Author Topic: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?  (Read 3407 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Volnutt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,615
  • Torn apaaaht
  • Faith: Semi-Evangelical
  • Jurisdiction: Might become Orthodox
Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« on: March 19, 2012, 05:39:42 PM »
It sure seems that way to me. Each of them: Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Christus, Sola Gratia, and Soli Deo Gloria all arose as privations, limitations,and denials or some real or imagined practice or teaching of the Roman Catholic Church (and, based on the Tubingen corresponence, we can say they are negations of Eastern Orthodox claims as well).

Since a negative cannot be proven, it seems to me that the Five Solas are dead on arrival. Since it is only with the Reformation that we find them explicitly articulated, any attempt to claim that the Early Church taught them is by definition unprovable. Sure, there are passages of Scripture and statements of the Fathers which seem to fit with Protestant theology better than RCC/Oriental/Eastern Orthodox theology (I lumb them together because the Five Solas more or less apply to them equally) but ultimately the most that can be done is to say that these are mere curiosities and difficulties for the RCC/Oriental/Eastern Orthodox because the burden of proof on the Five Solas is so large as to be insurmountable both by virtue of their nature as negative true claims and by virtue of their historical "lateness to the party."

It seems to me therefore that when you take a "bird's eye" view of Church History, the priniciples of the Reformation lose by default and the only theological disputes that remain are those within and between the various ancient churches.

A possible argument against this that I can see revolves around the accusation that I am assuming a priori that "ancient Christianity"= "modern RCC/Oriental/Eastern Orthodox Christianity." I suppos it could be argued that the correct procedure would be to draw a giant "question mark" over the beliefs of the earliest Christians and attempt to cull their beliefs from Scripture and the earliest Fathers without reference to later theology or history. The objection which I have to this view is that I quite simply don't believe that there is any such thing as a "plain meaning" to Scripture which can be said to exist outside of the Churches which have developed historically. In my opinion, God designed it in such a way that if the real answer doesn't exist somewhere in the traditions which we have then there is no real answer, Christianity is a lie. God never intended for the wheel to be reinvented. I admit, this attitude of mine kind of prejudices me against Protestantism from the start and also possibly opens me to charges of chronological provincialism in that all traditions which are now wre once new.

What do you all think? I'm not sure why I'm beginning this thread. It's probably entirely frivolous, but maybe it'll do some good. I guess I'm just trying to develop an idea I had today.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline LBK

  • No Reporting Allowed
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 12,247
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!
  • Faith: Orthodox
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 06:06:11 PM »
A short answer: The Orthodox Church can confirm its apostolicity, consistency and authority through its historical, iconographic, hymnographic and patristic deposit. The five solas are easily dismissed in the light of this.
No longer posting here. Anyone is welcome to PM me or email me at the address in my profile.

Offline Volnutt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,615
  • Torn apaaaht
  • Faith: Semi-Evangelical
  • Jurisdiction: Might become Orthodox
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 06:10:37 PM »
I see where you're coming from, but to me that's basically, "we're right because we say we are." Doesn't exactly work unless maybe if one already happens be Orthodox. I'm trying to take a broader view.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,275
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 06:15:48 PM »
A trivial point as I take a quick break from trying to get stuff done.

Negatives absolutely can be proven.

You are not 17 feet tall.  

I bet I can prove that to the satisfaction of nearly every non-insane human who understands that statement.

In terms of the Solas, you know more about their history and what they mean than I do. But certainly when I have heard them put forth, they are put in a positive manner.

LBK's route, which is what nearly every route in arguing about such stuff, is just begging the question.

Ultimately, anything worth knowing cannot be proven.

That is truth. Not the race after the correspondence theory of truth of fundamentalists, whether Orthodox, like the apologists here, or otherwise. Sorry all, but the argumentation after being here amounts to pretty much the above. But that is notion of truth nearly every human who is still within modernism is caught up in.







If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,275
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 06:17:13 PM »
I see where you're coming from, but to me that's basically, "we're right because we say we are." Doesn't exactly work unless maybe if one already happens be Orthodox. I'm trying to take a broader view.

Posted the above when you did. You are right, most folks around here simply beg the question in one form or another.

Again worse yet, they take truth as correspondence.

But what are you going to do?
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline Volnutt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,615
  • Torn apaaaht
  • Faith: Semi-Evangelical
  • Jurisdiction: Might become Orthodox
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 10:57:36 PM »
A trivial point as I take a quick break from trying to get stuff done.

Negatives absolutely can be proven.

You are not 17 feet tall.  

I bet I can prove that to the satisfaction of nearly every non-insane human who understands that statement.

In terms of the Solas, you know more about their history and what they mean than I do. But certainly when I have heard them put forth, they are put in a positive manner.
I take your point for a trivial case like height, but in terms of difficult questions like "what does Scripture mean?" and "What must one do to please God?" I think more rigor is necessary than an appeal to common sense.

I suppose the Solas can be put forth in a positive manner, but as originally formulated it seems to me they were essentially reactionary. Salvation is by faith alone and not all these other traditions. Faith (as intellectual assent) alone and not the Sacraments and following Christ...

