Christian Apologetic Index
David G. Nesbitt - Kelowna, British Columbia
Sola Gratia, Sola Fide... Sola Scriptura, Tota Scriptura... Solus Christus, Soli Deo GloriaHome / Disclaimer ...
I am simply a non-professional minister!
I do not represent any one particular theological school of thought nor do I present any one particular denominational position. As a matter of fact, I seriously doubt that any one denomination out there would agree with the entirety of everything I have written and the conclusions thereof. However, I am bound to both spiritual integrity and intellectual honesty and therefore I cannot "sell out" to any one particular pet denomination nor can I in good conscience abide by the inconsistencies that I have discovered in the various things I have been taught by particular denominations.
When it comes to matters of religious truth, the final court of arbitration is not -- and must not be -- the ecclesiastical clergy but rather the Word of God. Natural truth is defined as "that which corresponds with reality." Religious truth must be defined as "that which corresponds with scripture." Now I understand that some ecclesiastical authorities object to the tenet of sola scriptura (e.g. Roman Catholicism) but that forces me to ask, "Why?" If what is being taught corresponds with the truth as it is contained in the Word of God, why the apprehension?
Unless, perhaps, they think I am too ignorant to read and understand the Bible. That's a baseless and unwarranted insult, but quite probable. Maybe they're worried about accountability? They're worried I might misinterpret some particular passage and jeopardize not only my salvation but that of whoever I present it to? Unnecessary concern, for as you can see, I constantly subject myself to the criticism of the common man like myself, ministers, pastors, priests, theologians... anyone that reads my material. I am fully accountable to everyone, not just one particular ecclesiastical body. One can't get much more accountable than that.
But in my experience, I have found that churches tend to be apprehensive about being placed in subjection to the Word of God when they want to teach something that either finds no basis in scripture or finds precious little basis. Or, like the Jehovah's Witnesses, they'll encourage their adherents to read the Bible as long as you use the translation their organization has personally doctored.
Here is a good question to ask yourself, to shed light on the validity of sola scriptura: If all of the clergy the world over vanished and all we had left was the Bible, could a person find the truth of salvation within its pages? Absolutely.All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. [2 Tim. 3:16-17; emphasis supplied]Where applicable, the results of my research are grounded in sola scriptura (scripture alone), and the exegetical interpretation of this material is the byproduct of tota scriptura (all of scripture) -- that is to say, my understanding of God, his will for us, and our salvation is not derived from random proof-texts but from the entirety of scripture. I believe that scripture stands as a whole, and our understanding of one part must be consistent with everything else that scripture says on that subject, or consistent with the character of God as revealed elsewhere in Scripture.
You will sometimes find that I'll quote patristic writings or contemporary theologians, philosophers, and apologists in my articles. This is not because I am somehow seeking authoritative validation from these writings but rather because I am attempting to demonstrate that my conclusions are robust and influenced by some of the greatest minds of our time.
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect, had intended for us to forgo their use.
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.
__Pope John Paul II
Reason is the presupposition of faith, and faith is the fulfillment of reason.
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Copyright © 2003 by David G. Nesbitt. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. Inquiries should be addressed to Christian Apologetic Index, 1424 Bertram Street, Kelowna, British Columbia, V1Y-2G2