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Author Topic: Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide  (Read 7888 times) Average Rating: 0
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NicholasOhio
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« on: February 14, 2006, 01:35:56 AM »

My Friends,
     This coming weekend I have the opportunity to address a group of high school age guys about the value of the single life in God's Kingdon here on earth.  It's a predominantly Protestant ministry (easily to the tune of 95%+), but my own origins in Methodism usually prepares me for such adventures.
     Anyhow, I previewed the talk for the team spearheading the coming weekend, and during a short Q&A that followed, I accidentally included the words "Sola Scriptura" into an answer.  I immediately thought I had made a mistake in that some there may have seen it as a throwing down of the gauntlet so to speak.
     Not only did I NOT get that reaction, but they looked at me as if I were speaking Venusian and not Latin.  This was a phrase that I assumed (at least) some Protestants would know.  Not a one of the 20 or so in attendance had the slightest clue as to what I was talking about.  Only after I had mentioned Martin Luther and told them what "Sola Scriptura, Sola Fide" meant did they lose their somewhat glassy-eyed stares and all begin to nod in embarrassed, yet whole-hearted, agreement.  The only ordained attendee looked as clueless as the rest, and perhaps scared that I might call on her to explain it to the others.
     To the converts here I ask: Assuming you are aware of Luther's battle-cry (which I believe is a safe assumption), were you familiar before or after your conversion?  I don't quite know what to think of a group of Evangelical Protestants being unfamiliar with one of the tenets, dare I say traditions of the Reformation.  Is it sometimes a matter of becoming informed which can begin a journey to Orthodoxy?

     Any comments by cradle-Orthodox are very welcome indeed.

Blessings,

N
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2006, 01:41:44 AM »

Hell, I've been aware of 'sola scriptura' since the fifth grade, In a protestant school I was indoctrinated with it day in and day out. We even had 'Reformation Day,' October 31st, as a day off, and spent the week studing the greatness of the reformation, with 'sola scriptura' at the centre of every discussion. I really dont know where these protestants have been sticking their head in the sand, but they no doubt have been doing that somewhere.
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006, 01:46:49 AM »

GiC,
     I'm with you...I was dumbfounded!  Personally, I had exactly zero spiritual formation (so to speak) prior to the age of 17, and I had still been aware of that credo for quite a few years before my conversion a decade later.

Blessings,
N
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2006, 02:48:15 AM »

I grew up Episcopalian and I had never heard of Sola Scriptura until I was 15 and heard about it in my sophomore history class(which was in a public high school).  And I didn't really know what it was until I started reading about Catholicism. Oh, and I never heard anyone ever mention sola scriptura in a church until I started going to the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2006, 04:54:06 AM »

I knew the belief, just not by that name until I found Orthodoxy. Of course, I was fairly young, and they had this outrageous practice of not educating people about what they believed unless they were "old enough" to understand (i.e. a certain age, not based on whether or not the person was ready)  Tongue
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 08:05:42 AM »

As a "cradle," I didn't hear the phrase till I ended up in a Catholic High School for 4 years, and then we only glossed over it to mention that it was "wrong" and moved on...
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2006, 08:36:40 AM »

As a "cradle" i didn't hear about it until I went to seminary, even though my dad is a priest and ethics professor.  I knew they liked the Bible...just not what it was called. 

You know it seams to me that the only people who have experienced this phenomenon are from the Episcopal church.  I wonder if there's something to that...?
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2006, 08:44:04 AM »

You know it seams to me that the only people who have experienced this phenomenon are from the Episcopal church.  I wonder if there's something to that...?

No, I was Lutheran and I knew about (and believed in!) sola scriptura and (a little less strongly) sola fide. Then again, I was always a Church history buff and come from a line of Lutherans so devout that my ancestors' idea of how to punish a child revolved around copying out and learning by heart great sections of the Bible. I would agree that most Protestants, whilst familiar with the concepts, are ignorant of the Latin phrases describing them. I'm not at all surprised by the account in the OP, apart from by the fact that the minister was equally baffled. That I can't imagine in a Lutheran church.

James
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2006, 09:07:28 AM »

I don't recall the Latin terminology being used in local church contexts (mostly Baptist background). I guess they figure terms like "unapologetically biblical" are more readily understandable, even if they don't convey the whole sense. I don't remember when I first encountered it--probably my own reading in high school--but we certainly addressed the topic in Bible college and seminary. Inicidentally, I seem to remember a t-shirt put out by the music group Caedmon's Call, with the solas listed on the back. I have no idea how many of their fans knew what the terms meant.

