Wednesday, May 08, 2013

GB Sola Scriptura Discussion Final?

Well, it seems that interest in the Sola Versus Solo Scriptura
discussion has subsided, so unless something else comes up,
this will be my final posting to Green Baggins on this subject.
Since that topic does not seem to be getting read on GB anymore
I will post my responses here.

> TurretinFan said,
> April 17, 2013 at 9:59 am
> Regarding #150:
> I (TF) had written:
>>> Even if you win a rhetorical point by saying that our doctrine should be
>>> called “Satis Scriptura,” or whatever, we are still sitting her with just
>>> a Bible as our infallible rule of faith until you show us the other
>>> supposed rule.
> Scott, you replied:
>> Well, I believe I have adequately demonstrated “the other rule.”
> TF: I don’t doubt that you believe you did so, but you’re wrong.
sw:  Well, again, the "unanswered question" here asking "Can error
be bound or loosed in heaven?" It's a simple, yes or no response
here.  If "yes" - then how can we know the Bible itself is infallible?
If "no" - then most certainly these "men" were given infallible
authority.  Then comes the question of "succession" in their "office"
or "bishoprick" Which has also been demonstrated through several
passages AND the fact that in some of the earliest of the ECFs we
have explicit lists of "succession" - especially to the Bishop of

>> sw: You sound as if you’ve conceded to me the rhetorical point of
>> satis scriptura, have you?
> TF: a) It’s a little strange to me that you are so eager to try
> to make a purely rhetorical point. I would have hoped you were
> more interested in the substance.

sw: Rhetoric is not necessarily without substance.  All argument is
rhetoric.  The point is what you're REALLY defending is
indeed satis scriptura and not sola scriptura, for which there is no
scriptural defense. If you disagree with me, don't simply state I am
wrong, be the first to point us to THE passage in Scripture which
explicitly states Scripture is the sole infallible rule of faith for the
Christian church.  Again, there is NO SUCH VERSE!  Prove me
wrong, don't just proclaim it.

> TF: b) And no, I don’t grant the rhetorical point, either. While
> the exclusive aspect of Scripture in the post-apostolic era is
> less clearly addressed than the sufficiency of Scripture, it is
> also something taught in Scripture.

sw: And again I challenge you, or anyone else reading this, to
present the passage from Scripture which would affirm your
unsubstantiated statement of "it is also something taught in
Scripture."  I repeat, it is NOT taught in Scripture and
just because you say it is does not make it so.

>> sw: re: that man and/or those men
>> This is not the article/topic for Apostolic Succession, though
>> we have touched upon it in passing. MY POINT is that infallible
>> authority was given to that man and/or those men. Would you
>> agree with me that far?
> TF: a) Actually, if you are trying to demonstrate the
> “other rule,” then you need to get from the apostles to that
> other rule. If your “point” is not to establish the
> “other rule,” then your point misses the point.

sw:  Well, been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  The evidence
is clear for those who are objectively looking at what has been
presented.  If you're looking solely with the intent of
disproving, then with such a biased view, you will likely not
see it.

> TF: b) The idea that “infallible authority was given to” them
> is rather vague.
sw:  It's not vague if you will (finally) answer the question I
have been asking.

> TF:  I have an infallible Bible,
sw: Without using circular argumentation, how do you know your
Bible is infallible?

> TF:  ...and so long as I teach what it says, then whatever I
> bind on earth will be bound in heaven.
sw: Jesus is not addressing "the Church" at the point of the
"binding and loosing" passages.  In Matthew 16 it is ONLY St.
Peter and in Matthew 18 it is ONLY the Apostles.  I realize
Protestants would like to make this a global charism,
but they are reading something into the text which is not there
when they do.

> TF:  So, you could say that infallible authority has been given
>  to me.
sw:  I could say that, but it would not be true.  

