Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sola Scriptura? Into chapter 3 of Catholic Matters: "The Authority in Question" Of course, Neuhaus and I are arguing, but he makes some telling points.

[Regarding the matter of authority, t]he dispute [between Protestants and Catholics] is usually framed as the authority of the Bible vs. the authority of the Church, or the authority of the Bible vs. the authority of "tradition". But that way of framing the question is, I believe, deeply incoherent. . . . The promise of Jesus that he would send the Holy Spirit to guide his disciples into all truth is a promise made to the Church [as opposed to individuals? I think that would be his position]. That promise is fulfilled, in part in the Spirit-inspired writing of the New Testament. But the guidance of the Spirit did not end there. The promise is that the Spirit would guide the Church to the end of time. The Spirit aided the Church in the writing of the inspired texts [we must agree]; guided the Church in recognizing which texts, of the many claiming inspiration at the time, were truly inspired [we must agree]; guided the Church in determining what would be the canon of the New Testament [yes, yes]; and guided the Church in declaring the unique authority of the canonical texts for all time [yes]. In sum, it is the Spirit guiding the Church from beginning to end, and the end is not yet [gee, you mean it didn't end with the Westminster Confession?].

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