Saturday, November 1, 2008

Answer 5 from Affirmative

MB: “God has always put forth His authority in a living entity.”

This claim is vacuous. God wrote the Ten Commandments in stone.

MB: “In the Old Covenant He gave the Jews the living Levitical priesthood to interpret the Living Tradition and the Sacred Scriptures put forth by God as Divine Revelation. There was a visible authority for the Jews to follow. Judaism was never a Scripture alone faith.”

See Answer 1. Additionally, the Levitical priesthood’s primarily purpose was carrying out the sacrificial system, not serving as lawyers.

MB: “We see a continuation of this with Jesus, the Word of God coming in the flesh to become the high priest who gave us a Church as "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15).”

The church can have the purpose of being “the pillar and foundation of truth” without always achieving that objective to the highest degree. Recall that the Sanhedrin had the Mosaic legislative role, but poorly executed it.

MB: “He also gave us a living Sacred Tradition and the Sacred Scriptures within this structure (2 Thess. 2:15, 1 Cor. 11:2).”

The prooftexts don’t support MB’s claim.

MB: “The Church structure is visible ("I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" Matt. 16:18), it is passed down through apostolic succession.”

The comment about building His church doesn’t imply a “visible structure.” Jesus was a carpenter, but the church He built didn’t come from a lumberyard. Likewise, the gates of hell are metaphorical, not literal.

MB: “Christ told the disciples: "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me" (Luke 10:16)”

That proves the authority of the Scriptures those disciples passed down.

MB: “and the Church maintains a character of authority (Matt. 18:18),”

We agree that the church has authority, derivative authority.

MB: “just as the Nicene Creed also professes.”

Not true, see Answer 4.

MB: “By this Church entity given to us by Christ we can know the correct interpretations of Sacred Scripture and what the full deposit of Divine Revelation is.”

Even prooftexting fails MB, since Scriptures are unaware of the theology of Vatican II.

MB: “The chair of Saint Peter (John 21:15–17 "Feed my sheep . . . ", Luke 22:32 "I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail", and Matthew 16:18 "You are Peter . . . ") was given to us just as the Jews had the chair of Moses (Matt. 23:2) as the uniting visible head of the Church, although Jesus Christ remains the true head of the Church (Hebrews 2:17) , he also gave us the Holy Spirit to guide it infallibly as well (John 16:13).”

The Bible doesn’t mention a “chair of Peter.” The passages cited don’t stand for the idea of Petrine primacy. Interestingly, MB decided to make a presentation for Petrine primacy in the fathers.

MB provided a quotation from Ambrose that Peter was the rock and foundation of the church. Despite insistence that Sola Scriptura advocates must find “alone” in their texts, Ambrose doesn’t say that Peter “alone” is the foundation. Furthermore, Ambrose himself goes on to say in book 5 that “the Person of Christ” “is the foundation of all and is the head of the Church,” having already said in book 2, “Nor was Paul inferior to Peter though the latter was the foundation of the Church.”

MB provided a quotation from Augustine that actually undermines his “Peter alone” theory, since Augustine states, “Some things are said which seem to relate especially to the apostle Peter, and yet are not clear in their meaning unless referred to the Church, which he is acknowledged to have represented in a figure ….”

MB provided a quotation allegedly from the Council of Ephesus, but in fact the simply the statement of Philip, a presbyter from Rome, at that council.

MB: “You said in your rebuttal, ‘Our interpretations are fallible, but Scripture is infallible.’”

Yes, because it is the Word of God: the only infallible Being.

Isaiah 40:6-8

6The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, … surely the people is grass. 8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

1 Peter 1:24-25

24For all flesh is as grass … The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

MB asked, “If all interpretations of the Sacred Scriptures are fallible as you claim, then how can anyone know for sure what the correct interpretation is without an authority higher than the Scriptures themselves?”

Man can wish otherwise, but it is intrinsic to mankind in this life to fallibly interpret. There’s no way around it. The appropriate mechanism for understanding Scripture is comparing Scripture to Scripture, asking the Holy Spirit for assistance, and utilizing the subservient tools God has given us.

MB secondly asked, “Should we believe you just because you say so, or some confession says so?”

No. See Answer 4.

MB: “Of course one would answer with “the Holy Spirit tells us”, but every one of the 9000 denominations all tell us this as well.”

With respect to the counterplan – one is in the same boat: “my church tells me,” is the same thing that all the denominations that reject Sola Scriptura likewise say.

MB thirdly asked, “My question is, who can interpret the Sacred Scriptures infallibly, and how can we know for sure without a visible God breathed Church entity as the one I have pointed out above?”

God alone is infallible. The only God-breathed entity described in Scripture is Scripture itself. If MB wishes to claim that his church is inspired, he steps not only beyond Scripture and the early church, but even beyond the teaching authority of his own church.


Answer 4 from Affirmative

MB’s next questions relate to the Nicene Creed, which he thinks is: “professed by every ancient Christian church in existence as containing a sound foundation to Christianity.”

The two Councils (respectively composing and revising it) provided a creed: a short recital of important Scriptural doctrines not the foundation itself.

As Augustine, in sermon 212, explained:

“We call it Creed or symbolum, transferring the term by a kind of simile, because merchants draw up for themselves a syrnbolum by which their alliance is held bound as by a pact of fidelity. Your union, moreover, is a spiritual fellowship, so that you are like traders seeking a valuable pearl, that is, the charity which will be poured forth in your hearts by the Holy Spirit who will be given to you. One makes progress toward this charity by faith in what is contained in the Creed: that you believe in God the Father Almighty, the invisible, immortal King of ages, the Creator of things visible and invisible; and in whatever else either sound reason or the authority of holy Scripture worthily tells us about Him.”

John Cassian, in Book VI, Chapter III, explained:

“For as you know a Creed (Symbolum) gets its name from being a collection. For what is called in Greek σίμβολο is termed in Latin “Collatio.” But it is therefore a collection (collation) because when the faith of the whole Catholic law was collected together by the apostles of the Lord all those matters which are spread over the whole body of the sacred writings with immense fulness of detail were collected together in sum in the matchless brevity of the Creed according to the Apostle's words: “Completing His word and cutting it short in righteousness because a short word shall the Lord make upon the earth.” This then is the short word which the Lord made collecting together in few words the faith of both of His Testaments and including in a few brief clauses the drift of all the Scriptures building up His own out of His own and giving the force of the whole law in a most compendious and brief formula. Providing in this, like a most tender father, for the carelessness and ignorance of some of his children that no mind however simple and ignorant might have any trouble over what could so easily be retained in the memory.”

Cassian described the Creed of Antioch, and Augustine apparently the so-called Apostle’s creed, but both explain that creeds were derived from the foundation of Scripture, Cassian more explicitly and Augustine less explicitly.

MB asked (first question), “Why does this Creed not profess Scripture Alone, and instead focuses on the Church?”

Only once does the creed mention why the miraculous is believed: the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The one reason for believing: Scripture. Furthermore, discussing how the Holy Spirit speaks, the creed mentions only that the Holy Spirit is he “Who spake by the prophets.” The word “spake” (λαλησαν) is aorist (perfect in Latin: “locútus est”), indicating something already completed, as opposed to an ongoing process. This too is refers to Scripture, the prophets metonymically representing the inspired writings (cf. Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.). The creed does not “focus on the Church.”

Toward the end, the Creed lists “[and] (in) one holy, catholic, and apostolic church … ” (Greek version using square brackets, Latin in parentheses). Only such a church’s existence is mentioned. In contrast, the creed refers twice to Scripture, and the creed itself simply summarizes Scriptural doctrine. When it refers to Scripture explicitly, it for establishing the matter, and when it refers to Scripture indirectly (as “the prophets”) it for explaining their authority, namely that God spoke by them. In contrast, the church is not identified in the Nicene Creed as the foundation for anything.