> TF:  Moreover, in the context of Matthew 16, the “binding and
> loosing” seems connected with the keys and the gates of hell.
sw:  Actually, as I already pointed out at GB, it has to do with the
“kingdom of heaven” - not the “gates of hell!”  The context which
speaks of the “gates of hell” refers to “the Church” and the fact
that the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

> TF:  In other words, it seems that it refers to the gospel
> message – the proclamation that those who trust in Christ are
> loosed from their sins, and those who do not remain bound by
> the gates of hell to be under the power of death.
sw:  An interesting interpretation, for sure - but not accurate nor
contextual.  The “proclamation” is “whatsoever YOU shall bind
on earth...” and “whatsoever YOU shall loose on earth” is bound
or loosed in heaven.  There is nothing in the context to even
imply that this is referring to someone trusting in Christ or not,
but is clearly an authority given to St. Peter and the Apostles.
Context lucidly demonstrates this authority and decidedly
leaves your interpretation in error.

Next I will turn my attention to “PBJ” in comment 218

> peacebyjesus said,
> April 21, 2013 at 10:18 am
>> sw:  I believe it is a bit silly to request me to present
>> something outside of Scripture to point Protestants to,
>> knowing that Protestants will reject any authority outside
>> of Scripture! That being said, I point to Scripture which
>> tells the Bible believer that men were given infallible authority.
> PBJ:  And RCs will effectively reject any authority outside of
> the church, as only what she says Tradition, Scripture and
> history teach has authority (sola ecclesia). “Authority” is thus
> relative.
sw:  Well, “authority” is relative, but the request for me to
provide you with something you know ahead of time you will
not accept is, as I said, “a silly request.”  What RCs may or
may not do is not relevant to the question/task presented to

> PBJ:  And it is indeed silly to suppose that a straw man
> refutes SS, as historically understood, as if nothing besides
> Scripture can be of viable use, rather than all such being
> subject to Scripture.
sw: Thank you for proving my point!  When you make the
statement of “all such being subject to Scripture” - you’ve
precisely stated what my position explains and why it is a
silly request to ask me to prove something outside of

> PBJ:  But such use of straw men is necessary when
> Scripture only affirms one source as being wholly inspired
> of God and (as written) the standard for obedience and
> testing and establishing truth claims, and providing for
> practical means in understanding it.
sw:  The passage you refer to (again) speaks to the sufficiency
of Scripture, or in Latin - satis scriptura.  Because that
particular passage makes no mention of “another source”
does not logically mean there is no other source!  This is an
invalid argument from silence.  As I stated earlier too -
Scripture does affirm another infallible source in St. Peter and
the Apostles.  So, the verse you keep referring to not only
does not say sola scriptura, elsewhere in Scripture
the concept is utterly refuted - that is, for those who have eyes
to see.

> PBJ:  And that rather than an assuredly infallible magisterium
> of men being God’s transcendent means of providing and
> preserving Truth, the church actually began in dissent from
> those who were over that entity which historically was the
> instrument and steward of Holy Writ and inheritors of the
> Promises, sitting in the very seat of Moses.
sw:  To take your position is to make the Scriptures false in
Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18.  Perhaps you would be
up to the task of answering the question I’ve been repeatedly
asking?  “Can error be bound/loosed in heaven?”  Yes or no.
I fully expect your response to either be more obfuscation or

> PBJ:  It is likewise silly for a RC to appeal to Scripture as if
> that were the real authority for his doctrine, and then to insist
> that his interpretation of it is true, despite the evidence
> against it,
sw:  Why is it silly for me to appeal to the authority YOU accept?
That being said, you have not presented any valid evidence
against my claims and/or interpretation of Matthew 16 and 18.

> PBJ:  ...but this is required when one attempts to support a
> tradition of men that rests upon the premise of perpetual,
> assured magisterial infallibility, which has infallibly declared
> itself thusly. And around it goes.
sw:  Around it goes?  Sorry, but it is Scripture which declares
what will later be called our Magisterium - that’s not a circular
argument.  Scripture is an authority you accept SO you
SHOULD accept that there is ANOTHER authority!
> PBJ: It has already been shown you that your claim that
> binding and loosing was restricted to the apostles is false,
sw:  No, just because someone CLAIMS my argument is
false does not make it so!  No one has proven my argument
to be false - and since there was no one else present (this
was not a public sermon when Jesus spoke of binding and
loosing) my argument is on very solid ground.

