Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sacred Scripture, and I

"If it is true that the Scripture is so easy to understand, what is the use of so many commentaries made by your ministers, what is the object of so many harmonies, what is the good of so many schools of Theology ? here is need of no more, say you, than the doctrine of the pure word of God in the Church. But where is this word of God? In the Scripture? And Scripture-is it some secret thing ? No-you say not to the faithful. Why, then, these interpreters and these preachers? If you are faithful, you will understand the Scriptures as well as they do; send them off to unbelievers, and simply keep some deacons to give you the morsel of bread and pour out the wine of your supper. If you can feed yourselves in the field of the Scripture, what do you want , with pastors? Some young innocent, some mere child who is able to read, will do just as well. But whence comes this continual and irreconcilable discord which there is among you, brethren in Luther, over these words, This is my body" - St. Francis de Sales "The Catholic Controversy" Chapter X

I have to agree with St. Francis, even as someone who has done a year of biblical studies and read through the whole bible, and studied theology, I cannot boast to understand it on my own. I can come up with something that might sound like a valid interpretation, and indeed for myself this is enough. But teaching others the scriptures is really difficult. I get some very complex questions when I do bible study.

What I find as I wrestle with the Scriptures now, is that God is not calling me to Protestantism or Catholicism, he is calling me to holiness. That is the only true call I hear from Our Lord, the call to conversion, but also of the sufficiency of Christ. It is a paradox, and I can't quite grasp it perfectly, though I know of 3 or 4 schools of thought that would give me interpretations, none of them is exact.

I am thoroughly enjoying Acts, and I love the Pauline epistles, but what does "Righteousness of God" mean? what does even "Justification/logozomai" mean? These - at least to an only partially learned Christian - are extra biblical debates that require Tradition and Authority. Sorry if that is an unsatisfactory view, or if I just repeated what I've already said, but those are my thoughts on Sacred Scripture.

It is the Revelation of God, and in it God calls me to follow Christ, but in many areas, it is a mystery, and only through Tradition and Authorities is it understandable to me.

4 comments:

  1. I think the next questions are: Which traditions? Which authorities?

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  2. I guess. It becomes a matter then of whether you go with expertise and the academy, and with Protestantism. Or whether you go with the Fathers and Councils and choose Catholicism. Or try to mix the two and get Anglicanism.

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  3. I wouldn't break it down quite like that. I would put Protestantism with the Fathers and Councils (and the academy) along with Tridentine Roman Catholicism. The difference isn't whose appealed to. The difference is the substance of the appeal.

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