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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2006, 09:11:12 AM »

NicholasOhio

You should not be surprised. In today's evangelical world it's "me and Jesus" that's all you need. No theology or church history or nothin'  Just warm pews, feel good music and sermon and hot cup of coffee. You needed this wake up call.

i am convinced that the reasons that many convert to Orthodoxy is they begin asking questions (as evangelicals) such "Why do I believe what I believe" or "What do I believe"  Maybe even have a crisis of faith. There answers many times are "Just believe in Jesus" Then they begin to feel guilty when they think that that is not enough.

Oh I could go on.  Excellent post
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2006, 09:13:42 AM »

Inicidentally, I seem to remember a t-shirt put out by the music group Caedmon's Call, with the solas listed on the back. I have no idea how many of their fans knew what the terms meant.   

Next-to-nobody learns Latin anymore, so I'd say the number is between "no-one" and "one 'Latin geek (which I was, once upon a time).'"
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2006, 10:36:20 AM »

Inicidentally, I seem to remember a t-shirt put out by the music group Caedmon's Call, with the solas listed on the back.

Seen it.  Almost bought it once.  Probably the lead singer Derek Webb's doing.  Their earlier stuff I still listen to (vague and poetic as it is, it doesn't pose any problems for Orthodox), but once Webb started pushing the TULIP stuff overtly I couldn't stomach it anymore (he's since gone solo and pretty much EVERY SONG has TULIP flavoring--to say the least--to it).

You should not be surprised. In today's evangelical world it's "me and Jesus" that's all you need. No theology or church history or nothin' ¦nbsp;Just warm pews, feel good music and sermon and hot cup of coffee. You needed this wake up call.

Mmm...well, I gotta disagree somewhat.  Yeah, you're gonna find this, but you'll also find solidly grounded youth, young adult and adult groups who KNOW their Reformation theology, who KNOW the importance of things like the Westminster Confession et al, and who can DEFITITELY argue, Latin terms included, the unadulterated dogmas of Luther and Calvin.  I find they do this just as much with the theologically challenged, me-and-Jesus Evangelicals aserb mentioned as they do with the Roman Catholics (I find that they don't really know how to deal with our unique take on things, though... Smiley)

I should know; I belonged to one of the abovementioned youth groups.  I've known what sola scriptura meant (should be in italics, btw) since at least Middle School, as well as satisfaction atonement, eternal security of the believer, etc.  Not all Evangelicals are thoroughly ignorant theologically, drooling all over the pew.

Quote
i am convinced that the reasons that many convert to Orthodoxy is they begin asking questions (as evangelicals) such "Why do I believe what I believe" or "What do I believe"

Yeah...I know what did it for me was the audacity of those first- and second-century Church Fathers!  How DARE they completely disregard all our careful, Reformation exegesis of the New Testament Greek (and Old Testament Hebrew, for that matter!) and embrace all these pagan practices not specifically defined by Scripture, and then (and this was the horror!) set said practices up as NECESSARY PARTS OF OUR SALVATION?!

Then I calmed down, realized that all these guys--who had sat at the feet of the New Testament writers for months or years on end--were saying the same things about all this stuff, and maybe (just maybe) my Reformation theology wasn't as intimately connected to the New Testament text and spiritual life as I'd originally thought.  Maybe "life in Christ" was way more than that...
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2006, 11:36:58 AM »

Actually, zebu, if you were Episcopalian sola scriptura would never have come up in any case because Anglicans do not believe in the doctrine.  They also include traditions, reason and sacraments as equally important (I think the "reason" part is what usually gets them into trouble).

I'm not surprised at all that most evangelicals are unaware of the phrase.  I was not taught it as a Protestant.  At least not the Latin.  However, being raised in the  Disciples of Christ tradition, I was well aware of the creed, "Where the scriptures speak, we speak.  Where the scriptures are silent, we are silent"; which is sola scriptura in a nutshell.

BTW, the DoC's claim they don't have a creed, but if the above isn't a creed, I don't know what is.

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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2006, 11:56:08 AM »

Actually, zebu, if you were Episcopalian sola scriptura would never have come up in any case because Anglicans do not believe in the doctrine.  They also include traditions, reason and sacraments as equally important (I think the "reason" part is what usually gets them into trouble).