I do think that the sentiments at the core of the Solas are completely Orthodox, actually, but as they are commonly put forth and as their terms are defined in Protestant theology they imply a rejection of Orthodox doctrine.

Quote
Ultimately, anything worth knowing cannot be proven.

That is truth. Not the race after the correspondence theory of truth of fundamentalists, whether Orthodox, like the apologists here, or otherwise. Sorry all, but the argumentation after being here amounts to pretty much the above. But that is notion of truth nearly every human who is still within modernism is caught up in.
I'm unconvinced that such a view doesn't result in complete subjectivism, so I guess we're at an impasse there lol. It'll be awhile before I get to Being and Time, unfortunately.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline theo philosopher

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 315
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2012, 12:50:50 AM »
They're not really negative claims, rather, they are quite positive and make assertions.

It's better to show that the Reformation and the 5 Solas were/are an overreaction to the abuses of the RCC at the time (and the RCC had plenty of abuses and was quite corrupt at the time...hence Erasmus' counter-Reformation).

For instance, sola scriptura is an overreaction to the abuses of Papal authority. The original arguments for this sola wouldn't really apply in the Orthodox setting (nor would any of the other solas). The faith/grace argument was an overreaction to the indulgences.

By saying the solas are negative is to say that they are unprovable, which then moves us to say that they are wrong. But they aren't really wrong, they're simply taken too far and are too broad in scope. For instance, Scripture is authoritative, grace and faith are a part of salvation, and so on. So the solas aren't wrong, they're just taken to an extreme.

I've found that when the debate is framed that way with many Protestants, you tend to gain much more ground.
“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus

Offline Melodist

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,523
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2012, 08:33:13 AM »
It sure seems that way to me. Each of them: Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide, Sola Christus, Sola Gratia, and Soli Deo Gloria all arose as privations, limitations,and denials or some real or imagined practice or teaching of the Roman Catholic Church (and, based on the Tubingen corresponence, we can say they are negations of Eastern Orthodox claims as well).

They along with most beliefs that are generally believed among Protestants are basically a denial of the traditional understanding of the natue of the Church and how God works in and through the Church, they're not an explicit denial but rather implicit and aimed at undermining the authority of the Church. Just my personal opinion, but one I hold to.

Quote
It seems to me therefore that when you take a "bird's eye" view of Church History, the priniciples of the Reformation lose by default and the only theological disputes that remain are those within and between the various ancient churches.

The principles of the reformation do not exist in any of the pre-reformation churches. This is why I'm not Protestant.

Quote
God never intended for the wheel to be reinvented.

No, but He did progressively reveal Himself through His covenants that He established throughout the OT culminating in the final and full revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ. There is nothing more to be revealed to us until the second coming, until which we are to continually proclaim what we have been revealed. Our proclamation of that message may differ in various times and places in order to address specific controversies that arise in various places throughout history, but the message will always be consistent - what St Vincent referred to as being believed by everyone everywhere at all times. So while we may find different ways of describing different aspects of the wheel, the wheel itself doesn't change. I don't mean that in a "pelagianism, synergism, and monergism are just different ways of saying the same thing" sense or a "there was a point in time when noone anywhere taught the truth and it had to be rediscovered" sense, but in the sense of how various councils dealt with various issues throughout history (Acts 15 on what should be expected of gentile converts, Nicea conerning the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son, 7th Ecumenical Council concerning icons and the veneration of saints, etc) being consistent and understood within the greater context of each other and how they relate to the one message of the gospel revealed in the person of Christ.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God

Offline FountainPen

  • Is not wasting any more of her ink
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,025
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 08:46:25 AM »
*subscribed* as i want to read along but i'll not comment as i only have two 'lips.
None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try. Mark Twain

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,275
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 08:50:43 AM »
*subscribed* as i want to read along but i'll not comment as i only have two 'lips.

*RIMSHOT*

Fountain Pen will here all week at the Yackle Shack. Two shows daily.
If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline Justin Kissel

  • •|•|•
  • Protospatharios
  • ****************
  • Posts: 31,761
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012, 09:55:06 AM »
Ultimately, anything worth knowing cannot be proven.

Exactly...
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky

Offline akimori makoto

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,126
  • No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 10:37:26 PM »
*subscribed* as i want to read along but i'll not comment as i only have two 'lips.

I think this is a joke that only works in American English.
The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2012, 11:02:13 PM »
*subscribed* as i want to read along but i'll not comment as i only have two 'lips.

I think this is a joke that only works in American English.

American English speaker here, but not understanding the joke...

Offline orthonorm

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 17,275
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2012, 11:33:22 PM »
*subscribed* as i want to read along but i'll not comment as i only have two 'lips.

I think this is a joke that only works in American English.

American English speaker here, but not understanding the joke...

You might lack the requisite knowledge of Calvinism.

And it is American. The Brits speak British American. The Australians, Australian American.

The group with the most speakers and power give the language its name. The English and Australians couldn't muster a defense against our ROTC.

And yes the Portugese speak Brazilian.

