The discussion has shifted from when Martin Luther asserted Sola Scriptura. Now, the discussion is not whether Scripture is the authority. The discussion is concerning the scope of that authority and the interpretation of Scripture. Oh, there are some who declare (by unsupported assertion) that the Bible is not authority, but they aren’t credible. Their arguments aren’t rational. Making the matter more difficult, most people don’t realize that interpretation, by its very nature, adds to Scripture. There are three ways to interpret Scripture. Scripture can be interpreted by the human mind. It can be interpreted by demons. It can be interpreted by the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, Jesus promised that no one who asks for the Holy Spirit will receive anything else. God tells us, through Paul’s writings, that we only know in part and that, if we think we know anything, we don’t know as we ought. That means, we need to hold our interpretations loosely enough that the Holy Spirit will be able to correct us.
Sola Scriptura: “Scripture alone as authority.” “Scripture alone is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, not the traditions of men or even the Church.”
Some have twisted sola Scriptura to mean that the Scripture is the only way that God speaks. However, Scripture doesn’t say that Scripture is the only way that God speaks. God, speaking through Scripture, tells us that Scripture is not the only way that God speaks. In fact, we can’t know that Scripture alone is the inspired, inerrant Word of God unless God reveals this to us, and God doesn’t specifically say this in Scripture. He says that Scripture cannot be broken. He says that Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Some have implied that this means that Scripture is they only way that a servant of God may be equipped for every good work. That would be to leave Christ out of the matter. In this way, a dedicated Atheist who studies Scripture so he can claim that God doesn’t exist is being equipped for every good work. If Scripture is all that is needed, that would be the result. It’s true that no one can read Scripture or hear it being read without interacting with the living Christ, but rejection is also an interaction. Acknowledgement of the Christ must occur, not just acknowledging that the Bible exists. The Holy Spirit revealed which books belong in the cannon of Scripture and He has revealed that Scripture alone is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, not the traditions of men or even the Church.
Sola Scriptura is one of five solas that Martin Luther received by the Holy Spirit. None of the solas stands on its own. The solas are interdependent. For instance, if we declare that Scripture alone holds the key to knowing certain things, we need to know why Scripture alone holds the key. If Scripture is the foundation, what is the foundation of Scripture. The foundation of Scripture is the Writer of Scripture, the Triune God. He is the One Who wrote Scripture. He is the only One Who can interpret Scripture. He tells us, through Scripture, that Scripture can be falsely interpreted by Satan or by the human mind. It can be twisted.
It seems that every person who has a strongly held opinion about a certain interpretation of Scripture considers his or her opinion to be the right opinion. That person will consider any other interpretation to be a form of twisting Scripture. Some twisting of Scripture is obvious. Often, you end up with two theologians each accusing the other of twisting Scripture. Both of them have added to Scripture through interpretation. Interpretation, by it’s very nature, must add to Scripture.
This is a quote from a theologian:
But the Bible says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, emphasis added). This means the man of God needs no outside help to mature. The Bible alone is sufficient for faith and practice. By it alone we can know what Jesus desires of us.
Adding to God’s words goes like this: God said A. This means B. B is not A. B is a modified version of A.
In this case, adding to God’s words goes this way. God says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, emphasis added). This means “The man of God needs no outside help to mature. The Bible alone is sufficient for faith and practice. By it alone we can know what Jesus desires of us.”
Let’s test this. Suppose that a young person is considering two different careers. One is the career as a Java programmer. The other is a career as a Dot Net programmer. Where, in the Bible, do you look for the answer? You aren’t allowed to pray to God for guidance in the issue, remember. Remember what the theologian has said. “By it (the Bible) alone we can know what Jesus desires of us.”
Some people solve this by saying that there are many things God just doesn’t care about. You can do whatever you want. When choosing a wife or husband, there’s no need to ask for guidance. Just read your Bible. Write down the criteria and pick someone who meets the criteria in the Bible. Don’t add to the Bible at all.