You sure about that?

Article VI. (of the XXXIX) Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

Sounds to me alot like '"Where the scriptures speak, we speak.  Where the scriptures are silent, we are silent"'
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2006, 12:14:01 PM »

Next-to-nobody learns Latin anymore, so I'd say the number is between "no-one" and "one 'Latin geek (which I was, once upon a time).'"


Which I was at one time as well, though both my Latin and Greek are beyond rusty and in need of serious repair. 

I got the distinct feeling that the problem wasn't the Latin itself, though I could be wrong.  The trend within my own limited experience is that a certain amount of honest research has often led to conversion...most often to the RCC (due to its visibility?), but I know of a few dozen within the area who have become Orthodox over the last decade.
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2006, 03:15:20 PM »

...Just warm pews, feel good music and sermon...

It seems to me that these are many Protestants' only T/traditions.  Where's the "order" in the worship?  How are their hymns really "worship" and finally, where the heck did "pews" come from and how are they important/why have they stuck around?
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2006, 03:39:21 PM »

Quote
You sure about that?

Yes, I'm pretty sure about that.  I was referring to what young zebu likely was taught, not what the Anglicans taught years ago. You should probably ignore what the 39 articles say... the Episcopal Church does.

I invite you to Google for episcopal scripture traditions reason and see what you get.  That's what they're teaching now.
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2006, 06:33:41 PM »

It seems to me that these are many Protestants' only T/traditions.¦nbsp; Where's the "order" in the worship?¦nbsp; How are their hymns really "worship" and finally, where the heck did "pews" come from and how are they important/why have they stuck around?

Only once have I been glad for pews, and that was long ago with a bad back.¦nbsp; I've since learned the trick to standing for long periods, so now it's no sweat.¦nbsp; I found myself falling asleep the only two times in recent memory I attended a Methodist service ...but that may have had less to do with the pews than with the service.


But yeah, traditions abound in Protestantism.¦nbsp; They of course call them teachings, or something else equally nebulous and banal.¦nbsp; Part of the problem (a small part), I believe, is the NIV translation of the New Testament that many Evangelicals swear by.¦nbsp; 2 Thess. 2:15 is the example where some pretty creative "translating" is found.¦nbsp; I'll dig up that info for anyone even worse at Greek than am I.

Blessings,

N
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2006, 08:19:17 PM »

My point about pews more is the concept - pews.  They THEMSELVES have become their tradition.  Not stools.  Not sofas or la-z-boyz.  Not folding chairs or wooden chairs, but pews.  Why pews?  Why these weird long hard, wooden and uncomfortable bench/chair type things?  They seem to have become part of the RC tradition of the past several hundred years (which is probably where they came from in the Protestant world).
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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2006, 08:30:35 PM »

Actually, zebu, if you were Episcopalian sola scriptura would never have come up in any case because Anglicans do not believe in the doctrine.  They also include traditions, reason and sacraments as equally important (I think the "reason" part is what usually gets them into trouble).

I'm not surprised at all that most evangelicals are unaware of the phrase.  I was not taught it as a Protestant.  At least not the Latin.  However, being raised in the  Disciples of Christ tradition, I was well aware of the creed, "Where the scriptures speak, we speak.  Where the scriptures are silent, we are silent"; which is sola scriptura in a nutshell.

BTW, the DoC's claim they don't have a creed, but if the above isn't a creed, I don't know what is.



Well actually, in true Anglican fashion, nobody could ever make up their mind and so I was taught multiple doctrines in the same parish!  In high school youth group, we were basically taught sola scriptura(though we were never taught the words "sola scriputra"), though to be fair, the youth leader who taught us that is now a Missouri Synod Lutheran.  In confirmation class, we were taught about the Anglican stool, whose legs are Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience.  That was a messed up class though, we also learned such *wonderful* doctrines like "Jesus was not really resurrected" and "it doesn't matter if you believe Jesus is God or not".

And nobody ever told me anything about the 39 Articles in the Episcopal Church, so ya, you are right that we all ignored them.  Actually, when I was telling the priest that I was leaving to join the Orthodox Church, he did talk a bit about the 39 Articles...