MB continues, “Notice the Creed also does not mention Tradition either, since it is obvious that it resides in the structure of the Church.” “Either”? It seems MB has gone from missing one of the two references to Scripture in the creed to imagining that Scripture is not mentioned at all. In fact, “tradition” is not mentioned at all – but to suggest that this is because “it resides in the structure of the Church,” doesn’t explain the silence. The Scripture, being itself within Tradition (according to MB) would likewise “reside in the structure of the Church,” but it is explicitly mentioned. So, MB’s explanation of the silence isn’t and shouldn’t be persuasive.

Secondly, MB asks, “My question is, why when this Creed was written was the emphasis put on believing in the Catholic Church, rather than a profession of following the Sacred Scriptures alone?”

a) False dichotomy. We too believe in the one holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

b) Fallacy of selected emphasis. MB’s emphasis is on that clause, but that clause was not the emphasis of the drafters of the creed. It was only added in the revision to the creed at Constantinople. In any event, that clause is not the emphasis of the creed – the emphasis of the creed is on Christ’s divinity.

c) Fallacy of Non Sequitur. Although MB may wish that the creed suggested that men should believe what the “Catholic Church” says, that’s not what the creed says. Instead, the emphasis in the creed is on the unity, universality, and historicity of the church.

Thirdly, MB asked: “After all, if this (Sola Scriptura) is the bedrock of Christianity as you have been trying to prove, then why did this ancient council in the midst of heavy controversy neglect to include this in its Creed?”

Even the Arians were not so foolish as to deny that Scripture is the sole rule of faith; the issue that was being addressed was not the rule of faith, but the divinity of Christ; and they already addressed it as discussed above.

MB finally asked, “An inadvertent omission or error perhaps?” Already answered above.


Answer 3 from Affirmative

Question 3 Where is your church and its confession in the world before the 16th century?

Answer: My church is not defined by walls. Instead, my church is defined by faith in the Christ of the Scriptures (as the ECFs taught as already pointed out to you in my first question). As Jesus said:

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

The confession is simply a summary of Scriptural teachings. It does not replace or substitute the Scriptures.

MB claimed, “Your beliefs and opinions regarding Sacred Scripture are found in no church in existence before the … 16th century.” That assertion is not true. Even if it were true, however, it is irrelevant to this debate. That’s not a standard that MB’s counter-plan can stand up to. Trent’s position on Scripture – or better yet Vatican II’s position on Scripture – may find partial support in some early conciliar documents – but nothing that was written with the object of reflecting the views of an entire church.

MB then identified the statements from my opening post on the canon, the sufficiency of Scripture, and the perspicuity of Scripture. MB acknowledged that, “There are more teachings that I can list, but I will use these for my question.” Picking and choosing teachings is an interesting way to evaluate the matter. Nevertheless, these are what he picked.

MB continued, “In fact whether the church be Syrian, Maronite, Syro-Malankara, Coptic, Ethiopic, Byzantine, Chaldean, Syro-Malabar or Armenian, they all reject your 66 book Canon and they all reject Sola Scriptura.”

It’s interesting that MB tries to use them as a guide. They cannot agree among themselves on the canon or on whether the pope’s ex cathedra statements are part of the rule of faith. They may all wish to add to the Bible in one way or another (as also others do), but their testimony is at odds, one with another. Even within Romanism, there are some who argue that the number of the books in the canon has not been definitively fixed by Trent, there are divisions on material sufficiency, and there seem to be disagreements over perspicuity.

MB acknowledged that, “Everyone of these different churches claim and can historically trace their existence back to the apostles themselves.” So can, in the same sense, every church (including the many Reformed churches). The Jews (whether Pharisee, Sadducee, or modern Kabbalist) historically trace themselves back to Moses. But unless MB wants to say that the apostles were divided over papal infallibility and the canon of Scripture, the ability to trace one’s genealogy is simply a Jewish genetic fallacy.

MB claimed, “They all attest to Sacred Scripture within Sacred Tradition.” They themselves cannot agree what the bounds of either Scripture or Tradition are. This actually undermines the counter-plan. One cannot use this genetic fallacy that because these churches can somehow trace themselves back to ancient times, consequently they are right – because they disagree with one another on the very issues that MB tries to make important. Likewise, the exact relationship between Scripture and Tradition is not defined outside of Romanism by the equivalent of Trent and Vatican II. And, of course, before the 16th century there was not even an equivalent to Trent in Romanism. Thus, the implication that because there was no pre-Tridentine Reformation council that produced a document like the Westminster Confession of Faith, is not an argument that can be made consistently by MB.