If you have PMed me, the mods have taken my ability to PM away. Please see my email if you wish to contact me during my time of trial.

Offline Nephi

  • Monster Tamer
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,762
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2012, 11:37:24 PM »
*subscribed* as i want to read along but i'll not comment as i only have two 'lips.

I think this is a joke that only works in American English.

American English speaker here, but not understanding the joke...

You might lack the requisite knowledge of Calvinism.

And it is American. The Brits speak British American. The Australians, Australian American.

The group with the most speakers and power give the language its name. The English and Australians couldn't muster a defense against our ROTC.

And yes the Portugese speak Brazilian.

Nevermind. As soon as you mentioned it dealing with Calvinism I got the joke. :P

Offline TomTorbeyns

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 177
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2015, 10:45:40 AM »
They're not really negative claims, rather, they are quite positive and make assertions.

It's better to show that the Reformation and the 5 Solas were/are an overreaction to the abuses of the RCC at the time (and the RCC had plenty of abuses and was quite corrupt at the time...hence Erasmus' counter-Reformation).

For instance, sola scriptura is an overreaction to the abuses of Papal authority. The original arguments for this sola wouldn't really apply in the Orthodox setting (nor would any of the other solas). The faith/grace argument was an overreaction to the indulgences.

By saying the solas are negative is to say that they are unprovable, which then moves us to say that they are wrong. But they aren't really wrong, they're simply taken too far and are too broad in scope. For instance, Scripture is authoritative, grace and faith are a part of salvation, and so on. So the solas aren't wrong, they're just taken to an extreme.

I've found that when the debate is framed that way with many Protestants, you tend to gain much more ground.


I personally grew up as a Protestant and recently I started accepting the sola scriptura doctrine in my personal theology (which does not mean to me that tradition is worthless, it must just come "under" the authority of the Bible) but I think you are right and Luther and the others should be seen in their time frame.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

  • Partisan Pro-Chalcedonian Fanatic
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,123
  • St. John the Merciful
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2015, 11:35:54 AM »
I see where you're coming from, but to me that's basically, "we're right because we say we are." Doesn't exactly work unless maybe if one already happens be Orthodox. I'm trying to take a broader view.

Hymns from the 3rd century which are still used in the Orthodox Church today, which was a prayer to a Saint, and specifically St. Mary, the Theotokos, is simply not evidence enough of a direct historical continuation from the earliest period of Christianity to today spanning over 17 centuries? Dang, you drive a hard bargain. I don't know how anyone could be Protestant in light of this historical evidence, unless you deny all of early Christianity.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 11:49:10 AM by xOrthodox4Christx »
Not everything I type or have typed in the past is reflective of the teaching of the Orthodox Church, or may not reflect my contemporary views on a subject. (4/6/2015)

Glory to Jesus Christ!

قدوس لله قدوس القوي قدوس الذي لا يموت ارحمنا

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,224
  • Time to destroy Evil!!
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2015, 12:11:16 PM »
To disprove the 5 Solas all we need to do is to locate the Philosophical, Historical and Logical inconsistencies within at least one of them. Sola Scriptura for example is basically Circular Reasoning. But all the Orthodox need to do is to show that their interpretation of Scriptures has been hold since antiquity. Quite easy as we have the Church Fathers to do this. Or the simple fact that since Sola Scriptura assumes the sufficiency of Scripture, we just need to show how there wasn't a clear Canon of Scripture in the Early Church. Books were doubted and taken away. So the sufficiency of Scripture is practically a useless point once this is shown. After all if Sola Scriptura is indeed Historical, wouldn't the Early Church have the 66 Book canon that Protestants use today? The answer is no since historical findings tells us otherwise.

Sola Fide originally through the mindset of the Reformers refers to being Saved by Faith Alone. The Reformers themselves presuppose this "Faith" to be a passive one rather than one that is active. This is why there's Monergism in the "Justification" stage of Salvation. Of course, the separation of Justification and Sanctification is foreign to the Early Church. None of the Fathers maybe except St Augustine taught that Justification and Sanctification are separate. Since also that it is not the Human Will that makes the decision to Accept God's Grace and have Faith, it becomes a matter of God overriding the individual's will. This is precisely what Sola Fide meant to the Reformers. That is why they don't believe in Libertarian Free Will at all. Luther vehemently argued against it. Calvin's theology is such that it cannot be accommodated in the first place at all. Through this, multiple heretical and problematic implications arise.

Soli Deo Gloria also in itself falls apart as it does not allow the Veneration and Prayers to the Saints. The oldest known prayer to the Theotokos is found at approximately 250AD. Even earlier, the Martyrdom of Polycarp shows clearly the veneration of relics and how Polycarp is treated as what Orthodox would call a Saint. There are other Early Church sources that directly goes against this so the burden of proof is on the Protestants to show where in the Early Church is this principle upheld.