Interestingly, I think I have learned more about Protestantism from the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church than I ever did as a Protestant...but then again I left quite young so maybe I just missed out on all the theological fun!
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« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2006, 09:50:36 PM »

Theological fun is what you would have gotten.  Grin 

In all of my experiences with Protestants they actually have no idea what Luther said or actually did.  Or any of the other original reformers for that matter.  The only friend of mine that has any idea studied at a seminary and was a pupil of one of the most respected Calvinists of our modern time (Frank Schroeder's dad...his name escapes me right now..).  So its really not surprising to me to hear that none of these people have a clue. 
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« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2006, 10:12:05 PM »

Yes, I'm pretty sure about that.  I was referring to what young zebu likely was taught, not what the Anglicans taught years ago. You should probably ignore what the 39 articles say... the Episcopal Church does.

I invite you to Google for episcopal scripture traditions reason and see what you get.  That's what they're teaching now.

There is considerable diversity within the Anglican communion, I have come in contact with Anglicans who thought the Articles were too liberal, others that thought they were too conservative, others who didn't know what they are. However, the fact that they are still Legally the governing code of the Church of England, unless parliament has passed a law saying otherwise, of which I am not familiar, implies that they are a reasonable standard by which judge the posistions of the Anglican church.
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« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2006, 10:29:39 PM »

However, the fact that they are still Legally the governing code of the Church of England, unless parliament has passed a law saying otherwise, of which I am not familiar, implies that they are a reasonable standard by which judge the posistions of the Anglican church.
LOL!! Right....
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« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2006, 02:52:15 AM »

LOL!! Right....

(not that I know much about the Church of England, but....)

GiC sure seems to give a lot of weight to figurehead documents/people/etc.
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« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2006, 12:03:58 PM »

I didn't become Christian until I was 18, but the Bible alone was preached pretty strongly in the places I was learning, though I probably didn't hear the terms sola scriptura or sola fide for a year or so afterwards. It is primarily these two doctrines that led me away from the Protestantism that I was involved with. I still read books on the subject of sola scriptura from time to time, in case I was wrong, but I haven't seen evidence of that yet. I came to see that there are two types of sola scriptura:

1) The lesser position, which IMO is the only sola scriptura position that can be effectively defended in reality (as opposed to theory); the Anglicans hold to such a position if I understand them correctly. For this position, it would be more accurate to call Scripture prime rather than alone, but people still maintain that all that is necessary for salvation is in Scripture. IMO, if it were placed on a continuum, this lesser position is actually further away from the other (strong) sola scriptura position, and closer to the beliefs of St. Vincent of Lerins who also thought that Scripture was "sufficient" but in need of an interpreter.

2)The stronger position, which IMO is not defendable except in theory, says that Scripture really is the only source of spiritual information that we have. Period. This of course is a self-refuting doctrine, for if it was the only source of information, then we would, of necessity, need to find within it's pages a list of the canon. Since there is no such list in Scripture,  an additional authority or source of inspiration is needed. Those holding to the strong position would make various clarifications about the Holy Spirit guiding people to the truth, and how really no one was using a different authority but only discerning the truth, but in the end this position cannot escape moving towards the lesser sola scriptura position on the continuum when it tries to defend itself.

I just read a book last month that manifests this activity among the sola scriptura positions very discernably. The book is titled Scripture Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine, and is by R.C. Sproul. In this book, Sproul constantly emphasises the importance of sola scriptura, but then also constantly qualifies what he is saying (though sometimes he does vice versa). Thus, what happens is that he makes a firm statement, and then qualifies it to the point that the first statement means very little by itself, and is even in fact misleading by itself.

Anyway, most people probably would not fall exactly on the greater or lesser sola scriptura position, or the orthodox position for that matter. But fwiw, this IMO is how such a continuum might look...

<---orthodox-------------lesser----------------------------------------------greater--->
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« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2006, 03:46:50 PM »

2)The stronger position, which IMO is not defendable except in theory, says that Scripture really is the only source of spiritual information that we have. Period. This of course is a self-refuting doctrine, for if it was the only source of information, then we would, of necessity, need to find within it's pages a list of the canon. Since there is no such list in Scripture,  an additional authority or source of inspiration is needed. Those holding to the strong position would make various clarifications about the Holy Spirit guiding people to the truth, and how really no one was using a different authority but only discerning the truth, but in the end this position cannot escape moving towards the lesser sola scriptura position on the continuum when it tries to defend itself.

