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Archive for the ‘Sola Scriptura’ Category

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About five months ago I shared on our blog a dissertation titled “The Self-Attestation of Scripture as the Proper Ground for Systematic Theology” that was completed at Southern Seminary.  Personally I find the self-attestation of Scripture to be a fascinating doctrine that has tremendous implications for how we do theology, counsel believers, evangelize non-believers and present an apologetics to those who ask for the reason for the hope that we have.

Today I want to share a thesis that was completed for a Masters of Arts that was completed over at Reformed Theological Seminary.  It is titled “The Self-Attesting Nature of the New Testament Canon” and written by John Gordon Duncan.  Duncan takes the approach of exploring how the self-attesting nature of Scripture has its contribution towards the canonicity discussion.  In his introduction he writes the following summary:

For the purposes of this paper, the canonization of the New Testament will be explored by examining the subject of criteria, including the early Fathers’ perception of scripture, inspiration, and apostolicity, with an emphasis on the self-authenticating nature of the New Testament. By taking a self-authenticating approach, such language as Eugene Ulrich uses when he talks of, “the historical development by which the oral and written literature…was handed on, revised, and transformed into the scriptures,”9 will be avoided. The scriptures were handed down. However, a revision or transformation from letter to scripture cannot be supported. Once that fact is established, this paper will offer a summary of the various lists and collections that led to the recognition in the late fourth century that the canon was closed.

For the PDF of this thesis click HERE.

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I like the picture above.  It shows a Roman Catholic nun, throwing a snow ball at another Roman Catholic nun.  I think that pictures capture the idea I wish to convey of Roman Catholic’s argument being self-defeating (or self- “owning” if you will).

If you have been following Veritas Domain last week, you would notice that there has been comments made by various Roman Catholics against Sola Scriptura.  Some made the suggestion that one should embrace the Roman Catholic Church over Sola Scriptura, in order to preserve doctrinal and practical unity.  The fact that Protestants are not monolithic has been brought up as evidence of the failure of Sola Scriptura.  Assuming the Roman Catholic method for the sake of argument that if a theological method cannot keep unity of doctrines and practices ought to be rejected, what does this mean for Roman Catholicism in light of this recent news?

May this recent news put things in perspective of the Vatican cracking down on the biggest association of nuns in America.

The Vatican orthodoxy watchdog announced Wednesday a full-scale overhaul of the largest umbrella group for nuns in the United States, accusing the group of taking positions that undermine Roman Catholic teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality while promoting “certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

An American archbishop was appointed to oversee reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which will include rewriting the group’s statutes, reviewing all its plans and programs — including approving speakers — and ensuring the organization properly follows Catholic prayer and ritual.

The Leadership Conference, based in Silver Spring, Md,, represents about 57,000 religious sisters and offers programs ranging from leadership training for women’s religious orders to advocacy on social justice issues. Representatives of the Leadership Conference did not respond to requests for comment.

The report from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the organization faced a “grave” doctrinal crisis, in which issues of “crucial importance” to the church, such as abortion and euthanasia, have been ignored. Vatican officials also castigated the group for making some public statements that “disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops,” who are the church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals.”

Church officials did not cite a specific example of those public statements, but said the reform would include a review of ties between the Leadership Conference and NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby. NETWORK played a key role in supporting the Obama administration‘s health care overhaul despite the bishops’ objections that the bill would provide government funding for abortion. The Leadership Conference disagreed with the bishops’ analysis of the law and also supported President Barack Obama’s plan.

….CONTINUE HERE

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Latest Trinity Review feature portions from a new reprint of Gordon Clark’s “In Defense of Theology” that is now published by John Robbins of Trinity Foundation

See the Trinity Review in PDF file here:

http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/270-InDefenseofTheology.pdf

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This debate between Eric Svendsen and Mitchell Pacwa is on the subject of Sola Scriptura vs Sola Ecclesia.

HT: Rhoblogy (a review of the debate is posted as well)

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