Solus Christus in itself is contradictory as it reduces the Holy Spirit and God the Father to the role of a mere bystander when it comes to Salvation. After all, Solus Christus means that Salvation is found in Christ alone in a nutshell. So God the Father and the Holy Spirit are in fact by implication indifferent to the sufferings and sinfulness of humanity. They don't care. Only Jesus care enough to mandate humanity's Salvation. It is true that it is the work of Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection that enable us to be Saved from Sin. But this is not done through "Christ Alone". Instead rather it is the synergistic act of the Triune God that enables Salvation to be possible. Inevitably this includes the human faculty of self determination as well.

Sola Gratia sums up that Salvation is only through God's Grace alone which is enabled through Christ's Sacrificial work on the Cross. This presupposes that the Human Will have no role to play here. Hence again the Protestant position of monergism which leads to serious consequences. It is through Sola Gratia that we get the fact that human beings are just unable to respond to God's call to Salvation. They are too depraved in their own Sins to do so. But this isn't found in the Early Church at all given the universal proclamation of how human beings have Libertarian Free Will. Through this, it presupposes that the individual have the choice of whether to accept God's Gift of Grace or not. Such implies that Salvation is synergistic, not monergistic as the 5 Solas would make it to be.

With this, we can roughly see why the 5 Solas wouldn't make much sense to the Early Christians. Or how it in fact have serious heretical implications. Almost Gnostic if you ask me.
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,170
  • Pray for me, a sinner.
    • Blog
  • Faith: OO - Occidental Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Puerto Rican Orthodox Sobor
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2015, 01:08:26 PM »
They're not really negative claims, rather, they are quite positive and make assertions.

It's better to show that the Reformation and the 5 Solas were/are an overreaction to the abuses of the RCC at the time (and the RCC had plenty of abuses and was quite corrupt at the time...hence Erasmus' counter-Reformation).

For instance, sola scriptura is an overreaction to the abuses of Papal authority. The original arguments for this sola wouldn't really apply in the Orthodox setting (nor would any of the other solas). The faith/grace argument was an overreaction to the indulgences.

By saying the solas are negative is to say that they are unprovable, which then moves us to say that they are wrong. But they aren't really wrong, they're simply taken too far and are too broad in scope. For instance, Scripture is authoritative, grace and faith are a part of salvation, and so on. So the solas aren't wrong, they're just taken to an extreme.

I've found that when the debate is framed that way with many Protestants, you tend to gain much more ground.


I personally grew up as a Protestant and recently I started accepting the sola scriptura doctrine in my personal theology (which does not mean to me that tradition is worthless, it must just come "under" the authority of the Bible) but I think you are right and Luther and the others should be seen in their time frame.

Sola scriptura gives your personal interpretations of the Bible authority.
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Another blog - http://literarydiktator.blogspot.com/

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

  • Partisan Pro-Chalcedonian Fanatic
  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 5,123
  • St. John the Merciful
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2015, 02:52:03 PM »
To disprove the 5 Solas all we need to do is to locate the Philosophical, Historical and Logical inconsistencies within at least one of them. Sola Scriptura for example is basically Circular Reasoning. But all the Orthodox need to do is to show that their interpretation of Scriptures has been hold since antiquity. Quite easy as we have the Church Fathers to do this. Or the simple fact that since Sola Scriptura assumes the sufficiency of Scripture, we just need to show how there wasn't a clear Canon of Scripture in the Early Church. Books were doubted and taken away. So the sufficiency of Scripture is practically a useless point once this is shown. After all if Sola Scriptura is indeed Historical, wouldn't the Early Church have the 66 Book canon that Protestants use today? The answer is no since historical findings tells us otherwise.

Sola Fide originally through the mindset of the Reformers refers to being Saved by Faith Alone. The Reformers themselves presuppose this "Faith" to be a passive one rather than one that is active. This is why there's Monergism in the "Justification" stage of Salvation. Of course, the separation of Justification and Sanctification is foreign to the Early Church. None of the Fathers maybe except St Augustine taught that Justification and Sanctification are separate. Since also that it is not the Human Will that makes the decision to Accept God's Grace and have Faith, it becomes a matter of God overriding the individual's will. This is precisely what Sola Fide meant to the Reformers. That is why they don't believe in Libertarian Free Will at all. Luther vehemently argued against it. Calvin's theology is such that it cannot be accommodated in the first place at all. Through this, multiple heretical and problematic implications arise.

Soli Deo Gloria also in itself falls apart as it does not allow the Veneration and Prayers to the Saints. The oldest known prayer to the Theotokos is found at approximately 250AD. Even earlier, the Martyrdom of Polycarp shows clearly the veneration of relics and how Polycarp is treated as what Orthodox would call a Saint. There are other Early Church sources that directly goes against this so the burden of proof is on the Protestants to show where in the Early Church is this principle upheld.

Solus Christus in itself is contradictory as it reduces the Holy Spirit and God the Father to the role of a mere bystander when it comes to Salvation. After all, Solus Christus means that Salvation is found in Christ alone in a nutshell. So God the Father and the Holy Spirit are in fact by implication indifferent to the sufferings and sinfulness of humanity. They don't care. Only Jesus care enough to mandate humanity's Salvation. It is true that it is the work of Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection that enable us to be Saved from Sin. But this is not done through "Christ Alone". Instead rather it is the synergistic act of the Triune God that enables Salvation to be possible. Inevitably this includes the human faculty of self determination as well.