Well, the human mind tends to interpret Scripture. It tends to add to Scripture through interpretation. That’s a big part of why we have denominations, divisions, in the Church. My own interpretation appears to be pure Scripture to me. Your own interpretation appears to be pure Scripture to you. You can’t understand how I get my interpretation when your own interpretation is obviously correct. That’s because interpretations are filtered through worldviews. Worldviews appear to be reality. However, worldviews are not reality. They are concept. They are not accurate. Yet, they seem to be reality. Second Corinthians chapter three mentions this problem, referring to a veil through which Scripture is seen.
Whenever we look at things in the present and try to extrapolate into the past, everything we dream up by such a process should be held very tentatively. If the evidence is considered selectively, we are in even more danger of being wrong. If we are trying to conform to the world, we have even more reason to seek God concerning our thinking. If there is a financial or ego-based incentive, we are even more likely to be deceived. The human mind is evil and deceitful. However, the Holy Spirit is our teacher. If we are walking in the Spirit, we are learning to hear His voice and to respond in obedience and submission. He promises to teach us all things. Alternatively, we can lean on our own understanding, ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.
It seems that Satan twists the meanings of words, many words besides evolution. It makes it difficult to communicate. Here’s a short list. I’m sure you could add to this.
Evolution means change over time. This broad definition makes the word meaningless. That change can’t include the change from non-living to living, though. It’s broad when we want it to be broad and narrow when we want it to be narrow. Maybe we ought to use the word, “evolutionism,” meaning the big-bang-billions-of-years-no-flood-molecules-to-man story, since all of these narritives are interrelated and they are each used as proof for the others.
Theory is spoken of as if it were a fact rather than an explanation that was devised to try to fit what can be observed. In essence, it’s a story.
Assumptions are treated as if they were facts. Well, that’s what an assumption is. It’s an unknown that’s treates as if it were known. Yet, assumptions are just fabrications. Most of them come out of worldviews. Worldviews are fake realities that seem like real reality–so assumptions seem real. We can test our assumptions, but the tests also involve assumptions, so the result is confirmation bias.
Facts are supposed to be part of reality. Yet, the word, “fact,” is used to describe concepts or theories. Concepts and theories are not part of reality by definition. Sometimes, the word, “fact,” is used for unsupported assertions.
Evidence is the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid. The word, “evidence,” is used a lot for lying. Facts are supposed to be part of reality. Information is supposed to be true information about reality. Made-up stuff isn’t supposed to be evidence. Yet, made-up stuff such as explanations, stories, theories, and assumptions are often the basis of what is called “evidence.”
Truth is absolute and exclusive by definition. Yet, many times opinions and interpretations are called “truth.” There is only one way to know truth. That is by Divine revelation. The Münchhausen trilemma enters in for all other options.
Knowledge is knowledge of truth or it really isn’t knowledge. If something isn’t known true, it isn’t known. Yet, many things are said to be known when they are only held as opinions. They may be strong opinions. They may be dogmatic opinions. But they are just opinions unless they are absolute. There is no way to self-generate absolute true. Absolute truth can only be imparted by Divine revelation from the absolute God.
Faith is not concept. It is substance; it’s part of reality. It’s the substance of things hoped for. Hope is absolute. Hope is a God-given vision of what God is going to do. Faith is also evidence. It is absolute certainty. It’s the absolute certainty that God imparts to us so we can know about things that can’t be perceived by natural senses. Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the utterance of God. The Holy Spirit leads and teaches us moment by moment. That’s how we hear God. He speaks through Scripture and through every means mentioned in Scripture.
Grace is not just forgiveness. Grace is the power of God that does God’s works through us when we acknowledge His Voice and receive His faith. His faith gives us access into this grace.
Love is what God is. Love fulfills all of the laws of God. Disobedience to God’s laws is indication that God’s love is missing. Yet, the word, “love,” is used to label acts that are in conflict with God and His will.
Science means knowledge. We already discussed knowledge. Yet, some things are called “science” that aren’t knowledge. Speculations about the past are not knowledge, for instance.
All of these words are being misused. Words fly by so quickly, but when they are used for deception, they can do horrible damage. Be alert. Your enemy, the devil is going around like a roaring lion seeing who he can devour.
Of course, we know that explanations are not evidence. All theories are conceptual in nature. They are explanations. It’s very important to avoid confusing concepts with reality. Jesus Christ isn’t a concept. He is real. He can be known. Everyone who knows Him is led and taught by the Holy Spirit moment by moment in an ongoing experience that advances from glory to glory by the Holy Spirit.
