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Thursday, July 04, 2019

Medieval History: Sola Scriptura


Medieval History 101, Episode II: Getting Medieval on Sola Scriptura is now live on Unauthorized.tv for subscribers. The episode guide can be found here.

Also new on Unauthorized.tv today is Chuck Dixon on Comics #11, in which The Legend Chuck Dixon explains the difference between work-for-hire and creator-owned in the comics industry, and how this relates to working with Marvel and DC.

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38 Comments:

Blogger binks webelf July 04, 2019 12:13 PM  

Huzzah! Fresh goodness. Thanks to all who helped bring it to us.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan July 04, 2019 1:38 PM  

And David looting shipwrecks to build his compound in the tropics.

Blogger Gettimothy July 04, 2019 3:34 PM  

the episode guide is very informative.
Lex orandi, lex credendi is a reasonable statement.

Blogger Unknown July 04, 2019 5:14 PM  

c cc bc.f.

Blogger Gregory the Tall July 04, 2019 7:31 PM  

The quotes from Luther sound almost satanic: Every Christian is a king and a priest. Luther wrote "every Christian is by faith so exalted above all things that, in spiritual power, he is completely lord of all things, so that nothing whatever can do him any hurt; yea, all things are subject to him, and are compelled to be subservient to his salvation." Sounds like a good recipe to become complacent and invite Satan.

Blogger Unknown July 04, 2019 8:23 PM  

It's actually quite the opposite, insofar as Paul even says "we shall judge angels" including Satan, Luther simply follows this logic to its conclusion. Everything Luther says here has Pauline roots.

Blogger lynnjynh9315 July 04, 2019 8:37 PM  

I am German-American (N. MO). I asked the question about German identity in a previous Darkstream. Germans being prone toward authoritarianism has a long history. Hitler’s rise was attributed to Prussian authoritarianism. Early Americans feared German Catholicism. Wilhelm Reich spoke of German repression of sexuality. You have talked about the pathological submission of Minnesotans.

Germans are known for their stoic temperaments and suppressed passions. Does this ‘sickness’ exist and how should it be dealt with?

Blogger Beardy Bear July 04, 2019 8:55 PM  

It is an honor to be taught by Professor Brown. So many will benefit from this course. The kinks will be worked out in time, and at the risk of making a "the drums are too loud" statement, there is an echo that is distracting. I haven't seen mention of it, or I would not bring it up. Unauthorized TV as a whole is remarkable, and I understate the gratitude we have for it.

Blogger Didas Kalos July 04, 2019 10:09 PM  

G. The Great reads a different Bible apparently. 2 Peter 2:9-10, Eph. 2:6, Romans 16:20, 1 Pet. 5:7-9. just a few.

Blogger wreckage July 05, 2019 12:19 AM  

I think I'll skip the "Sure there was a total technological revolution, but I blame the Reformation anyway" lecture. Still, good to see quality material going up.

@7 Pretend you're Scottish, and only throwing in with the English because they said you can kill trespassers.

Blogger Jack July 05, 2019 3:35 AM  

Although "sola scriptura" always pretended to exalt the scriptures, it really ends up undermining the sacred scriptures altogether. Once you take the scriptures down from their mysterious, priestly, ecclesiastical pedestal and put them in everyone's hands with the mandate, "read and interpret it yourself", the bible just becomes another modern novel which can give your life meaning or not – it's up to you. It's clear in the gospel itself in the way that Christ invokes scripture and reads it in the synagogue that the sacred scriptures are meant to have a kind of spiritual-ecclesiastical function first and foremost, and not be treated as a novel or textbook to be pick apart and interpreted by everyone. Their primary purpose is to serve as a witness of our faith, not actually to sanctify us individually. The work of our sanctification is done principally by the Holy Spirit, who does not require us to be learned scripture scholars but only that we follow his lights & inspirations.

Blogger Avraham July 05, 2019 5:22 AM  

The Middle Ages I have felt for a long time excelled in certain areas. The ones that I most admire are the areas of philosophy. For some odd reason philosophy fell apart after the middle ages except for a few great exceptions like Kant and Hegel. [The problem with the Mideval period in general is the axioms. But the logic is always razor sharp. But after the middle ages the logic is almost alwats circular. They always assume what they are trying to prove--especially Hume.

Blogger Gregory the Tall July 05, 2019 5:48 AM  

@9 1 Peter 5:7-9 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

This sounds a bit more cautionary than Luther's
"he is completely lord of all things, so that nothing whatever can do him any hurt; yea, all things are subject to him"

Blogger Brian Dean July 05, 2019 6:10 AM  

I wonder if she will cover the fact that in Medieval history, the Catholic church held an ecumenical council which said that Jews and Muslims must wear an identifying marker on their clothing to distinguish themselves from Christians. Also, they weren't allowed to hold public office. See:

https://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/LATERAN4.HTM

Blogger Gregory the Tall July 05, 2019 7:14 AM  

@14 "Jews and Muslims must wear an identifying marker on their clothing to distinguish themselves from Christians. Also, they weren't allowed to hold public office." Sounds like a fairly reasonable policy if you want to keep your own country or city stable.

Blogger Thomas Bateman July 05, 2019 7:19 AM  

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Blogger FrankNorman July 05, 2019 7:27 AM  

What are the odds of this being a productive discussion, rather than yet another RC-vs-Prot punching match?

Anyway - some people here are already conflating different things: Sola Scriptura vs Right of Private Interpretation for example.

Sola Scriptura means "Only Scripture" - in the sense that all teaching necessary for salvation is in the Bible. If you want to claim that Christians are required to do something, you have to be able to prove it from the Bible. No running around saying "our Tradition teaches us that..." or "God spoke to me personally and said..." in regard to that!

It was never meant to mean "the Bible means whatever I want it to".

Blogger FrankNorman July 05, 2019 7:30 AM  

Gregory the Great - Luther was merely following the teaching of the Apostle Paul there. We are more than conquerors not on our own account, but because we are in Christ.
Be careful that you do not blaspheme the Holy Spirit!

Blogger Gregory the Tall July 05, 2019 7:34 AM  

@19 In what way am I blaspheming the holy spirit when I quote Luther and comment on what he wrote? I realise that any quote is "isolated", of course. Have you listened to how Dr. Fulton-Brown spoke about this quote?

Blogger Thomas Bateman July 05, 2019 7:59 AM  

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Blogger McChuck July 05, 2019 8:39 AM  

What Sherlock said.
Where custom and tradition conflict with the Testaments, custom and tradition are wrong. That's the whole meaning of Solo Scriptura.

1 Timothy outlines the basic rules pretty clearly.

Blogger The Cooler July 05, 2019 9:09 AM  

Germans are known for their stoic temperaments and suppressed passions. Does this ‘sickness’ exist and how should it be dealt with?

It is not a sickness, it's German(ic). Germans, in particular, are prone to binary thinking, black and white either ors. Coupled with an impressive reservoir of talent, intelligence and a rather barbaric animus and you get troublemakers. Germans/Germany continues to this day to climb to the top and dictate, one way or the other, now just from a novel vantage; now with an anti-Führer.

Germans would be best suited to simply keep to themselves (as they do here in the South, not incidentally). Nonetheless, I suspect the entire Western world must, until His return, keep a watchful eye on the German.

Y'all simply cannot help yourselves.

Blogger marco moltisanti July 05, 2019 9:10 AM  

Thanks, @20 Sherlock and @21 McChuck. I'm no expert in theology but I've run into situations in stupid online debates where someone has tried to uphold some odd idea (true Christians can't serve in the military, for example) based on "tradition" and when I point out that there's nothing to back that up in the Bible I get angrily accused of Sola Scriptura. What you said clears up the meaning of the term for me.

Blogger binks webelf July 05, 2019 9:29 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Thomas Bateman July 05, 2019 9:40 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Gregory the Tall July 05, 2019 9:55 AM  

When protestants speak of "Sola Scriptura" they speak of the "Scriptura" that remained after they removed seven books from the Old Testament as discussed by Dr. Fulton-Brown. So should they not rather call it "Sola nostra scriptura"? Or would that sound too partisan?

Blogger FrankNorman July 05, 2019 10:06 AM  

Gregory, prior to the Reformation the apocryphal books were not considered on the same level as the rest of the Old Testament, that was something the Roman Catholics decided during the counter Reformation

Blogger binks webelf July 05, 2019 10:14 AM  

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Blogger Gregory the Tall July 05, 2019 10:22 AM  

@28 Thanks for the information, very interesting. Luther was obviously wise enough to recognise his mistakes. Reminds me a little of Marx who supposedly once said: Me, I am not a marxist.

Blogger FrankNorman July 05, 2019 10:44 AM  

@Binks
https://www.ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/SOLASCRI.TXT

His theory & interpretative ideal, but he already figured out that it just didn't work, and there could be no final Protestant unity or agreement on details, let alone essentials. He sowed that wind, and we have all reaped the resulting whirlwind for almost 500 years.


So the Roman Catholic response is to ignore the Bible passages being quoted, and just demand that you not use those arguments?

"Look, this is what the Bible plainly says!"
"Oh but you see, blah blah tradition blah blah authority blah blah strange odd sects blah blah blah."

Then learn to live with the whirlwind, kiddo. It is not going away.

Blogger FrankNorman July 05, 2019 10:48 AM  

And I think we can be sure that Luther didn't really want everyone to go back to Popery - he was just being hyperbolic there.

