2 thoughts on “Beautiful Heresy 101 – Revisiting Sola Scriptura: “Scripture Alone”

  1. “From 2, 3 and 4, we conclude that the “red letters” of the gospel (Words spoken by Jesus) are literally words coming from the mouth of God verbatim, and are therefore inspired.”

    This seems awkward if not confusing. When God speaks God is the one speaking so there is no need to say His words are “inspired”. When we say the words in the Bible are inspired we are referring to those words written by men, i.e. not the Gospels but the other books.

    It is odd that you assert that reason and experience are paramount for the Catholic Church as much that they cling to in their Tradition is not based on reason and experience (as in the collective experience of mankind). The Church early on took positions based on what we now know to be an erroneous understanding of human reproduction, for example. As well, the Church’s longstanding sexual pessimism and hatred of pleasure (the Church anathematized any who dare to assert that the married state is equal in God’s eyes to the celibate state at Trent (1545 – 1563)) comes from ancient pagan schools of thought (Gnostics, Stoics, Manicheans) that Augustine and others (Jerome) bought into in the late 4th century. Hence, what the Catholic Church tells us is the Christian understanding of human sexuality and marriage is based in no small part on ancient pagan schools of thought, and is not authentically Christian. Once the Church runs with something it becomes Tradition and can never be examined critically or questioned.

    Christ did found the Catholic Church and the Church does have authority from Him. But, Christ did not give the Church a license to abuse its authority. Sadly, the human run institution has at times abused its authority.

    You did a good job with your analysis above, and I am not attacking you or your positions. In my research of Church history and its positions, I have found things that cause me problems. My hope is that the Catholic Church can become a greater force for good in the world and become more effective in spreading the Gospel. But, the Church does make mistakes both in the what and in the how it communicates its teachings.

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    • “Once the Church runs with something it becomes Tradition and can never be examined critically or questioned.” – This is not quite accurate. There are degrees of certainty for all the different doctrines within the tradition. A German priest called Ludwig Ott did a survey of the entire tradition and categorised all the doctrines as either infallible or different degrees of fallible. Only about 250 doctrines came up as infallible in his analysis (note: his analysis is incomplete because nowhere in his book does he mention the canon of scripture, but this is a de fide Catholic dogma). In any case, the point is that there isn’t much that can’t be questioned in Catholicism, and even the stuff that is infallible can be questioned, so long as you don’t flatly deny it.

      “But, the Church does make mistakes both in the what and in the how it communicates its teachings.” – If you’ve read the rest of the posts on this blog (and it seems that you yourself have indeed paid pretty close attention!) you will discover that I actually agree with you on this one. I believe that the church is infallible in incredibly limited circumstances (basically, only when it defines dogmas) and beyond that everything it says is fallible and up for debate. Furthermore, I am convinced that the Catholic church has lost it’s grasp of the core gospel message (Which I take to be an eclectic synthesis between current Catholic theology, Orthodox spirituality, Universal predestination and the Lutheran construal of Sola Fide as trust in a sacramental and unconditional promise of salvation) and would like to do my part to bring this message back to the forefront of the faith

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