Friday, 16 April 2010

Sola: Part II

Pastor Parcel:

Scripture is sufficient, in that there is nothing else that man needs to know for salvation, faith and the knowledge of God but what is given in Scripture. Christ warns us of the fallible and sinful traditions of men and the vain philosophies of the world. Matt 15.6 and Col 2.8

I reply:

There are two sentences here which treat of different things:
1) Your claim of the all-encompassing sufficiency of scripture.
2) Your contrasting of scripture with ‘traditions of men’ etc.
Now, presumably, you have added the second sentence on man-made traditions in order to qualify the point made in your first sentence which is the subject of the question you are supposed to be answering. In effect, you are aiming to demonstrate that scripture gives us everything we need, and, therefore we have no need of any extra-scriptural paradosis to add to, or compliment the teachings found in scripture, and, indeed, further than that, anything man may add would be a negative tradition or born of a fallible philosophy which would be detrimental to the truth and integrity of the divine revelation. Let’s deal with these claims one at a time.

1) Ok, so you give a definition here of sufficiency, but I already understand the implications of sufficiency – what I’m asking for is demonstrable, scriptural support for it. Again, where is this stated in scripture itself?

2) Let’s begin with the scripture quotations you give to illustrate the fact that Christ warns against the ‘traditions of men’ etc. Firstly, you cite Matt 15.6: 'So, for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.' (RSV) 'Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.' (KJV) (I am quoting all scriptural passages both from the RSV - Revised Standard Version - and KJV - King James Version - just in case Pastor Parcel is one of those protestants who only recognise the validity of the KJV translation) To put this scriptural passage in context, Christ is here, in Matthew 15: 1-9, criticising the Pharisaic ‘Korban’ rule which was a dishonest ruse in which the money of the individual could be ‘dedicated’ to the Temple leaving that same individual, technically, without any money of their own and so exempt from providing financial support to their parents if they happen to be in any need. In spite of these funds being ‘Temple property’ the reality was that the individual still had access to this money and, therefore, it was no more than a get-out clause which violated the commandment to honour one’s father and mother. But does this mean that Christ was denigrating all tradition or just those concocted by men in order, as Christ says, to nullify the word of God? Is tradition always cast in a negative light and criticised in scripture, and for that matter, is ‘philosophy’ always cast negatively also? Let’s explore that, shall we? How about 2 Thessalonians 2:15: 'So then, brethren, stand firm and hold on to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter' (RSV). 'Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (KJV). Or 2 Thessalonians 3:6: 'Now we Command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us' (RSV). 'Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us' (KJV). Just two examples from the letters to the Thessalonians alone – the first in which they are exhorted to guard and abide by both the oral and written traditions which had been imparted to them. The second in the form of a command which appeals, again, for adherence to the tradition transmitted to the faithful there. Are these negative or are they regarded as equally as binding upon the faithful as scripture? To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment