Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sola Scriptura and Tradition

Roman Catholics and Protestants tussle over many ideas, not the least of which is sola scriptura. Some Catholics consider Protestants wayward brothers and sisters of the same faith, while others have a virulent dislike of the Reformers. I find it interesting that people who elevate the beliefs and philosophies of men to an equal plane with God's Word sneer and label as heretics those who refrain from doing so. However, if one cracks his Bible, from time to time, he might understand the complete disdain revealed therein for Man's maundering over philosophical matters. Here's what Jesus said about the traditions and wisdom of Men:

7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.--Mark 7:7-9

In Colossians 2:8, Paul said: Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

In I Corinthians 1:18-25, Paul delivers this critical message on the subject of Man's wisdom:

18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

It seems to me that God has a very low estimation of Man's wisdom, and certainly doesn't consider it on a par with His own. A coherent reading of scripture makes this obvious. If the Bible represents God's wisdom and insight, how can the traditions and opinions of men stand in their radiance and not flinch? That is the ridiculous concept. That is the nigh-heretical view. That is the unbiblical perspective.

The concept of sola scriptura doesn't mean that truth is found nowhere outside scripture. Rather, it is the notion that the Holy Bible is the ultimate authority--never trumped, and never equalled.

Man's traditions and wisdom should subject themselves to God's Word. Not the other way around.

*For further reference, here's a past blog post that I wrote on the same topic.

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