Sunday, November 7, 2010
Theology: Sola Scriptura?
Taken to this extreme, "sola scriptura" becomes utterly absurd. Scripture, authority tradition and reason are all important parts of proper theology. Protestant tradition holds scripture to be primary, but it cannot logically be untangled from the other threads.
New Testament scripture was written by Apostles, or those who directly knew Apostles. In time, these works were taken up by the majority of the church, and eventually canonized. The canonizing of these works was not random, but based on certain criteria, namely, the aforementioned apostolic authorship, general acceptance by the church, and, additionally, consistency with the whole of scripture.
So what do we have here? Scripture is first written by foundational authorities (however inspired by the Holy Spirit), then enters into the church by tradition, and finally validated by further authorities on the basis of good reason.
Thus, though we should indeed hold tradition, authority and reason to be subservient to scripture, to reject them, one truly must reject scripture. The Bible is part of our world, part of our history, an incarnate presentation of the word of God, and it cannot be removed from that fact.
1. This post is modified from a comment I made in a thread on Facebook.