Sola Scripture vs. Solo Scriptura/Nuda Scriptura/Biblicism

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Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
I would like to get some idea how Sola Scriptura differs practically from Solo Scriptura. When does one begin to use and apply Scripture wrongly so that it becomes something like Biblicism/Solo Scriptura. I'm aware how they are defined differently. I read a year ago Keith Mathinson's book and I will have to go over it again, but it didn't seem to adress my concerns, especially on Sufficiency.
If you judge (and that's the problem, the "you." It implies Individualism, which is a denial of Scripture simultaneously) everything by Scripture, where does Sola Scriptura end and Solo begin?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Solo Scriptura says the bible is the only authority. Sola says it is the final authority, which implies lesser authorities.

Everyone is going to judge truth-claims. The EO who chooses EO instead of Rome relied on his individualist judgment.

And it is not clear how individualism, which is such a broad term, denies Scripture.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
Solo Scriptura says the bible is the only authority. Sola says it is the final authority, which implies lesser authorities.

Everyone is going to judge truth-claims. The EO who chooses EO instead of Rome relied on his individualist judgment.

And it is not clear how individualism, which is such a broad term, denies Scripture.
I see your point. If I understand you rightly then there is really no difference functionally between Sola and Solo? Lesser authorities are therefore just decorations, because there are multiple mutually exclusive lesser authorities, so one will again have to choose individually by Scripture which one reflects Scripture.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I see your point. If I understand you rightly then there is really no difference functionally between Sola and Solo? Lesser authorities are therefore just decorations, because there are multiple mutually exclusive lesser authorities, so one will again have to choose individually by Scripture which one reflects Scripture.
No. That is the opposite of what I am saying. Sola Scriptura acknowledges legitimate, lesser authorities. They just aren't absolute. We have confessions, creeds, synods, etc.

Solo says "me and my Bible."

My point is that the Catholic and EO also engage in individual reasoning when they choose one interpretation of "oral tradition" against another.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
But so does the Reformed, Lutheran and Anglican by choosing creeds and confessions (it is by him and his Bible, or personal preferences etc.), how is that more consistent than the EO and Roman Catholic?
How could ones own interpretation be corrected?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
But so does the Reformed, Lutheran and Anglican by choosing creeds and confessions (it is by him and his Bible, or personal preferences etc.), how is that more consistent than the EO and Roman Catholic?
How could ones own interpretation be corrected?
That's true. We are just honest about it.

How is one's interpretation correct? Is it logically true? Is it consistent? Same as any other position. How do we determine whether the Spirit proceeds from Father and Son or just the Father? Appealing to tradition at that point won't help at all.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
Now, I still don't see then in that case how the Sola Scriptura person functions much differently than the Solo Scriptura one (maybe Solo S. tends to be more irrational?).
Logical consistency is certainly extremly important but there are logically consistent non-Reformed interpretations, too many these days.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
solo = no authority except me and my bible.

sola = a hierarchy of authorities, with the Bible at the top.

Yes, I am still going to use the power of discretion (that is part of being human), but I also submit, as far as conscience allows me, to other authorities. I recognize they have a judicial quality. To casually ignore those can damage the soul.

Sure, other systems can appear logically consistent. That's not enough, though. At this point we introduce problems in the system.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
I really agree with you, and I understand how they are formally distinguished.
My concern is practical and lies here: How does one who holds to Sola Scriptura make consistent appeals to creeds, confessions, traditions, respected theologians of the past without giving undue authority to those fallible things and persons, without simultaneously falling into Solo Scriptura and saying that the creeds, confessions and theologians are wrong "because the Bible says so" and then implying that he has such superior discernment or knowledge.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I really agree with you, and I understand how they are formally distinguished.
My concern is practical and lies here: How does one who holds to Sola Scriptura make consistent appeals to creeds, confessions, traditions, respected theologians of the past without giving undue authority to those fallible things and persons, without simultaneously falling into Solo Scriptura and saying that the creeds, confessions and theologians are wrong "because the Bible says so" and then implying that he has such superior discernment or knowledge.
I wouldn't know what "undue" authority really is.

Here is perhaps how it would look: if I denied a major aspect of a creed based on my reading of the Bible, then my church could treat me under discipline. I would be barred from the Supper. Mind you, I believe I am right. I trust that God would vindicate me. I could be wrong, though. That's just part of epistemology.

I might have superior knowledge. I don't have superior judicial authority, though. I can be placed under ecclesiastical sanctions.

If I quote a theologian, am I saying, "You should believe him because he is old" or "you should consider what he says because it is logically true"? Big difference.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
I wouldn't know what "undue" authority really is.

Here is perhaps how it would look: if I denied a major aspect of a creed based on my reading of the Bible, then my church could treat me under discipline. I would be barred from the Supper. Mind you, I believe I am right. I trust that God would vindicate me. I could be wrong, though. That's just part of epistemology.
That's sounds to me too much like skepticism and also pragmatism.
Maybe I wrongly look for epistemic certainty, possibly that is the best way we have.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
I might have superior knowledge. I don't have superior judicial authority, though. I can be placed under ecclesiastical sanctions.
Or you (some Joe-smoe) might have, as is often the case, inferior knowledge, understanding, and wisdom (but you think to highly of yourself and your knowledge). So the Creeds, etc. help as a check upon you and the Church.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
That's sounds to me too much like skepticism and also pragmatism.
Maybe I wrongly look for epistemic certainty, possibly that is the best way we have.
It is the EO/RCC who promotes skepticism. For they told me repeatedly I can't know the words of the Bible unless I have the right prism to interpret it. I'm the one insisting on actual truth.