Sola Gratia sums up that Salvation is only through God's Grace alone which is enabled through Christ's Sacrificial work on the Cross. This presupposes that the Human Will have no role to play here. Hence again the Protestant position of monergism which leads to serious consequences. It is through Sola Gratia that we get the fact that human beings are just unable to respond to God's call to Salvation. They are too depraved in their own Sins to do so. But this isn't found in the Early Church at all given the universal proclamation of how human beings have Libertarian Free Will. Through this, it presupposes that the individual have the choice of whether to accept God's Gift of Grace or not. Such implies that Salvation is synergistic, not monergistic as the 5 Solas would make it to be.

With this, we can roughly see why the 5 Solas wouldn't make much sense to the Early Christians. Or how it in fact have serious heretical implications. Almost Gnostic if you ask me.
"...When we refer them to that Tradition which originates from the Apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of Priests in the Churches, they object to Tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser..." (St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses)
Not everything I type or have typed in the past is reflective of the teaching of the Orthodox Church, or may not reflect my contemporary views on a subject. (4/6/2015)

Glory to Jesus Christ!

قدوس لله قدوس القوي قدوس الذي لا يموت ارحمنا

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,224
  • Time to destroy Evil!!
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2015, 03:05:31 PM »
To disprove the 5 Solas all we need to do is to locate the Philosophical, Historical and Logical inconsistencies within at least one of them. Sola Scriptura for example is basically Circular Reasoning. But all the Orthodox need to do is to show that their interpretation of Scriptures has been hold since antiquity. Quite easy as we have the Church Fathers to do this. Or the simple fact that since Sola Scriptura assumes the sufficiency of Scripture, we just need to show how there wasn't a clear Canon of Scripture in the Early Church. Books were doubted and taken away. So the sufficiency of Scripture is practically a useless point once this is shown. After all if Sola Scriptura is indeed Historical, wouldn't the Early Church have the 66 Book canon that Protestants use today? The answer is no since historical findings tells us otherwise.

Sola Fide originally through the mindset of the Reformers refers to being Saved by Faith Alone. The Reformers themselves presuppose this "Faith" to be a passive one rather than one that is active. This is why there's Monergism in the "Justification" stage of Salvation. Of course, the separation of Justification and Sanctification is foreign to the Early Church. None of the Fathers maybe except St Augustine taught that Justification and Sanctification are separate. Since also that it is not the Human Will that makes the decision to Accept God's Grace and have Faith, it becomes a matter of God overriding the individual's will. This is precisely what Sola Fide meant to the Reformers. That is why they don't believe in Libertarian Free Will at all. Luther vehemently argued against it. Calvin's theology is such that it cannot be accommodated in the first place at all. Through this, multiple heretical and problematic implications arise.

Soli Deo Gloria also in itself falls apart as it does not allow the Veneration and Prayers to the Saints. The oldest known prayer to the Theotokos is found at approximately 250AD. Even earlier, the Martyrdom of Polycarp shows clearly the veneration of relics and how Polycarp is treated as what Orthodox would call a Saint. There are other Early Church sources that directly goes against this so the burden of proof is on the Protestants to show where in the Early Church is this principle upheld.

Solus Christus in itself is contradictory as it reduces the Holy Spirit and God the Father to the role of a mere bystander when it comes to Salvation. After all, Solus Christus means that Salvation is found in Christ alone in a nutshell. So God the Father and the Holy Spirit are in fact by implication indifferent to the sufferings and sinfulness of humanity. They don't care. Only Jesus care enough to mandate humanity's Salvation. It is true that it is the work of Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection that enable us to be Saved from Sin. But this is not done through "Christ Alone". Instead rather it is the synergistic act of the Triune God that enables Salvation to be possible. Inevitably this includes the human faculty of self determination as well.

Sola Gratia sums up that Salvation is only through God's Grace alone which is enabled through Christ's Sacrificial work on the Cross. This presupposes that the Human Will have no role to play here. Hence again the Protestant position of monergism which leads to serious consequences. It is through Sola Gratia that we get the fact that human beings are just unable to respond to God's call to Salvation. They are too depraved in their own Sins to do so. But this isn't found in the Early Church at all given the universal proclamation of how human beings have Libertarian Free Will. Through this, it presupposes that the individual have the choice of whether to accept God's Gift of Grace or not. Such implies that Salvation is synergistic, not monergistic as the 5 Solas would make it to be.

With this, we can roughly see why the 5 Solas wouldn't make much sense to the Early Christians. Or how it in fact have serious heretical implications. Almost Gnostic if you ask me.
"...When we refer them to that Tradition which originates from the Apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of Priests in the Churches, they object to Tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser..." (St. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses)

+1000000000000000000
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Volnutt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,615
  • Torn apaaaht
  • Faith: Semi-Evangelical
  • Jurisdiction: Might become Orthodox
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2015, 10:31:22 PM »
They're not really negative claims, rather, they are quite positive and make assertions.

