hoisted on your own petard, Reginald. My words were a quote from the Vatican II document Dei Verbum.

Rick said...

"Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:30-31). Therefore, the Book of John is sufficient for salvation.

"Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him ..." (Romans 16:25-26). Therefore, the "prophetic writings" sufficiently reveal and make known the gospel of Christ for salvation. The prophets and apostles wrote "by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe."

Furthermore, even before Romans, Moses and the Prophets alone were sufficient for salvation. (Luke 16:27-31). If they didn't believe based on Moses and the Prophets, then not even Christ rising from the dead would save them. And now because of Christ risen from the dead "we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place" (2 Peter 1:19).

God's word is a light that gives understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:105, 130). However, the blind grope around and claim it is still dark. Everyone who claims that God's word is not a beacon of shining light that illuminates, enlivens, regenerates, and saves for eternal life is spiritually blind. However, only the blind follow the blind, while those who see praise the Lord, and find better guides.

'acroamaticus' said...

@ Rick

Good point about Moses and the prophets, Rick.