This is from a post by Biblical Creation & Apologetics Ministries: “Because these sediment layers can be many hundreds of meters thick, and because it’s assumed that sedimentation rates have always been slow, secular scientists believe the sediment deposition required many millions of years.”
“because it’s assumed” Human’s assume automatically. This is how we add to what God is saying to us. However, we don’t have to add to His Words, whether He is speaking through Creation or through Scripture. The Holy Spirit will reveal to us where we have left reality and have gone to the world of make-believe through our hidden assumptions. We must pray that He demolishes the strongholds of our minds as He leads and teaches us moment by moment throughout our lives. We must not artificially limit God with our assumptions.
Assumptions quickly are converted into presuppositions. Assumptions are suppositions. They are things we suppose, yet we don’t know them. We just treat them as if we know them. Then, we forget that they were assumed or we never become conscious that they were assumed. They seem to be real. So, we add them to our worldview, our conceptual inner world. The problem is that once these assumptions become part of that inner worldview, they seem real. They are make-believe, but they seem to be part of reality. We have lost touch with reality and instead are dealing with a land of make-believe within our minds. This happens to Christians and to skeptics alike. These concepts are strongholds in our minds. We look for ways to strengthen them up, and we’re able to strengthen them through confirmation bias. Groups of like-minded people gather together for the purpose of strengthening their confirmation bias. Group-held confirmation bias is even more difficult to overcome. We see this among skeptics. We see this in Secular science. We see this in denominational doctrines that add to God’s Words.
A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself. Proverbs 18:2
This could be translated, a fool has no interest in understanding but to reveal his/her own innermost mind. Note that there is a choice. The person could choose understanding or his/her own mind. Knowing how the human mind works, this isn’t a surprising choice.
The human mind is incapable of rational thought on its own. Rational thought requires a true premise that leads to a true conclusion. On its own, the human mind cannot generate a true premise. Where would a true premise be found. A premise is a claim. It must be true. How do you prove the claim true? With another claim? How do you prove that claim true? You can’t without Divine revelation. Truth is only available in Jesus Christ. In Him is hidden all knowledge.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
Here, we have the same distinction made, but this one is between those who fear (respect) the Lord and those who despise wisdom and instruction.
Therefore, when any person looks into his or her own mind for knowledge, that person becomes a fool. Understanding comes from God. It can’t be found in one’s own mind. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Psalms 111:10
Here’s the problem. Sound reason requires a true premise. Where will a Secularist get a true premise? How will he or she prove the premise true? They can’t ever do this. Yet, they try to force us to think like they do, in a make-believe world where nothing can be known. They are insistent that we think like they do. Yet, we know Jesus Christ personally. Everyone who follows Christ is led and taught by the Holy Spirit moment by moment. That is, we have Divine revelation that is imparted by God. He is teaching us discernment. We are learning to hear His Voice and to respond in submission. For this reason, anything God reveals is a true premise–a thing that Secularists cannot possibly have.
Since no true premise can be known without Divine revelation, the comparison is always between Divine revelation and logical fallacy. God reveals that the Bible is His Word without error. He reveals this through conscience, the Holy Spirit’s leading, the Bible, Creation, and other means. God’s revelation is not dependent on the weakness of the human mind. All conclusions of Secular science are based on assumptions and stories that have either a false or an unknown truth-value. Those conclusions cannot possibly be based on true premises. Sound reasoning requires true premises. Conclusions based on sound unsound reasoning are fallacious. Therefore, every Secular conclusion is based on logical fallacy. They can’t help it.
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Anyone who fails to acknowledge God’s revelation is forced to be a fool. They are forced to be a fool because they can’t reason from a true premise. It’s impossible for them to do so. If they come up with proof (a premise), what makes them think that their proof (premise) is true? They might give proof (a premise) for their proof, but what makes them think that the proof of their proof is true? Well, they can try again and again, but they never find a true premise. Divine revelation is directly imparted by God. Acknowldging Him as the Holy Spirit guides, leads, and teaches is the only way to avoid being a fool.