by Matthew J Bellisario
You said in this question regarding 1 John 4:1, “But what is inescapable is that the verse is commanding believers to pass judgments on teachers. And, in fact, this particular epistle is commanding them (implicitly) to use Scripture (since this epistle is Scripture) in the process.” How can you deduce that this is implicitly speaking of Sacred Scripture alone? Just because the epistle is Scripture in the process? This is the most absurd assumption I have ever heard of. What is important is what this passage of Sacred Scripture says. It says to test the spirits whether they are of God. It says no place in Sacred Scripture, let alone this passage that Sacred Scripture is the only authority we have to go by. In fact the whole point here is that at this point and time when this passage was written, the Christians then would have thought no such thing. In fact the only “Scriptures” the people who were referring to was the Old Testament. What is inescapable for anyone reading this is that it never tells us the means to determine how to test the spirits, let alone telling us that it is Sacred Scripture alone.
Secondly the Bereans that you made reference to once again do not prove anything regarding Sola Scriptura. You have made yourself a hole here that you cant climb out of. You cannot assume that just because the Bereans searched the Scriptures, that they regarded this to be the only source of Divine Revelation. Thats like me writing and telling everyone that I searched the Webster dictionary today, and someone reading that and assuming that I never used any other source other than that in my life. The fact is you cannot prove that position from that statement. The same goes for your Berean argument. You are asking something from the text that just isn't there. The Catholic Church and her theologians today search the Scriptures as well, yet we all know very well that the Catholic Church and her theologians do not deny the full Divine Revelation of Tradition as well.
Yes Scripture tells us to test teachers to see whether they are false prophets. Unfortunately for you and your position, which you have thus far been unable to prove, this passage does not tell us that Sacred Scriptures are the only rule of faith to be used in doing this as you keep falsely suggesting.
As far as you citing St. Augustine and St Ambrose we can see once again how you cannot quote them in context as I have already indicated several times so far in this debate. Saint Ambrose never tells us that Sacred Scripture alone must be used. Once again you have to tell us that it is implicit, which is not true. The fact is Saint Ambrose never said that. Saint Augustine also never said in your quote that the Sacred Scriptures were the only source, he merely said, as the Catholic Church does, that no one is to contradict them. So what? How does this prove anything in regards to your argument for Scripture alone? The fact is it doesn't. 1 John, as I pointed out earlier in my debate does not give us any support for the false doctrine of Sola Scriptura either, because it also never even mentions once in its text anything of the sort. So far none of these arguments has even come close to being convincing.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
by Matthew J Bellisario