Blogger Blume July 05, 2019 10:49 AM  

Binks he didn't sow anything. The protests against the excesses of the catholic/orthodox hierarchy have been going on since the beginning and continue to this day. I bet Gregory is paying protest against the excesses of this current generation even as he lambastes us for our adherence to a previous protest. The Hussites should be considered the real start but it was the printing press that got Luther remembered.

Blogger Thomas Bateman July 05, 2019 10:52 AM  

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Blogger Gregory the Tall July 05, 2019 11:09 AM  

@32 I would like to add that I am neither RC nor protestant, I just like to analyse and discuss and hopefully get closer to the truth.

Blogger Thomas Bateman July 05, 2019 12:02 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger FrankNorman July 05, 2019 1:25 PM  

33. Sherlock July 05, 2019 10:52 AM

The seeming lack of unity will be fixed when Christ is our overt King.

Also: is there theological unity in the RCC? I don't think so.


The modern RCC is very much infiltrated and converged, which is one of the reasons I can't take them seriously.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine July 05, 2019 4:35 PM  

"Once you take the scriptures down from their mysterious, priestly, ecclesiastical pedestal and put them in everyone's hands with the mandate, "read and interpret it yourself", the bible just becomes another modern novel which can give your life meaning or not – it's up to you."

If you believe that the Scripture should come from the ecclesiastic, why are you not cleansing that edifice of the filth, perversion, and open mockery of God's will which fill it?

Any sane man, given a choice between inhabiting a house built by tradition, now rotted out, and building a new house for himself to inhabit, will correctly build a new house for himself. You tell him that he should not, and wonder why he dislikes and mistrusts you.

Fulton-Brown's argument against Sola Scriptura is better than yours. She argues that it's based on false premises about what the canonical Scriptures are. I'll have to do some digging on that one.

"What are the odds of this being a productive discussion, rather than yet another RC-vs-Prot punching match?"

I'm determined to discuss it. I'm effectively of the latter by origin but nothing would be better than to re-unite the two, and the Orthodox as well, which I have become more a part of over time.

"When protestants speak of "Sola Scriptura" they speak of the "Scriptura" that remained after they removed seven books from the Old Testament as discussed by Dr. Fulton-Brown. So should they not rather call it "Sola nostra scriptura"? Or would that sound too partisan?"

There we go, now you're onto the pertinent argument.

"His theory & interpretative ideal, but he already figured out that it just didn't work, and there could be no final Protestant unity or agreement on details, let alone essentials. He sowed that wind, and we have all reaped the resulting whirlwind for almost 500 years."

I disagree that his theory was the problem. Sure, he's a figurehead character, but the division resulted at least as much because the church hierarchy were extraordinarily corrupt and untrustworthy. Revolt into power vacuum into chaos is predictable and terrible, but it didn't happen for no reason. Luther had good points. Unsurprisingly lots of other people used the division to cry havoc and start looting.

Blogger cyrus83 July 05, 2019 11:00 PM  

Sola Scriptura, as the idea that only scripture is necessary, has some problems, both internal from the text of the New Testament itself, and external to the text.

The books of the New Testament, being the word of God, do not lie about their origins. The letters of St. Paul really are letters written by the apostle to the people or communities addressed. However, since we know the church existed prior to Paul via Acts, it cannot be the case that any of Paul's letters contain doctrine that was not available from other sources to believers. Indeed, in most cases, Paul is writing to people who already have the faith and have already been instructed by him. St. Stephen in particular is also certain to have never had the benefit of reading any of the letters of St. Paul in this life.

John 14:26 is an example of a passage difficult to reconcile with Sola Scriptura, because here the Holy Spirit is promised to teach the apostles all things and remind them of everything Jesus taught them. What is the Holy Spirit to teach and remind them that they could not get from Scripture?

Externally, the issue of what books constitute Scripture is an issue, ironically one which Martin Luther himself resurrected from a thousand-year old grave. It is known from surviving manuscripts of the time that the canon of the New Testament was not definitively settled as late as the early fourth century AD. The majority of the books were agreed upon by that point, including all the Gospels and most of Paul's letters, but doubt remained about several. The final list of books was essentially finalized in the fourth century, but it took an authority beyond Scripture to assemble the table of contents. Luther himself took a dim view of Jude, James, Hebrews, and Revelation, 4 books known to Eusebius to not be universally accepted in his day. While those books weren't removed, Luther did remove, along with the other reformers, some books from the Old Testament, based on the strange idea that the Jews had the correct version of the Old Testament while both the Orthodox and the Catholics did not.

Experience since the Reformation suggests that Scripture alone is not enough. Martin Luther I have no doubt was supremely confident he knew the plain meaning of Scripture. The problem is that most other Christians are just as confident their understanding is correct, and over time the disagreements have sundered Protestantism into thousands of denominations, each a bit different from the rest, with no mechanism available to resolve disputes.

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