It's better to show that the Reformation and the 5 Solas were/are an overreaction to the abuses of the RCC at the time (and the RCC had plenty of abuses and was quite corrupt at the time...hence Erasmus' counter-Reformation).

For instance, sola scriptura is an overreaction to the abuses of Papal authority. The original arguments for this sola wouldn't really apply in the Orthodox setting (nor would any of the other solas). The faith/grace argument was an overreaction to the indulgences.

By saying the solas are negative is to say that they are unprovable, which then moves us to say that they are wrong. But they aren't really wrong, they're simply taken too far and are too broad in scope. For instance, Scripture is authoritative, grace and faith are a part of salvation, and so on. So the solas aren't wrong, they're just taken to an extreme.

I've found that when the debate is framed that way with many Protestants, you tend to gain much more ground.


I personally grew up as a Protestant and recently I started accepting the sola scriptura doctrine in my personal theology (which does not mean to me that tradition is worthless, it must just come "under" the authority of the Bible) but I think you are right and Luther and the others should be seen in their time frame.
And how do you know what the Bible says?
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline Volnutt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,615
  • Torn apaaaht
  • Faith: Semi-Evangelical
  • Jurisdiction: Might become Orthodox
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2015, 11:11:50 PM »
To disprove the 5 Solas all we need to do is to locate the Philosophical, Historical and Logical inconsistencies within at least one of them. Sola Scriptura for example is basically Circular Reasoning. But all the Orthodox need to do is to show that their interpretation of Scriptures has been hold since antiquity. Quite easy as we have the Church Fathers to do this. Or the simple fact that since Sola Scriptura assumes the sufficiency of Scripture, we just need to show how there wasn't a clear Canon of Scripture in the Early Church. Books were doubted and taken away. So the sufficiency of Scripture is practically a useless point once this is shown. After all if Sola Scriptura is indeed Historical, wouldn't the Early Church have the 66 Book canon that Protestants use today? The answer is no since historical findings tells us otherwise.

Sola Fide originally through the mindset of the Reformers refers to being Saved by Faith Alone. The Reformers themselves presuppose this "Faith" to be a passive one rather than one that is active. This is why there's Monergism in the "Justification" stage of Salvation. Of course, the separation of Justification and Sanctification is foreign to the Early Church. None of the Fathers maybe except St Augustine taught that Justification and Sanctification are separate. Since also that it is not the Human Will that makes the decision to Accept God's Grace and have Faith, it becomes a matter of God overriding the individual's will. This is precisely what Sola Fide meant to the Reformers. That is why they don't believe in Libertarian Free Will at all. Luther vehemently argued against it. Calvin's theology is such that it cannot be accommodated in the first place at all. Through this, multiple heretical and problematic implications arise.

Soli Deo Gloria also in itself falls apart as it does not allow the Veneration and Prayers to the Saints. The oldest known prayer to the Theotokos is found at approximately 250AD. Even earlier, the Martyrdom of Polycarp shows clearly the veneration of relics and how Polycarp is treated as what Orthodox would call a Saint. There are other Early Church sources that directly goes against this so the burden of proof is on the Protestants to show where in the Early Church is this principle upheld.

Solus Christus in itself is contradictory as it reduces the Holy Spirit and God the Father to the role of a mere bystander when it comes to Salvation. After all, Solus Christus means that Salvation is found in Christ alone in a nutshell. So God the Father and the Holy Spirit are in fact by implication indifferent to the sufferings and sinfulness of humanity. They don't care. Only Jesus care enough to mandate humanity's Salvation. It is true that it is the work of Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection that enable us to be Saved from Sin. But this is not done through "Christ Alone". Instead rather it is the synergistic act of the Triune God that enables Salvation to be possible. Inevitably this includes the human faculty of self determination as well.

Sola Gratia sums up that Salvation is only through God's Grace alone which is enabled through Christ's Sacrificial work on the Cross. This presupposes that the Human Will have no role to play here. Hence again the Protestant position of monergism which leads to serious consequences. It is through Sola Gratia that we get the fact that human beings are just unable to respond to God's call to Salvation. They are too depraved in their own Sins to do so. But this isn't found in the Early Church at all given the universal proclamation of how human beings have Libertarian Free Will. Through this, it presupposes that the individual have the choice of whether to accept God's Gift of Grace or not. Such implies that Salvation is synergistic, not monergistic as the 5 Solas would make it to be.

With this, we can roughly see why the 5 Solas wouldn't make much sense to the Early Christians. Or how it in fact have serious heretical implications. Almost Gnostic if you ask me.
Your interpretations of Sola Christus and Gratia are inaccurate. They only mean that Christ's sacrifice is all we need to be saved and even if there is Libertarian Free Will, God's freeing up of the will would still be grace.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,224
  • Time to destroy Evil!!
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2015, 12:43:27 AM »
Your interpretations of Sola Christus and Gratia are inaccurate. They only mean that Christ's sacrifice is all we need to be saved and even if there is Libertarian Free Will, God's freeing up of the will would still be grace.

