Freedom in Sola Scriptura

(A.M. Wolfe) #21

You do enjoy your imperative verb forms, don’t you!

Forgive me, but (ironically? :slight_smile: ) I’m going to give you a bit of unsolicited advice: Unsolicited advice and imperatives outside of relational context tend to make people bristle and tune you out. As the old saw goes, you catch more flies with honey.

I’m happy for you that you have found a home that suits you in the Church. Many moons ago, I seriously considered converting to Orthodoxy (had lengthy discussions with an Antiochan Orthodox friend, visited Russian Orthodox church, read Kallistos Ware’s How then are we saved? cover to cover, reached out to meet with our local priest) but in the end — and this forum isn’t the place to go into it — for a variety of reasons, it wasn’t a good fit for me. I’m happily Protestant, though I do wish Protestants did a better job of mining the Great Tradition’s theological and ecclesiological riches. (Yes, I know you’ll tell me it isn’t something to mine—you probably find the very thought offensive—but rather to join, experience, immerse oneself in. Tough cookies.)

I second this motion!



It’s one thing to convert to a new faith. It’s quite another to become radicalized by it, declaring holy war on other faiths.
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(Laura) #23

Do you see this as a possibility for the Southern Baptist denomination?

This is interesting, because as a Baptist myself (nominally anyway) I have been surprised when influential Baptists start bringing up “two thousand years of church history” as a reason for why something should not be changed, when up until that point they had seemed pretty darn “independent” about everything else (i.e., “the Bible is all we need”).

(Curtis Henderson) #24

Christy did have a valid point – Southern Baptist (and I assume other Baptist) seminaries do still teach a lot of church tradition and history, even if those topics don’t often make their way into the weekly sermon.

(Laura) #25

True… I guess this is one difference between independent Baptists and more of the “high church” traditions. We don’t seem to have as many things in our services that directly point to the 2,000 years between the ascension and now.

(Richard Mohr) #26

First, a thousand pardons for any offense that I have caused. I don’t mean to disparage anyone. I got saved at Melodyland, a charismatic place that no longer exists, eventually went to Fuller as a Presbyterian, was a member of EV Free Fullerton where Charles Swindoll was the preacher and now am what I am.

Usually, the non-Orthodox that I come into contact with know little or nothing about the Orthodox Church, hence I make my suggestions for further reading. I am friendly with almost everyone, believe it or not. If people look at Eastern Orthodox beliefs with Reformation eyes, those things can seem, well, incorrect.

Anyway, I am very interested in the struggles that people have with the apparent contradictions as far as science and faith are concerned. What do we do with what is not in the Bible? More than thirty years ago, I met someone at a conference for Sunday School and home schooling people. He was selling film strips about Genesis, among other things. He believed that if we don’t accept the literal reading of the beginning of Genesis as fact, then the whole Bible and the Gospel itself were compromised. This kind of statement I find discouraging.

When I find something in a science book meant for home schooling that is a factual error, I get annoyed because the children will be told something else when they have science later on. What do we do about that? A friend of mine, also a Fuller grad, and his wife tell people not to send their children to college because it will threaten their faith.

(Christy Hemphill) #27

If you meet any homeschoolers who are frustrated by the prevalence of YEC indoctrination in available materials, send them over to our homeschool forum where they can find some comaraderie with people who have not drunk that Kool Aid.

(A.M. Wolfe) #28

And I apologize for “piling on,” which I realized I had done after hitting that Reply button. Christy’s comments were really sufficient.

Honestly I think more Orthodox perspective, particularly on matters of faith & reason & origins and all that, would bring a lot to our Forum discussions. I occasionally follow the discussions over at Jesus Creed, and there’s an Orthodox voice there who goes by Dana Ames (don’t know if male or female). Dana’s comments are always gracious and enlightening. People may have been drawn by Dana’s comments to explore Orthodoxy more, even without obvious “evangelizing” if you will, just because of the winsomeness of those comments.

So I hope my comments weren’t offputting to you. Grace and peace.

(George Brooks) #29


I think, historically speaking, one of the ways the Eastern Orthodox communion is at peace with
their traditions is that it helps defend against a possibly ever-intruding Roman Catholic world view.

If your basic premise is … we’re not even interested because that’s your tradition - - you can see
an equivalent defense being created in a different way by Evangelical communions which insist that
if they change one little piece of their Bible interpretation, everything will become ruined.

The irony of the Evangelical position is that all these churches depend on the Bible as the basis for
their faith - - and yet so many of these denominations still can’t agree on what those “unchanging
constants” should be!:

  1. handling snakes?
  2. drinking poison?
  3. glossalalia?
  4. adult baptism?
  5. ‘Slain in the Spirit’?
  6. ‘Second Act of Grace’?
  7. Pre-Millenial?
  8. Post-Millenial?

And so on…

(GJDS) #30

Hi Richard,

I am born and raised in the Orthodox Church and am still learning regarding theology and traditions. I would add that I still feel I know little about the various Protestant/reformation churches, and yet I am at times driven to try and understand some of their outlooks.

Both the West and East branches of Christianity have developed theological doctrines over more than a thousand years - so short of dedicating ones entire life to study, it would be difficult to have a complete understanding.

I have noticed one thing that may be relevant. The Orthodox congregation is both communal, and through traditions and various activities, are closer to a “way of life”, and thus doctrine is embedded in the liturgy and other activities. From my limited understanding, the Protestant/reformed seem to me more communal, with doctrine derived from some person that has founded the particular church. This may have relevance to the bewildering science/faith conflicts that are often termed “culture wars” amongst them.

Just a few thoughts.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #31

I lean towards EO as far as theology is concerned, I may eventually convert. With regards to Sola Scriptura, read Matthew 18:17 carefully:

If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

Church authority matters, not just scripture, and thus we should not simply dismiss thousands of years of church tradition.

Next, 2 Corinthians 10:8:

For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed.

There you go, the Church has the authority to determine Christian doctrine.

Also, how clearer could John 21:25 be? Not everything Jesus did is written in the scriptures.