MB claimed, “All of these Rites exist within the Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox, and hail from all over the world, established by different apostles, yet they all hold to the Catholic teaching of Sacred Tradition.” In fact, however, it’s hard enough for members only of Romanism (whether of the Latin or other rite) to agree on what the teaching of “Sacred Tradition” is. It is the height of naiveté to suppose that all of the listed churches hold to “the Catholic teaching” of the matter.

MB asserted, “If your claim of Sola Scriptura is true, we should see these claims made somewhere among the ancient churches as well.” MB anachronistically calls these modern churches ancient, and ignores the fact that in ancient times these churches did not resort to anything but Scripture as a rule of faith. We have shown that from the writings of the Early Church Fathers.

MB asked, “My question is, where is your Westminster confession equivalent, proving Sola Scriptura among any ancient church group before the 16th century, and where is the your [sic] equivalent Liturgy of the Eucharist proving these beliefs in practice.”

That, again, is two questions (and the third of this round). The answer to the former would include, for example, the Waldensian Confession of 1120. The answer to the latter question may be answered by the simple liturgy of the Waldensians as well. Certainly there have been some questions raised about the historicity of these Waldensian documents, but even those who claim that the Waldensian materials are fake, admit that the Waldensians existed as a group before the 16th century. Ultimately, the problem with the question can be seen from MB’s own caveat:

MB insisted, “Please do not quote Church Fathers individually, since all of the Church Fathers belonged to one of the above groups and all celebrated one of their ancient Liturgies.” It is interesting how quick MB is to try to silence the testimony of the Fathers, and to make unsupported assertions regarding their beliefs/worship. There is no reason for MB to ask that they not be quoted “individually,” except that MB already knows what their testimony would be. For example, MB surely knows that Cardinal Cajetan (writing before Trent’s decree) admitted that Jerome rejected the Apocrypha as being canonical scriptures in the strict sense. Furthermore, their individual testimonies demonstrate that the churches who claim to trace their lineage back to the apostles do not follow the teachings of the apostles.


Answer 2 from Affirmative

I had written: “(VII) Not all of the teachings of Scripture are equally clear, but the things necessary to be known for salvation are clearly taught, so that even uneducated people can understand them.”

MB asked: “My question is, why should anyone believe that your interpretation of Sacred Scripture or any other Protestant group's interpretation is the correct one, and why should anyone believe that you or they can determine what is necessary and what is not?”

That’s (at least) two questions already (more below). The answer to the first should be obvious: compare my interpretation to the infallible rule of faith (Scripture), pray to God for wisdom, use the fallible tools that you have (whether that be lexicons, church teachings, etc.), and see whether my interpretations are correct. As Augustine put it, in his letter (147) to Paulina: “I do not want you to depend on my authority, so as to think that you must believe something because it is said by me; you should rest your belief either on the canonical Scriptures, if you do not yet see how true something is, or on the truth made manifest to you interiorly, so that you may see clearly.”

The answer to the second is two-fold. First, knowing what is necessary (or not) to salvation is not itself necessary to salvation. Second, one must believe that the Scripture is able to make us wise unto salvation. I don’t insist that people have to delineate precisely what is necessary (versus unnecessary) to know to be saved for themselves to be saved. I wonder whether MB simply has misunderstood the WCF and me. We are not claiming that Scripture clearly delineates each of the necessary from all the unnecessary, but that Scripture clearly teaches those things that are themselves necessary (such as, for example, theism).

MB also asked (third question, for those counting): “Why do so many “necessary” teachings regarding salvation differ from each other, when all of these “denominations” are using the same method that you are using, all claiming that these “necessary” doctrines are so easy to arrive at from Sacred Scripture?”

MB cited a seminary web site that identified 9000 denominations. Although MB thinks “they all profess a belief that everything we need to know about salvation is clear in Sacred Scripture,” MB is mistaken. That 9000 number includes plenty of denominations that don’t profess such a belief. I wish that they all did. I’ll further answer this question with the next.