Here's what Monergism.com have to say about Solus Christus,

Quote
The Catholic Church taught that we are saved by the merits of Christ and the saints, and that we approach God through Christ, the saints, and Mary, who all pray and intercede for us. The Reformers responded, “No, we are saved by the merits of Christ Alone, and we come to God through Christ Alone”.

This implies that the Holy Spirit and God the Father do not participate or play any role in Salvation. Since it is by the "merits of Christ Alone", then it implies that Christ bore the sole responsibility for Salvation. But this is ridiculous given that it is a synergistic act of the Trinity that made it possible in the first place. Here, Solus Christus is made to seem like Christ is a sacrifice to God in the Penal Substitutionary Atonement kind of way. Which means that Jesus is used as a scapegoat to cover for the sins of humanity, taking its place so that it need not face the Wrath of God.

Monergism.com have to say this about Sola Gratia,
Quote
The Catholic Church taught that we are saved through a combination of God's grace, the merits that we accumulate through penance and good works, and the superfluity of merits that the saints before us accumulated; the reformers responded, “sola gratia”.

Here, it presupposes that the Human Will has no ability to move towards God or respond to Him. True enough, Protestants who believe in Libertarian Free Will may argue that "God freeing the Will would be an act of Grace". Which is since according to St Augustine, Grace grants humans the ability to accept or reject it. However given Sola Gratia and the statement that individual effort does not play any role in Salvation, it then follows that there's only a Compatabilistic kind of Free Will to accommodate it. Grace alters what the individual wants to do and the others who do otherwise than a person who is deemed "Saved" must therefore be Predestined for Damnation for God withhold His Grace from him/her. Henceforth, more philosophical problems arise from this.

Source: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/qna/fivesolas.html
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 12:43:46 AM by sakura95 »
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline pasadi97

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 687
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2015, 09:15:44 AM »
Sola Scriptura does not exists. Which denomination has only Bible without other books?

It was used to throw out of the window Apostles writings other than Bible and other writings of early Church.

Why does not apply to today's writings? Anyhow this is it.
God the Father is great. God the Father is good.

Offline Volnutt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,615
  • Torn apaaaht
  • Faith: Semi-Evangelical
  • Jurisdiction: Might become Orthodox
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2015, 11:23:32 PM »
Your interpretations of Sola Christus and Gratia are inaccurate. They only mean that Christ's sacrifice is all we need to be saved and even if there is Libertarian Free Will, God's freeing up of the will would still be grace.

Here's what Monergism.com have to say about Solus Christus,

Quote
The Catholic Church taught that we are saved by the merits of Christ and the saints, and that we approach God through Christ, the saints, and Mary, who all pray and intercede for us. The Reformers responded, “No, we are saved by the merits of Christ Alone, and we come to God through Christ Alone”.

This implies that the Holy Spirit and God the Father do not participate or play any role in Salvation. Since it is by the "merits of Christ Alone", then it implies that Christ bore the sole responsibility for Salvation. But this is ridiculous given that it is a synergistic act of the Trinity that made it possible in the first place. Here, Solus Christus is made to seem like Christ is a sacrifice to God in the Penal Substitutionary Atonement kind of way. Which means that Jesus is used as a scapegoat to cover for the sins of humanity, taking its place so that it need not face the Wrath of God.

Monergism.com have to say this about Sola Gratia,
Quote
The Catholic Church taught that we are saved through a combination of God's grace, the merits that we accumulate through penance and good works, and the superfluity of merits that the saints before us accumulated; the reformers responded, “sola gratia”.

Here, it presupposes that the Human Will has no ability to move towards God or respond to Him. True enough, Protestants who believe in Libertarian Free Will may argue that "God freeing the Will would be an act of Grace". Which is since according to St Augustine, Grace grants humans the ability to accept or reject it. However given Sola Gratia and the statement that individual effort does not play any role in Salvation, it then follows that there's only a Compatabilistic kind of Free Will to accommodate it. Grace alters what the individual wants to do and the others who do otherwise than a person who is deemed "Saved" must therefore be Predestined for Damnation for God withhold His Grace from him/her. Henceforth, more philosophical problems arise from this.