> PBJ:  while the things Rome has bound include the
> Scriptures themselves, and the things she has loosed
> include the unholy sword of men upon them that loved
> them, while becoming as the gates of Hell for too many
> who trusted in her.
sw:  1) Yes, the Canon of Sacred Scripture has been infallibly
bound - even YOU accept the Church’s authority upon the
Canon of the New Testament!  Keep in mind it was the
Catholic Church in Catholic councils which initially spelled
out the Canon of Sacred Scripture and it was a Catholic
priest under direct request from Rome which translated the
Scriptures into the (then) common tongue of Latin (St.
Jerome).  It is that same Latin Vulgate which was declared
infallibly to represent the Canon of Sacred Scripture.  
These are facts of history which you cannot honestly deny.
sw: 2) There is no infallible “loosing of the sword” (holy or
unholy), so you’re just wrong there.
sw: 3) Becoming “the gates of Hell” would be exactly
contrary to what Scripture records Jesus promising, so
either your statement is false - or Jesus’ is.  I’ll stick with
Jesus’ statement!

And finally...
Don said, in comment 219:
April 22, 2013 at 12:19 am

> Don: Cathapol 215, (speaking to James Swan, who never
> replied)..
>> sw: …knowing that Protestants will reject any authority
>> outside of Scripture!
> Don: Um, sure, because all us Protestants are anarchists?
sw:  I didn’t say that, but one need only look at the literally
thousands of Protestant sects which have multiplied
virtually exponentially since the so-called “reformation.”
Catholicism has ALWAYS been there throughout 100% of
Christian history, and for over 50% of that history the Church
was ONE.  Protestantism crept onto the scene in the last
25% of Christian history and has divided itself so many
times since then that if one objectively wants to make an
argument for anarchy - historically speaking that logically
goes to Protestantism.  Now again, I did not make an
argument for anarchy, but since you brought it up, I
thought I should clarify.

> Don:  I would like to think by now that you understand
> that Protestants merely reject any authority that sets
> itself up to be equal to or above Scripture.
sw:  Well two things here.  First off, please pardon my
hyperbole.  I do recognize that Protestantism (for the
most part) does recognize other authorities, including
the Church, just not other infallible authorities.  Secondly,
I do not argue that the Church is above Scripture, though
I know others have attempted to SAY that is my position,
it is not.

> Don: Anyway, as you are aware, Scripture never
> mentions anything about a “Bishop of Rome,”
sw: Not by that name, but Scripture DOES mention the
“office” of the “bishoprick” (several times) and the fact
that this “office” is an “apostolic office” is undeniable, so
Peter, being a bishop who was in Rome (martyred there
on the same day St. Paul was martyred there).  The
Bishoprick of Rome is traditionally traced back to St. Peter,
so historically speaking - your argument is quite empty.

> Don:  and Protestants have heard and reject the
> exegetical efforts to get from Matthew 16 to the Vatican
> and Magesterium.
sw:  It doesn’t take much exegesis to get there... for those
who have eyes to see, that is.

> Don:  So there’s no great need to rehash those arguments.
> But evidence to support those arguments would be
> welcome; that seems to be what James Swan is requesting.
sw: Well, in this response I have not requoted all the arguments,
but I have referred to them and there are links back to the
original statements so the interested reader can go back and
read (or reread) what was stated.
> Don:  What sort of evidence? Well you’re correct that
> declarations from the Magisterium would not be sufficient.
> But simple, unbiased historical evidence would work fine.
> For example, if somebody found an authentic Polycarp
> manuscript that says something like, “…just like ol’ Pope
> Anacletus used to say…,” then you’d have some
> extremely strong evidence for Apostolic Succession;
sw:  Oh, like something from the Council of Chalcedon stating
"Peter speaks through Leo!"  See:

> Don:  from there, an argument that they would possess
> infallible authority would not be automatically accepted but
> would probably be quite strong.
sw:  Well, SEVERAL sources from the Early Church Fathers
are cited in the sources I cite above.  I see that you still leave
yourself an “out” from the argument, but at least you’re willing
to grant that such arguments are “strong.”  
sw:  So, with these replies, unless someone has something
of substance to counter with, I end my participation in the


  1. No further responses either here or on GB.

  2. Just checked again, still no further responses.


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