MB asked (fourthly): “If they are so easy to understand then why isn't something such as salvation and justification agreed upon?

In broad terms there is wide agreement on things like salvation and justification. The more detail you introduce, the less agreement you see. A simple explanation is that a very detailed understanding is not something necessary for a person to know to be saved. That’s something even most of Rome’s own apologists would admit.

a) There are many things that prevent people from seeing clear truths. Sometimes it is hardness of heart – sometimes it is blind guides. (See, for example, Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.)

b) More importantly, there is a difference between knowing the things that are necessary for salvation and knowing which things are necessary for salvation. A simple faith may be unable to explain theology well, but it does not mean that the necessary things are unknown to that person. In other words, one can know the necessary things for salvation without being able clearly to distinguish the necessary things from the remaining things.

c) In broad terms there is wide agreement on things like salvation and justification. The more detail you introduce, the less agreement you see. A simple explanation is that a high level of detail is not something necessary for a person to know in order to be saved. That’s something that would even be admitted by your own church. It is not necessary fully to understand Trent’s doctrine of justification in order to be saved according to most of Catholicism’s spokesmen.

MB brought up the issue of perseverance; I don’t know very many Christians who would consider that knowing whether people can lose their salvation is something that is necessary for salvation. In fact, we also not saved by knowing how we are saved – we are saved by trusting in the finished work of Christ alone for our salvation. MB also brings up predestination, but Catholicism itself permits differences of opinion between Molinists and Thomists on that issue. MB mentions baptism too, but interestingly virtually all the 9000 denominations he identified would practice baptism in some form.

MB claimed, “… among these denominations that hold to Sola Scriptura, many disagree with each other as to what is and what is not, "necessary".” They may indeed disagree about that. I cannot think of any, however, who would say one has to know which things are necessary, in order to be saved.

For the purposes of this debate, though, one wonders why MB does not direct this criticism toward Chrysostom, who (making the same point the WCF and I make) declared, “All things are clear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; all things that are necessary are plain.” Meanwhile, dear reader, keep in mind, as Augustine said (same letter as above): “My reason for inserting these opinions of such great men on such a great subject was not to make you think that anyone's interpretation should be accepted with the authority due to the canonical Scripture, but that those who are otherwise minded may try to see with their mind what is true, and to seek God in the simplicity of their heart, and cease to find fault so rashly with the learned expounders of the divine words.”

- TurretinFan

Answer 1 from Affirmative

MB asked: “My question is, why do you reject the ancient Jewish position of Scripture and Tradition as one living source of Divine Revelation, when I have presented two scholars who attest to it?

My reason for rejecting MB’s scholars is Scripture, as will be explained below.

MB also asked: “I have now provided an additional example presented from Sacred Scripture itself with Jesus Himself clearly referring to an oral Tradition of the Jews. Please explain.”

As best understood, this is supposed to be part of one question, since the rules limit the number of questions for MB to ask. Thus, the explanation is interlaced within the detailed response below. Furthermore, it should be noted that there is an important shift in MB’s claim between saying that Jesus referred to an oral tradition and claiming that oral traditions were infallible. That Jews had oral traditions is undisputed and even if MB’s scholars disagree, one would think that MB would admit that the Jewish traditions were fallible.

For the more detailed reply:

A) As Cyril of Alexandria (5th Century) wrote regarding Isaiah 9:14-16: There were some among the Jews, in fact, who interpreted the Law given through the all-wise Moses, but acted corruptly by unjustly applying to the laws of Moses unwritten traditions, human requirements, and teachings. They led the mass of Jews astray, and caused them to rear their neck proudly against Christ; so since they followed the views of the priests, who acted in the role of a head, he called then the tail, since, as I said, the tail follows the head when we think in terms of a single body. When he refers to them as prophets, however, we shall not take them to be holy and true prophets, since he went on to say that they teach iniquity.”

B) Jesus was able to “make use of an Oral tradition,” but in Scripture He did so only in a critical way (for example he bashes the Jews’ oral tradition in Matthew 15:2-6, Mark 7:3-13, and Luke 6:1-5).