Source: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/qna/fivesolas.html
You're right about Penal Substitution, but otherwise you're just splitting hairs. I don't think any Protestant would deny that the Holy Spirit assisted in Christ's Atonement (by conceiving Him in the womb of the Theotokos, for one thing). And the Father's alleged role in Sovereignly accepting the entire package is acknowledged by the site in the same link (emphasis mine):
Quote
The reformers responded, “No, we are justified by faith alone, which lays hold of the alien righteousness of Christ that God freely credits to the account of those who believe”.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 11:24:44 PM by Volnutt »
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,224
  • Time to destroy Evil!!
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2015, 11:35:31 PM »
Ok, fair enough regarding Solus Christus of Protestants that don't buy into Penal Substitutionary Atonement. However the very definition of Solus Christus in itself would make the implication that only Jesus would play a role in humanity's Salvation rather than the whole Trinity. Having said that, it is true that no Protestant would embrace this. However as long as Solus Christus is around, this would be the implication that it makes, creating a contradiction of statements since it is Christ alone that merits Salvation and then all of a sudden, God the Father have a role in it as well.
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Volnutt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,615
  • Torn apaaaht
  • Faith: Semi-Evangelical
  • Jurisdiction: Might become Orthodox
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2015, 11:43:22 PM »
Ok, fair enough regarding Solus Christus of Protestants that don't buy into Penal Substitutionary Atonement. However the very definition of Solus Christus in itself would make the implication that only Jesus would play a role in humanity's Salvation rather than the whole Trinity. Having said that, it is true that no Protestant would embrace this. However as long as Solus Christus is around, this would be the implication that it makes, creating a contradiction of statements since it is Christ alone that merits Salvation and then all of a sudden, God the Father have a role in it as well.
Yeah, maybe so. Protestants can indeed be quirky about the exact boundaries of Atonement. A decade ago, Word of Faith lights Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland started preaching their own version of the Harrowing of Hell whereby Christ was tortured by Satan for three days and then the Father busted Him out, thus truly completing Atonement. Online heresy hunters got all in a tizzy because to them Christ's statement of "it is finished" on the Cross rules out any subsequent event being part of Atonement.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2015, 11:44:32 PM by Volnutt »
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Offline sakura95

  • Resident Philosonoob
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,224
  • Time to destroy Evil!!
  • Faith: Orthodox seeker
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2015, 11:49:23 PM »
Ok, fair enough regarding Solus Christus of Protestants that don't buy into Penal Substitutionary Atonement. However the very definition of Solus Christus in itself would make the implication that only Jesus would play a role in humanity's Salvation rather than the whole Trinity. Having said that, it is true that no Protestant would embrace this. However as long as Solus Christus is around, this would be the implication that it makes, creating a contradiction of statements since it is Christ alone that merits Salvation and then all of a sudden, God the Father have a role in it as well.
Yeah, maybe so. Protestants can indeed be quirky about the exact boundaries of Atonement. A decade ago, Word of Faith lights Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland started preaching their own version of the Harrowing of Hell whereby Christ was tortured by Satan for three days and then the Father busted Him out, thus truly completing Atonement. Online heresy hunters got all in a tizzy because to them Christ's statement of "it is finished" on the Cross rules out any subsequent event being part of Atonement.

True. Honestly, I would have to side with the Online heresy hunters here. Not because I agree with them but because what Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland had to say about the Harrowing of Hell seems Heterodox. I've never heard of Christ being tortured during the Harrowing of Hell in any Christian Tradition. This must be the first.
My Lord, My Lord, give my worthless soul the illumination of Wisdom in your mercy

Offline Volnutt

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 5,615
  • Torn apaaaht
  • Faith: Semi-Evangelical
  • Jurisdiction: Might become Orthodox
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2015, 12:09:26 AM »
Ok, fair enough regarding Solus Christus of Protestants that don't buy into Penal Substitutionary Atonement. However the very definition of Solus Christus in itself would make the implication that only Jesus would play a role in humanity's Salvation rather than the whole Trinity. Having said that, it is true that no Protestant would embrace this. However as long as Solus Christus is around, this would be the implication that it makes, creating a contradiction of statements since it is Christ alone that merits Salvation and then all of a sudden, God the Father have a role in it as well.
Yeah, maybe so. Protestants can indeed be quirky about the exact boundaries of Atonement. A decade ago, Word of Faith lights Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland started preaching their own version of the Harrowing of Hell whereby Christ was tortured by Satan for three days and then the Father busted Him out, thus truly completing Atonement. Online heresy hunters got all in a tizzy because to them Christ's statement of "it is finished" on the Cross rules out any subsequent event being part of Atonement.

True. Honestly, I would have to side with the Online heresy hunters here. Not because I agree with them but because what Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland had to say about the Harrowing of Hell seems Heterodox. I've never heard of Christ being tortured during the Harrowing of Hell in any Christian Tradition. This must be the first.
I agree, yeah. Not the first time those two have taught blatant heresy.
Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words. -Goethe

I once heard a monk say, “The person of prayer does not need to go any further than his own heart to find the source of all violence in the world.” -Fr. Stephen Freeman

Online Jonathan Gress

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,989
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2015, 12:27:45 AM »
Tl;dr Protestantism is wrong again!

Offline pasadi97

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 687
Re: Are the Five Solas basically negative truth claims?
« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2015, 10:45:58 AM »
Yeah, maybe so. Protestants can indeed be quirky about the exact boundaries of Atonement. A decade ago, Word of Faith lights Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland started preaching their own version of the Harrowing of Hell whereby Christ was tortured by Satan for three days and then the Father busted Him out, thus truly completing Atonement. Online heresy hunters got all in a tizzy because to them Christ's statement of "it is finished" on the Cross rules out any subsequent event being part of Atonement.

Gospel of Nicodemus tells the story of Christ in Hell: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/gospelnicodemus.html
No torture for Jesus.
God the Father is great. God the Father is good.