Sola Scriptura: The Best Doctrine Jesus Never Heard of (part one)

Sola Scriptura – The Scriptures Only (a disputed translation)

Sola Scriptura
is a doctrine that guided the church away form the harmful encroachment of superstition and abusive ecclesiastical rule. When the authority of the church obscurred the message of the Bible, bold theologians and lay people advocated a simple doctrine that cut away the falsehood and deception that had shrouded the church with a dense fog.

Indeed the scriptures burned away the haze and confusion that had accumulated over centuries. The authority wielded by the church was never the aim of Jesus, and therefore, sola scriptura did its work with deadly efficiency. The problem is that the church fought off one extra-biblical doctrine (well, all doctrine is kind of extra-biblical or second order in nature, but that’s another discussion. see Beyond Foundationalism for more on that),the authority of church government, with another doctrine not found in the Bible. What would Jesus do with that?

I only have a few moments to scratch the surface on this one, but it is a source of endless curiousity to me that Jesus never left any kind of written record. You’d think that even if he wrote something on the sand, people would have figured out a way to preserve it.

Unfortunately, if Jesus did write in the sand (that story may be a late addition to the Gospels), his disciples failed to preserve it. And so, having failed to keep files of whatever Jesus may have written, the disciples themselves were left to write down Jesus’ words. And so we are in the rather strange situation of being a religion centered on a book about Jesus, the founder of Christianity and reinterpreter of Judaism, that has no written records by him.

What Jesus actually left was a community of disciples who were called to carry on his work and continue to spread his message. One disciple even wrote that Jesus himself is “the Word.” To add to this, Jesus promised the Spirit who would come to lead us into all truth. How do we balance this promised Spirit and the claims of Jesus to be “the Word” with our current doctrine of sola scriptura?

Now that is what I call a proper mess.

One thought on “Sola Scriptura: The Best Doctrine Jesus Never Heard of (part one)

  1. Jason Limbaugh

    "A proper mess." Not really.

    Neither did God write any of the Old Testament (apart from inscribing the Ten Commandments with His finger). They were written by men.

    Jesus stood upon those Scriptures and used them in both instruction and debate. They were the source texts He drew from Himself to confirm truth and dispell error.

    It is no real head-scratcher that Christ left no written record. His work was a tangible, right now work. He left the written word to His followers – as has been the case since the beginning.

    But on the other hand, did Christ not leave a written record? Peter says, "The prophets searched with the greatest care in order to find out the times and circumstances the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when they wrote of what was to come…" We are also told that "no word of prophecy ever came from human will, but men wrote as they were carried along by experience."

    When we diminish the authority of Scripture, we degenerate quickly into subjectivism – in direct proportion. That is what is wrong with the Emergent movement…shaky foundations because of a diminished view of Scripture. The result is raw mysticism, rank and unbridled emotion, and discernment based more on "I feel" or "I believe" than "this is what God has to say on the matter…period."

    The Scriptures are there for a good reason – to keep us from going schiziod-spiritual. The Emergents are on the very edge of spiritual psychosis.

Comments are closed.