C) Jesus’ comment in Matthew 23:1-3 about the “seat of Moses” and “do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,” does not support MB’s contention that the “ancient Jewish position” was that “Scripture and Tradition [are] one living source of Divine Revelation.” This can be seen as follows:

i) Jesus’ disciples recognized that Jesus did no mean that the Sanhedrin’s authority was on a par with the Word of God, for when that body of authority contradicted the word of God the disciples violated the teaching that body:

Acts 5:27-29

27And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.

29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

ii) The concept of the “chair of Moses” is simply a metonym, like the “seat of the scorner” or the “path of the righteous.” There is no good reason to suppose that the reference to the “seat of Moses” is a reference to anything other than to the role of leadership over Israel.

iii) As noted above, no one doubts that the Jews had oral teachings. 1 Corinthians 10:4 (cited by MB) doesn’t prove that, but it is a moot point.

iv) MB seems to fall into the trap of conflating oral (or simply extra-scriptural) tradition with respect to history with oral tradition of the kind needed for his counter-plan.

D) MB states, “I presented evidence from two Jewish scholars in my opening statement, who readily admit that the Jewish faith was not a faith of Scripture alone, yet you never even made an attempt to refute them in your rebuttal.” Jesus himself condemned Jewish scholars who made Scriptures of none effect through their tradition. I don’t have a better answer than His.

E) MB repeats the two modern Jewish sources from his opening essay. I certainly agree that like Catholicism, Judaism cannot justify itself from Scripture alone, and consequently must deny Sola Scriptura. I also agree that consequently the claims of modern Judaism are very similar to the claims of Rome: and just as false in Jesus’ day when he condemned the Jews, as in our day, when we condemn Roman traditions.

F) MB argues that according to his Jewish sources, the ancient Jewish Oral Tradition held the same weight as the written.

i) Yes – they said so, but MB claimed that the Oral Traditions were fallible. MB contradicted his own evidence. MB was right in saying that they were fallible, for Jesus condemned them. I have a standard to determine whether MB or the Jews are right, the infallible standard of Scripture.

ii) But now it seems to be the case that MB wants to adopt the position of his Jewish sources. MB states, “This means that they are Divine Revelation from God Himself.” If that is so, why does MB not obey them? In particular, on the issue of the canon, why does MB reject their testimony? Furthermore, why does MB accept Jesus’ claim to be divine, since Jesus contradicted the oral traditions of the Jews?

G) As Chrysostom (4th to 5th centuries) declared against Judaizing Christians, “Finally, if the ceremonies of the Jews move you to admiration, what do you have in common with us? If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies. But if ours are true, as they are true, theirs are filled with deceit. I am not speaking of the Scriptures. Heaven forbid! It was the Scriptures which took me by the hand and led me to Christ.


Objection 1: The rule of faith must result in unity of doctrine, but Sola Scriptura does not result in unity of doctrine, therefore Scripture alone is not the rule of faith.

To which we answer,

1) The rule of faith should be judged in itself apart from its result. In itself, the Scriptures are the very Word of God by virtue of being inspired, and consequently are a reliable rule of faith.

2) Although it is written, "by their fruits ye shall know them," this is written in reference to men.

Scripture is the alone rule of faith.

Objection 1: The rule of faith must result in unity of doctrine, but Sola Scriptura does not result in unity of doctrine, therefore Scripture alone is not the rule of faith.

To which we answer,

1) The rule of faith should be judged in itself apart from its result. In itself, the Scriptures are the very Word of God by virtue of being inspired, and consequently are a reliable rule of faith.

2) Although it is written, "by their fruits ye shall know them," this is written in reference to men.

Scripture is the alone rule of faith.

Objection 1: The rule of faith must result in unity of doctrine, but Sola Scriptura does not result in unity of doctrine, therefore Scripture alone is not the rule of faith.

To which we answer,

1) The rule of faith should be judged in itself apart from its result. In itself, the Scriptures are the very Word of God by virtue of being inspired, and consequently are a reliable rule of faith.

2) Although it is written, "by their fruits ye shall know them," this is written in reference