Thursday, January 09, 2014

Evangelization and Arguments

I recently deleted a comment because it had no relationship the post it was allegedly commenting on. I’ve been thinking about the comment, the writer’s purposes, his assumptions and his method.

HIs topic was the Catholic honouring of the Saints. He argued against it by citing Bible passages that contain the words Saint or Saints and showing that none of these passages refer to a dead saint. HIs purpose, seemingly, would be to lead me from Catholic “error” into Biblical truth. There’s nothing wrong with trying to increase the amount of truth on the Internet.

The assumptions he makes about the Bible are interesting. He seems to assume that the Protestant canon of Scripture is correct and so ignores the clear testimony of 2 Macc 15:11-17. But that book is one of those which isn’t in his canon so he ignored it. And I’m wondering if he’s assuming the Perspicuity of Scripture based on his doing an English word search and basing his conclusions on that. That is not at all unusual amongst "Bible Only” Christians.

I assume that he didn’t do this study especially for me since it wasn’t related to the post. So how to rate his effectiveness? In the end my intellectual curiosity was aroused by his comment, even if I deleted it. But what chance did he have of persuading me when we’re so far apart in some key beliefs?

 The kinds of issues he would need to deal with would include: 

  • The process and authority of the closing of the canon of Scripture;
  • The clear Scriptural reference to the difficulty of interpreting Scripture (2 Pet 3:15-16);
  • The failure of Scripture to claim for itself the authority that “Sola Scriptura” claims for it;
  • The fact that both written and oral Tradition are honoured in Scripture.
  • The ultimate circularity of the Bible-Only position.

That’s a lot of ground to cover. Perhaps you would like to comment on this post.

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