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Friday, August 12, 2011

Let's talk Sola Scriptura and What the Apostles believe

I have never understood the appeal of this doctrine.  I once had a man who adheres to this line of thinking say to me that he would never allow a bunch of old men in Rome tell him how to think.  He then went on to tell me that he is a follower of White and Piper.

huh?

There is nothing in the Holy Scripture that tells you only to rely upon Holy Scripture for one reason - the New Testament was being written and they did not know they were writing Holy Scripture. They thought they were sending someone a letter.

What made Holy Scripture Holy Scripture?

Well, God inspired the writers of course but God inspired a body of men to decide what would be included in the canon and what would not - and that group of men were The Church.  The One Holy Catholic Church.

Looking at the Creed of the Apostles, what I see is the continuity of The True Faith.  For instance, the opening line "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth" implies an incredible number of truths of the Christian Faith.  Each of these truths has been questioned during the Church's history and many of the people who believe the spurious scholarship that makes up the Trail of Blood often do not realize that those people they see as the persecuted 'real Christians' denied such beliefs as the divinity of Christ or the Truth of the Trinity.  The author of that 'book' ended up renouncing their own assertions.  That should clue you in that claiming that Baptists are Albigensian is not such a smart idea.

So over the next couple of weeks I want to examine the Apostles Creed.  I want us to think about the word Faith and what it means - the acceptance with our minds what someone else teaches or tells us. We believe because we trust what is being told to us - and when the information comes from a human being we call that human faith....when the one we believe in is God, it is Divine Faith.

Maybe, just for today, we can meditate on the phrase "I believe in God".  Could it have two meanings?  First we can say we believe God because we can ascertain through reason that God exists, has our best interests at heart and should, because of His very existence as our Creator, be believed.  He cannot lie to us because He is all good and therefore worthy of all our love. He cannot be deceived because He is all-knowing, so trying to hide ourselves from Him is useless.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.

However, we also believe in God.  That is expressed by our accepting on His Word all that He has revealed to us about Himself  and about His love and desires for His Creatures - in particular, His highest creation - us.

Belief in God, or Faith, is a gift of course from The Creator but it is also important to remember that it is possible to come to this belief through reason.  St Paul emphasized this and could not have been clearer on the duty we all have to get to know God by observing His world. St Paul insists that "Ever since God has created the world, His everlasting power and deity - however invisible - have been there for the mind to see in the things that He has made." (Romans 1:19-21).

Faith is a kind, or a form, of knowledge.  It is reasonable knowledge.  To divorce Faith from Reason, for someone who TRULY follows the Teachings of Christ, is impossible.  Faith without Reason is not Faith - it is hysteria.  Reason without Faith, I would assert, is not Reason - it is arrogance.  The rejection of the obvious - that we are Creatures of a a Creator.. and we are loved.

"I believe in God" is a powerful statement.  It is worth thinking about and praying about, and it is worth examining in light of Truth.


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