"Certainty" is a threshold concept. You either have it or you don't. That said, there is a difference between psychological certainty and epistemological certainty. The latter is quite easy to prove. The former is tricky.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
It is the EO/RCC who promotes skepticism. For they told me repeatedly I can't know the words of the Bible unless I have the right prism to interpret it. I'm the one insisting on actual truth.

"Certainty" is a threshold concept. You either have it or you don't. That said, there is a difference between psychological certainty and epistemological certainty. The latter is quite easy to prove. The former is tricky.
Now Roman Catholics very clearly advocate epistemic certainty in the sense that the Church is the certain voice [sola ecclesia] embodied in the magisterium (of course that leads to the problem of what the "Church" is even in the first place), that is their whole argumentation).

But I honestly don't understand what you mean by epistemological certainty, and also in what sense it is easily provable. In my readings of technical literature on epistemology, it isn't easy at all.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
But I honestly don't understand what you mean by epistemological certainty, and also in what sense it is easily provable. In my readings of technical literature on epistemology, it isn't easy at all.
It is the difference between psychological certainty (which fluctuates) and epistemic certainty (which is a threshold). I have epistemic certainty God exists and 2+2 =4. I have psychological certainty on other matters, matters which may fluctuate.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
Solo would eliminate creeds and confessions, making it impossible to define Christianity. Solo reduces to an unworkable principle. Even to erect a doctrine of solo requires a denial of solo.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Solo would eliminate creeds and confessions, making it impossible to define Christianity. Solo reduces to an unworkable principle. Even to erect a doctrine of solo requires a denial of solo.
The way "No creed but Christ" is... a pretty thin creed, but still a creed.
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
Good point. Creeds are unavoidable.
This may be the most clear with the Churches of Christ, which are anti-creedal. Yet they basically do have a "creed" in the sense that their fellowship (informal and non-organized of course) is around shared doctrines. They were even able to drive almost all of the premils out of their circles decades ago. But no, they don't have a creed. They are just "following the Bible."
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I was going over some old Reformed/EO debates and Paul Manata left this comment.

Psychological certainty refers to the degree of confidence, conviction, belief a person has in some proposition.

Epistemic certainty, according the epistemologist Dr. M. Sudduth, "[R]efers to the degree of *warrant* possessed by a belief. Warrant is, roughly, a truth-indicating property, typically cashed out in terms of the extent to which one's ground, basis, reason, or source of belief are adequately truth-indicating. ("Knowledge," will be understood here as a strongly warranted true belief). An epistemically certain belief is, roughly, one that has the best possible grounds or evidence, typically the sort that preclude all possible reasons for doubting the truth of the proposition or belief in question. Epistemically certain beliefs will have maximal warrant
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
Still, how is this Sola/Solo distinction worked out practically?

In a situation, how would one justify his own view, rejecting the Reformed confessions/ Classical formulations of the Trinity or whatever else already well established, claiming Scripture alone is the sole infallible rule of faith for his "reinventing the wheel".
This person also has/claims to have epistemic certainty, Justified True Belief (Gettier counterexamples aside), based on his reading of Scripture alone.
 
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Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
Solo would eliminate creeds and confessions, making it impossible to define Christianity. Solo reduces to an unworkable principle. Even to erect a doctrine of solo requires a denial of solo.
Which confession, creed or catechism should do the definition?

Augsburg Confession?
Westminster Standards?
Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Catechism of Philaret of Moscow?

How do you determine that? If you say by Scripture, then you are pretty much Solo.
I would like to avoid Solo Scriptura.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Which confession, creed or catechism should do the definition?

Augsburg Confession?
Westminster Standards?
Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Catechism of Philaret of Moscow?

How do you determine that? If you say by Scripture, then you are pretty much Solo.
I would like to avoid Solo Scriptura.
Solo says no creeds.

Logic says I can't accept the Augsburg, because I disagree with their Christology. There is no "one-stop" answer for why I am not RCC or EO, so it is a bit more complex than "how do you determine?"

It depends is basically the answer. 5 years ago I was in a position where I was going to be either Anglican or Reformed. Both were good options in my town. The difference between 39 Articles and Westminster was much smaller than Westminster and Augsburg. In the end the REformed church was a better fit.

THere are other authorities besides the bible: logic, memory, the senses, testimony, etc. They just aren't absolute, but neither can they be abandoned.
 

Aco

Puritan Board Freshman
Solo says no creeds.

Logic says I can't accept the Augsburg, because I disagree with their Christology. There is no "one-stop" answer for why I am not RCC or EO, so it is a bit more complex than "how do you determine?"

It depends is basically the answer. 5 years ago I was in a position where I was going to be either Anglican or Reformed. Both were good options in my town. The difference between 39 Articles and Westminster was much smaller than Westminster and Augsburg. In the end the REformed church was a better fit.

THere are other authorities besides the bible: logic, memory, the senses, testimony, etc. They just aren't absolute, but neither can they be abandoned.
Good points, I think I would agree with you.
Now I don't have the privilege to choose amongst such a variety (I'm not sure if it is a blessing or a curse). Probably in that case I would choose Anglican, but maybe also not, since the Westminster Standards are superb in theology. Anglicanism is too much an historic British expression, I’m not English so that’s weird for me, Lutheranism similar case, it is also very liberal in Europe. On the other hand I detest modern Evangelicalism, simply because it is unbiblical and ahistorical.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
Which confession, creed or catechism should do the definition?

Augsburg Confession?
Westminster Standards?
Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Catechism of Philaret of Moscow?

How do you determine that? If you say by Scripture, then you are pretty much Solo.
I would like to avoid Solo Scriptura.
“How do you determine that [i.e., which creed]? If you say by Scripture, then you are pretty much Solo.”

How does determining one’s creed by Scripture reduce to solo?
 
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