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AUTHORITY-

Some of the controversy I see in the multitude of topics in blogs, forums and groups in this communityof believers (which is totally normal in such setting) I find are due to the claim of many that the Bible is the only Authorithy that we should follow or be submissive to.

What does God and the History of the Church say about this? Apart from God's direct instructions in the word what else has God given authority and hence trust worthy to be follow?

Please share.

WE ALL AGREE IN THIS SITE ON SOLA SCRIPTURA!

This Latin phrase which translated means "Scripture alone" is the starting place for our discusson, but before we consider what this means, let’s consider what it does not mean.

It does not mean that the Bible is the only place where truth can be found.

It does not mean that the Bible is equally clear to all people.

It does not mean that the instruction of Church is not helpful and authoritative.

It does mean however, that the Scriptures are our only ultimate and infallible authority for faith and practice. We are not talking here however about "solo Scriptura" which might be what we would call those who want themselves to be the only teachers (the "just-gimme-me-and-my-Bible" group) and to repudiate all others. We are however saying that the Scriptures are our final authority and that they are infallible. All other authorities, even though equally as valid, are subordinate to the Scriptures and are fallible.

"14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:14-17 NKJV

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Replies to This Discussion

Poemia - Amen bro - well said.

Nothing compares to the knowledge and wisdom we gain through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. He leads us to all truth. Throughout history we see men who have been well studied and anointed by God due to the personal relationship they had attained with him; we have seen these men be use marvelously. Man like St. Augustine, Luther etc; but we also have men that though they did not have an academic back ground the shine of God in their lives is undeniable.

A.W. Tozer became an editor for a publishing house, having only a 6 grade education, but an amazing fellowship with God. Through his bible studies and reading biblical books God build him up into a power house theologian.

Matteo

Thank you for being tender towards Holy Ghost

 

25 God's purpose was that the body should not be divided but rather that all of its parts should feel the same concern for each other.  26 If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts share its suffering.  If one part is praised, all the others share in its happiness.  1Cor 12:25-26 GWT

Patience, Grace, & a True Love for each other. We grow as One we go as One.

Please share

Sola Scriptura, I joined that group many moons ago. :o) I almost forgot about it !!! Maybe i should go check it out... if i still remember my passwords etc. ja ja ja.

Apostle Paul was quite clear when He commanded us all to check what is being said against the sripture to make sure that it lines up with scripture. Where it does not - we are commanded to reject it. He even goes on to say that even if an angel comes preaching a word which does not line up with the Word of God - then  reject it.

 

After being on the mission field now for more than 40 years, one of the sad things I find in churches across the world today is that congregations tend to believe everything that is spoken from the pulpit, never taking the time to verify it for themselves against the Word of God. They become "spoon fed Christians".

This leads to problems, because if the word is wrong, they still believe and get "spiritual  sickness" because God cannot bless any word which is not lining up with the Word of God.

The challenge for a site like this is to put the word out there, in such a way that it is easily understood, easily verifiable against the Word of God, so that the Body of Christ can all come the level of maturity and fullnes of stature which is in Christ Jesus, as referred to in Ephesians chapter 4.

If you want to know more about where I am coming from in relation to Scripture, please visit my website at www.cammbooks.com.au where Christian books and Christian teaching material is available free of charge, so that people all over the world can be challenged to learn more about God and His glorious kingdom, which dwells within us.

Musings on Sola Scriptura

David,

I like your posted summary of the tenets of Sola Scriptura (Latin for "Scripture alone"), one of the key reforms ushered in by the Reformation.  It encapsulates my view of the Holy Scriptures.  As the inspired Word of God, they are reliable and trustworthy as the final authority in matters of faith, morals and practice.  The Bible makes such bold claims and they hold up under close scrutiny.  All of the sacred writings that comprise the canon of Scripture, written by many authors over a period of many hundreds of years, hold together well and present us with a cogent and coherent story of God's plan from beginning to end and everything we need to know for our salvation.

 

I like the way you distinguished "Sola Scriptura" from "Solo Scriptura."  The latter is a dangerous perversion.  It holds that each of us can properly interpret the Bible individually--Scripture alone by me alone.  Such private interpretations can only lead to a host of doctrinal errors by "lone ranger" Christians and division within the Church.  As you have said elsewhere, there is only one correct interpretation of Scripture, and that is the one that is true to the original intended meaning of the author.  

As Dr. Keith Mathieson, with Ligonier Ministries (R.C. Sproul), writes in an article in Modern Reformation, "Solo Scriptura,what a difference a vowel makes."  It makes us Gods unto ourselves.  You can read Mathison's article here:

http://www.modernreformation.org/default.php?page=articledisplay&am... >.

People often confuse interpretation with application.  A passage can have only one correct interpretation, but many applications depending on our individual circumstances.  

 

I also see the logic behind your statement that "the Bible is not the only place where truth can be found."   For example, we can see the evidence of God's amazing creative power of  the world, Sun, moon and universe around us and in the complexity and diversity of life forms. In this, as Scripture says, God has revealed himself to everyone.

The Bible is like a "statute of limitations" or final court of appeal to which we submit in order to settle issues regarding faith, morals and practice.  For example, the Bible doesn't specify how often we are to celebrate the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion.  Therefore, we have liberty in this matter, which is reflected in the varied practices of churches--from weekly to monthly to annually.

Questions concerning the Bible's origin and authority are extremely important to the Christian.  If the Bible is divine in origin, although written by men chosen and guided by the Holy Spirit in what they wrote, then we can know it is reliable and trustworthy.  That being true, we can know that God speaks to us through the Scriptures.

But, if the Bible is human in origin, it becomes a collection of stories that tell us how an ancient people understood God.  It is not authoritative, universal or timeless in its application.  The Bible becomes, as  as one person in the Forum wrote in a discussion about biblical authority, "a word about God" rather than the "word of God."  Huge difference.  

If human in origin, the Bible becomes little more than a collection of fairy tales with a good moral about people that lived on a small strip of land on the Eastern Mediterranean more than 20 centuries ago.

Where things become especially problematic is when people contend that the Bible is of mixed human and divine origin.  If so, how can we possibly know which thoughts are Gods and separate those from the opinions of fallible human writers?   How could God have allowed such confusion to come into his sacred writings?  What a mess!  So, in the final analysis, the Bible is either "the word of God" or "a word about God."  It's an either-or proposition.

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