I think you're probably overstating the strong position up front, since I don't know of anyone who would try to articulate it without the qualification of the Holy Spirit's leading. On the canonicity issue, it's interesting how this sort of thing generally pans out. Tradition is allowed to sneak in through the loophole that it is referenced in Scripture. I forget the citation at the moment, but there's a passage that refers to the Scriptures having been entrusted to the Jews. This passage is used to justify the reliance on the Rabbinic canon for the OT. (It can't even properly be called the Jewish canon, because the Septuagint was also a Jewish production.) The awkward outcome is that the OT canon remains the property of Rabbinic Judaism even after it parts ways definitively with Early Christianity (to the point that the clearest articulation of the Rabbinic canon also excluded the NT). So the Church went astray by incorporating extracanonical books, while God used Rabbinic Judaism to preserve the true canon, at least for the OT.

I actually wrote a paper defending this view when I was in (Evangelical) seminary, although it seems laughable now. I suppose I could dig it out if anyone's interested.

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« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2006, 05:34:03 PM »

I actually wrote a paper defending this view when I was in (Evangelical) seminary, although it seems laughable now. I suppose I could dig it out if anyone's interested.

Yes...now that you mention it I would be interested in that.
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« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2006, 05:35:11 PM »

I would love to see your paper.  I think my e-mail is on my profile, if it isn't just message me and i'll send it to you.  thanks! 
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« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2006, 06:55:42 PM »

The articles of religion have been relegated to the "historical documents" section.  Hooker, as one of the "great" Anglican divines, is held more highly, believing, as he did in Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.  In his view ISTR, Reason informs our interpretation of the other two, it doesn't stand on its own.  However, the ECUSA started down the road of primacy of Reason with Scripture and Tradition, perhaps, informing that.  What really killed everything is when Experience suddenly became something on par with the other three, and now has superceded all.

You sure about that?

Article VI. (of the XXXIX) Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy Scripture, we do understand those Canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

Sounds to me alot like '"Where the scriptures speak, we speak.  Where the scriptures are silent, we are silent"'
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« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2006, 07:46:27 PM »

The articles of religion have been relegated to the "historical documents" section.  Hooker, as one of the "great" Anglican divines, is held more highly, believing, as he did in Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.  In his view ISTR, Reason informs our interpretation of the other two, it doesn't stand on its own.  However, the ECUSA started down the road of primacy of Reason with Scripture and Tradition, perhaps, informing that.  What really killed everything is when Experience suddenly became something on par with the other three, and now has superceded all.

Soooo....did parliament pass a law overturning the authority of the 39 articles, thus making them truly an historical document, or are they still law for the Church of England and simply conveniently ignored?
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« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2006, 08:04:53 PM »

Soooo....did parliament pass a law overturning the authority of the 39 articles, thus making them truly an historical document, or are they still law for the Church of England and simply conveniently ignored?

Uh, my bad for not completing the first sentence. In the American BCP they have been relegated to the historical documents section - basically no authority any longer.  I don't believe that has taken place yet in England, but I could be mistaken.  However, I think they are probably ignored, not ignored, or reinterpreted as necessary from the perspective of the person thinking.  For those of us who are AngloCatholics, we just look to Newmans Tract 90 as a means of "understanding" (read, demonstrating the inconsistency of) the articles Smiley.  But that's in the finest tradition of modern Anglicanism.
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« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2006, 08:56:00 PM »

This passage is used to justify the reliance on the Rabbinic canon for the OT. (It can't even properly be called the Jewish canon, because the Septuagint was also a Jewish production.) The awkward outcome is that the OT canon remains the property of Rabbinic Judaism even after it parts ways definitively with Early Christianity (to the point that the clearest articulation of the Rabbinic canon also excluded the NT). So the Church went astray by incorporating extracanonical books, while God used Rabbinic Judaism to preserve the true canon, at least for the OT.

I find it amazing how Evangelicals can defend Zionism, say the Jews are God's chosen people, that they are the keepers of the OT, yada yada but then condemn them to hell unless they believe in Jesus.  Stoooooopid.

