Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Word of God

I just recently listened to the Our Life In Christ broadcast in which they went on an evangelical radio station to talk about sola Scriptura. Wow, what a courageous act! It made me investigate further some of the other materials they have on their website, particularly the program notes from April 17, 2005. In those notes they quote CRI (Christian Research Institute) as saying:

The fact that apostles sometimes referred to "traditions" they gave orally as authoritative in no way diminishes the Protestant argument for sola Scriptura. First, it is not necessary to claim that these oral teachings were inspired or infallible, only that they were authoritative. The believers were asked to "maintain" them (1 Cor. 11:2) and "stand fast in them" (2 Thess. 2:15). But oral teachings of the apostles were not called "inspired" or "unbreakable" or the equivalent, unless they were recorded as Scripture.

The response of Bill and Steve was quite good, but I couldn't help but think of an additional scripture that I thought would be perfect for this. As a matter of fact, I am surprised the folks at CRI are not aware of this verse:
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe (I Thess 2:13 - NKJV).
Would this oral teaching Paul is speaking of not be more than just authoritative? Is it not the Word of God? Is the Word of God ever less than something that has an eternal quality? Does it not always come from the grace and power of the Holy Spirit? Does it not accomplish that which God has sent it forth to do, whether written or spoken? It would seem as if there is a blind devotion to the written text, as if the written Word is somehow more powerful.

Let's not forget, Jesus didn't write down a single word of His teachings either. Are those invalid because they weren't written down until some 40-50 years later? What about the words Jesus spoke that are not written in the Bible, are they not the Word of God? These are just some of the thoughts that came to mind when I read this surprisingly provincial statement made by CRI. I don't claim by any stretch of the imagination to have their credentials, but it doesn't take a genius to observe that the entire Christian faith was delivered orally, first from Christ and then from His apostles. Even though it was not written down, I am certain they were declaring and delivering the Word of God.

1 comment:

orrologion said...

There is also on the same topic, thought more focused on Lutheranism, on Ancient Faith Radio:

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/lectures/faithoffathers/lutheran/orr_40.mp3

The full text can be found at:

http://orrologion.blogspot.com/2007/09/sola-corpore-christi.html