I have been a member here for some years but have not before formed a post or posed a question in this way. In the spirit of voluntary vulnerability and honestly seeking engagement, I’m posting this one now. For the last little while (months) I have come to the realization that many of my beliefs about the Roman Catholic Church have been unfounded and wrong. This point is not up for debate, in my mind, but simply a matter of actually engaging those Catholics rather than solely relying on the testimony of those predisposed and antagonistic towards them. In this—we’ll say exploration—the Reformation foundations of sola fide and sola scriptura have particularly come up with more questions and concerns. These are the wrestlings I am here to seek thoughts on. How do we understand faith as divided from works, and where, prior to Luther, can we find evidence of this in the history of the Church? How do we arrive at Scripture as sole authority without circular reasoning or reliance on authority from the outside (and thus be self-defeating)? I ask these questions (and the ones that may follow from it) in good faith and honestly seeking conversation. Some of you may rush to anathemas or to claim that I am already wading into the Tiber. I am merely posing questions that I have asked of myself and find that the answers I can come up with are wanting.