I looked at the website of this (insert town name) Bible Church some relatives of mine attend. In their statement of belief/faith/whatever, they say they use the OT established by the council of Jamnia.  Well, unless I did my research wrong, the Council of Jamnia was a Rabbinical council meeting to decide "what to do" about all those Jew converting to Christianity....so they outlawed a lot of the "Apocryphal" books since they were used as a cathechism tool.  Now, why would you listen to the enemy then?  Duh!
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« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2006, 08:57:45 PM »

Uh, my bad for not completing the first sentence. In the American BCP they have been relegated to the historical documents section - basically no authority any longer.

That doesn't surpirse me. The americans are also ordaining gay bishops and really arn't taken seriously by the rest of the Anglican communion; and while I can see the CoE going the same way, I would be quite surprised if the, say, Africans were to dismiss the Articles and theology behind them that easily.

Quote
I don't believe that has taken place yet in England, but I could be mistaken.  However, I think they are probably ignored, not ignored, or reinterpreted as necessary from the perspective of the person thinking.

I dont believe they've been repealed either. I recall a discussion that I once had about the possibility of the Monarch converting to another religion without formally leaving the CoE, thus effectively converting Anglicanism to whatever they converted to, as they are 'The Supreme Governor of the Church of England.' During the conversation I was informed that this would not be possible because the 39 Articles still had the force of law, and parliament could force the monarch to abide by them or be deposed.

Quote
For those of us who are AngloCatholics, we just look to Newmans Tract 90 as a means of "understanding" (read, demonstrating the inconsistency of) the articles Smiley.  But that's in the finest tradition of modern Anglicanism.

Hmmmm, I really never have understood some of you anglo-catholic types, even while dabbling in it before becomming Orthodox. Now the people who like the high church stuff, but still strongly held to reformation theology I understood, but those who were Roman Catholic in everything but name and (sometimes) allegiance to the pope, most confusing. Wink
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« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2006, 10:02:40 PM »

While some like GiC are content to live according to official statements and ignore the significance of the grass-roots, real life, on-the-ground spiritual reality of a confession, I do lament the very real rejection (in spite of its not being "on the books") of sola scriptura for the reason/experience-led direction of the Anglican communion...at least with sola scriptura you're dealing with something that is unchanging, even though it's limited...
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« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2006, 10:53:27 PM »

I would love to see your paper.  I think my e-mail is on my profile, if it isn't just message me and i'll send it to you.  thanks! 

I've posted it temporarily at http://students.cua.edu/06peterson/APOCRYPH.pdf

The pagination is a bit weird from having converted file format at least twice, but it should be readable.

Trevor
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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2006, 12:07:33 AM »

While some like GiC are content to live according to official statements and ignore the significance of the grass-roots, real life, on-the-ground spiritual reality of a confession, I do lament the very real rejection (in spite of its not being "on the books") of sola scriptura for the reason/experience-led direction of the Anglican communion...at least with sola scriptura you're dealing with something that is unchanging, even though it's limited...

[thread drift] What's up with the potshots taken against GiC in this topic?   It seems to me the BCP and 39 articles, if you look at things historically and dogmatically, are essential to Anglicanism (of course the CoE and ECUSA seem to have effectively abandoned them, but that's a seperate question beyond "what is Anglicanism?"). 

Like it or not, what a church and its hierarchy teaches (or in this case are theoretically supposed to teach) really does matter.   Does popular spirituality mean more to Orthodoxy than an Ecumenical Council? [/thread drift]
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« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2006, 01:12:12 AM »

[thread drift] What's up with the potshots taken against GiC in this topic?�

Just this topic?   Wink  I kid; GiC seems to rub up against resistance in a lot of topics, but while I personally may disagree with him strongly on a lot of things, I don't see what I said as a "potshot."

Quote
It seems to me the BCP and 39 articles, if you look at things historically and dogmatically, are essential to Anglicanism (of course the CoE and ECUSA seem to have effectively abandoned them, but that's a seperate question beyond "what is Anglicanism?").

Well, yes and no.  On the one hand, yes, you and GiC are correct in stating that, officially and historically, the CoE and ECUSA are adherents of sola scriptura.  Or rather, should be if they are to behave like good, confessional Anglicans.  On the other hand, it does very precious little to state that they are, in fact, believers in sola scriptura if hardly any clergy and few within the laity actually hold to this concept in this day and age.  What that means is either 1) there are very few true Anglicans out there and the 39 Articles are only binding on a small sliver of Christians, or 2) the Anglican Church has slipped so far away from its moorings in this regard that it needs to change the obsolete de jure stance based on its current de facto belief...something most of its adherents, apparently, would have little problem doing, seeing as how they are so enamored with "experience" as a rule of faith...

