Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #83

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

My daughter, McKenna, will be making her first Holy Communion this Sunday afternoon…please keep her in your prayers. It’s such an incredible thing to experience as a parent!

Next time to travel will be to Boise on May 16th. I’ll be speaking at Our Lady of the Valley in Caldwell on Friday night at 7:00 PM, and then at Our Lady of the Rosary in Boise on Saturday morning – beginning at 8:30 AM. If you’re in the neighborhood I’d love to see you there.


No reply from Tricia…I don’t think I’ll get another one, at least, not for a while. So, I’m going to do something a little bit different.

I’ve had people after me for years to do versions of my talks that are more “Protestant-friendly” – so I’ve decided to undertake just such a task. But, before I can give the talk and record the talk, I have to write the talk. So, what I want to do is to kind of combine writing these talks with writing these newsletters.

In other words, I want you guys to kind of be my editing staff. If you would be so kind as to read what I say and give me some feedback on it, maybe some ideas, etc., I think we could collaborate to produce some good stuff.

Now, this is not to say that I would abandon my exchanges with non-Catholics, but what I was thinking was that I could take 2 or 3 issues to put out a particular talk and then maybe several issues with some back and forth with a non-Catholic and then maybe spend a few issues on another talk and so on. What do you think…good idea? Bad idea?

I’m going to include the introductory part of the first of this new series of talks in this issue. There’s not a whole lot to it – I’ve had a fever most of the day and didn’t get done even half of what I was hoping to do – but I wanted to put it out there to give you a feel for what I’m talking about doing.

So, again, just let me know what you think of the idea. The next couple of issues will have the rest of this talk and then I’ll get back to another “dialogue” with the next person on my list.


Sola Scriptura

This is the first of a series of talks addressed to non-Catholic Christians. Not to all non-Catholic Christians, but specifically to those non-Catholic Christians who are not Eastern Orthodox. Some of the names applied to these Christians are: Baptists, Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, non-Denominational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Church of God, and so on. For simplicity, I will refer to all of these folks as “Protestants,” whether that is a name they apply to themselves or not. I hope not to offend anyone by doing so, but I find it is simply easier to group Christians as being either Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant.

I fully realize, though, that many Baptists do not believe themselves to be “Protestant” nor do those in the “Church of Christ” nor do those who refer to themselves as “just a Christian” nor do those who say they are “non-denominational” nor many others as well. However, using the term “Protestant” to describe those Christians who are not Catholic Christians and who are not Orthodox Christians, is simply easier than saying, “Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Evangelicals, Episcopalians, Church of Christ, Church of God, non-Denominationalists,” etc. over and over again. So, I hope none of these folks are offended by being referred to as “Protestant,” but it is simply a convention I will use as a more efficient way to address the various groups thus mentioned.

Now, the first topic I wish to address in this series is the one that I find to be the one common thread running throughout the many and varied groups I have lumped together under Protestantism, and that is the topic of Sola Scriptura. There are two dogmas that I call the “Pillars of Protestantism” – these being “Sola Scriptura” – or Scripture Alone – and “Sola Fide” – or Faith Alone. While I have come across Protestants who do not believe in the dogma of Sola Fide, I have yet to come across any Protestants who do not believe in the dogma of Sola Scriptura.

So, near as I can tell, this dogma of Sola Scriptura is the one dogma that all Protestants believe in. Which is why I wanted to start the discussion here.

First, let me define the dogma of Sola Scriptura so that you know exactly what I mean when I use the term. As I understand it, it is the belief that the Bible, and the Bible alone, is the only thing that a Christian needs in order to know whatever they need to know about Christian teaching and practice.

Using that definition as a basis for this talk, I wish to examine this dogma from several different angles, ask some questions about it, and then contrast it with Catholic teaching. And, while my ultimate purpose here is to hopefully persuade you that Sola Scriptura is not a teaching any Christian should believe, my immediate purpose is to simply get you to understand that Catholics do indeed have good reason for not believing it.

I will examine this teaching on Sola Scriptura from three different perspectives: logically, historically, and scripturally. Many of you may move to immediately dismiss the first two perspectives, since you believe in Sola Scriptura…going by the Bible alone…but I would remind you that God gave us our minds and He told us that we must love Him with all of our mind, in addition to our heart. Logic, good logic, is of God.

Also, God is the Lord of history. What happened in history, particularly in Christian history, is very important for us to know. The early Christians are important witnesses as to what Christianity looked like in their time, and this ought to give us an idea of what it should look like in our time. So to simply dismiss logic and history, out-of-hand, as not being important perspectives to consider when it comes to Christian teaching and practice, is to dismiss the God Who gave us our brains and told us to use them in loving Him and to dismiss the testimony of those who gave their lives to defend and preserve the Faith that we hold so dear.

The perspective provided by logic:

In Conclusion

Remember this is just an introduction – an introduction not just to this one talk, but to the whole series. And also remember that it is addressed to Protestants. So, if you see something that you think might offend Protestant sensibilities, please let me know. There may be nothing I can do about it – because no matter what I do or what I say someone is going to be offended – but if I can change a word or two here or there while still keeping the original thought together, I’ll be more than happy to consider doing so.

And, again, let me know what you think about this whole concept for the newsletter – provides a good mix or it’s a non-starter for you?

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Apologetics for the Masses