If Jesus is Lord of His church; if the text of Scripture is uniquely from God, such that God speaks in human language; if Christ’s Spirit can make His human words intelligible to human beings; if human beings can, under the guidance of the Spirit, speak God’s words accurately and intelligibly to the church – then sola scriptura follows. Denying sola scriptura entails denial of one or more of those conditionals: God can’t in fact speak without distortion in human language; or Scripture is not uniquely God’s Word in human words; or Jesus is a titular but not a living Lord of His church.
—Peter J. Leithart in “Conversation or Monologue?” (Read the full article for a thoughtful position on sola scriptura.)
It works. God has in fact spoken against the tradition. It’s a contested, raucous process. It always is. But it happens. It happened in the Roman Catholic church in the past century as theologians cut through thickets of misleading quasi-Thomism to get back to Thomas, to the church fathers, to Scripture itself. Speaking as an outsider, and a Protestant to boot, ressourcesement looks a lot like God speaking against a powerful tradition to purify His church, often speaking through theologians interpreting Scripture. Can anyone doubt that the Catholic Church has gotten better at talking Bible over the last century? Which might make the Roman Catholic Church one of today’s most compelling proofs of Protestant convictions concerning sola scriptura.
deserves adequate housing and food, a just wage, and the right to life, happiness, peace, and justice. Vibrant parishes unite the
members of its community to the larger human family through works of charity …a parish must develop a sense of solidarity
with the human family…A vibrant parish is always realistic about what it can do. But it is always willing to challenge itself.” —Bishop Paul Bootkowski, Diocese of Metuchen, from his pastoral letter “On a Vibrant Parish Community.” (via getmetoanunnery)
I am grateful to be part of a church that recognizes God’s call to ordained ministry in the lives of people without regard to sexual orientation, and I am proud to be in a church that is on the verge of authorizing trial-use liturgies for blessing same-sex relationships. If the blessing liturgy in the “Blue” Book comes up for a vote as is, I will certainly vote for it. However, I am disappointed by much of what I will vote to support. My qualms are not with the intention of the text, but with the text itself.
—The Rev. Scott Gunn in “Blogging “Blue”: Same-sex blessings” (Read the full article for a series of insights into the problems with the proposed rites.)
Same-sex couples should not need to wait while the church gets its act together, nor should they be punished by the failure of a standing commission to do the thing it was asked to do. So for that reason, I will vote for these trial-use liturgies. But we have work to do! This work will benefit all couples, same-sex or opposite-sex and, indeed, the whole church.
Paul didn’t treat the Bible the way mainstream Evangelicalism says you need to.
The way Paul handled his Bible–what we call the Old Testament – would keep him off the short list for openings to teach Bible in many Evangelical seminaries and Christian colleges. Heck, John Piper, John MacArthur, and R. C. Sproul probably wouldn’t let Paul lead a home Bible study, at least not without supervision.
Here is the main reason why:
For Evangelicals, the Old Testament leads to the Gospel story. For Paul, the Old Testament is transformed by the Gospel.
For Evangelicals, the Old Testament, read pretty much at face value, anticipates Jesus. For Paul, the Old Testament is reshaped in order to conform to Jesus.
For Evangelicals, the Bible is God’s final authority. For Paul, Jesus is the final authority to which the Bible must bend.” —Peter Enns in “Would Paul Have Made a Good Evangelical?”
So ask yourself: If it turned out that Jesus is risen but Darwin was right about human origins after all, would you give up your faith? If it turned out that Jesus was risen but Protestantism was wrong and Catholicism or Orthodoxy was right (or the other way around), would you opt to become an atheist? If it turned out that Jesus is risen and that the New Perspective is more right than wrong about Paul, would that be grounds to abandon Christianity altogether? If it turned out that Jesus is risen but the doctrine of predestination is true (or false!), would you see no more point in following Christ? If it turned out that Jesus is risen but Genesis 1-11 is ancient Near Eastern mythology, would you apostasy? If it turned out that Jesus is risen but Mark and Luke made historical slips here and there and Jonah was actually a non-historical children’s story, would your faith be in vain?
—David Williams in “Credo: ‘He was raised on the third day’”
Here’s the kicker: If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, not only are you needlessly worrying yourself over secondary matters, you may have adopted “another gospel.”