Ecclesiastical pronouncements have precious little authority if the majority of the faithful tolerate them as mere "theological decoration" and the actual fruit borne is quite different...


Trevor,

Did you go to school with Joel Kalvesmaki?
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« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2006, 05:35:28 AM »

Trevor,

Did you go to school with Joel Kalvesmaki?

Sort of. I think we were only ever in one class together--Syriac. I didn't get interested in Orthodoxy until we were both working on our dissertations and hadn't seen each other in quite some time. But I'd read his testimony on his Web site and knew of his conversion to Orthodoxy. So when I did get interested, he was the first person I thought to ask about it. He gave helpful answers to several questions, pointed me in the direction of some good reading materials, and put me in touch with Fr. Gregory at Holy Cross, Linthicum, MD. We haven't had much contact in several months, but he was a big help in getting me started.

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« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2006, 12:50:26 PM »

I consider stepping away from some of the 39 articles and other doctrines as a step towards Orthodoxy, and away from Reformed Protestantism... I don't quite understand the response of some Orthodox Christians here against such a move. Doesn't paying attention to tradition, scripture, reason, and experience make them closer to Orthodoxy than just being bound by Scripture, the Book of Common Prayer, and the 39 articles? I'm not trying to judge the Anglican's orthodoxy, just wondering why Orthodox Christians would be against them moving towards Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2006, 01:07:07 PM »

Hmmmm, I really never have understood some of you anglo-catholic types, even while dabbling in it before becomming Orthodox. Now the people who like the high church stuff, but still strongly held to reformation theology I understood, but those who were Roman Catholic in everything but name and (sometimes) allegiance to the pope, most confusing. Wink

That's okay, I find myself confused most of the time anyways.
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« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2006, 01:10:56 PM »

Quote
I think you're probably overstating the strong position up front, since I don't know of anyone who would try to articulate it without the qualification of the Holy Spirit's leading.

I would agree that no one can be a sola scripturist in practice, since at least one thing other than scripture is needed, the human person as an interpreter, and most people would also include a third one, the Holy Spirit. However, what I was thinking of regarding that extreme position is those people who say that while the Holy Spirit leads, nonetheless "the Scripture speaks for itself," "the meaning of the Gospel is plain to anyone," "we don't interpret the Bible, it's meaning is clear," and so forth. If any of these were true, the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit wouldn't be necessary. Normally people throw the Holy Spirit a bone though and talk about being led by it, but that would be superfluous if the Scripture was really self-teaching and infallibly clear. There is also the need for a human interpreter as well, but people who hold to a belief approaching such a strong position would deny that humans interpret the Bible. There's no need to, they have catchy phrases like "The Bible says it. I believe it." Wink
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« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2006, 01:20:32 PM »

[Joel K.] was a big help in getting me started.

I was already Orthodox when I discovered his conversion story/apologia for the formation of the canon and the Septuagint, but it was eerie, like having someone read my mail over the previous two to three years...our stories are very similar...

Doesn't paying attention to tradition, scripture, reason, and experience make them closer to Orthodoxy than just being bound by Scripture, the Book of Common Prayer, and the 39 articles?

Absolutely, but that wasn't what I was referring to above.

I'm not trying to judge the Anglican's orthodoxy, just wondering why Orthodox Christians would be against them moving towards Orthodoxy.

Oh, I'm not against using ALL of those things; someone who uses ALL of those things is indeed closer to the Orthodox epistimology (sp?) than, say, a classical, sola scriptura Anglican, or a normative contemporary Anglican, who is led by reason and experience, as opposed to one who includes the Scriptures and the tradition of the Church.
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« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2006, 01:23:42 PM »

Ahhh... so I guess I should read more carefully, before going off half-cocked... sorry. Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2006, 01:33:57 PM »

Just a point regarding the 39 Articles, I recall a quote from Captain Barbossa in "Pirates of the Caribbean"

"... the Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules."

When the American Anglicans broke with England during the revolution we weren't going to keep the Article about 

"The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm.... etc etc"

now would we?   Wink

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« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2006, 02:16:36 PM »

When the American Anglicans broke with England during the revolution we weren't going to keep the Article about 

"The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm.... etc etc"

now would we?   Wink

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