Sunday, February 06, 2005

New Apostolic Reformation's alignment with the Protestant Reformation

Sola Scripture:
The NAR is agrees that the Bible is the only authoritative word of God. It is inspired by God and incapable of error. Critics claim that the NAR's acceptance of modern apostles and prophets reduce the authority of the Bible. However, the NAR leaders clearly state that all men are fallible, including apostles. They do not seek to create Popes and Councils over the Bible. Every modern prophet in the NAR makes it clear that modern prophecy cannot add to, replace, or devalue the Bible.

Solus Christus:
The NAR is in complete agreement. There is no other name by which we are saved. No one can add or subtract to the saving work of Christ.

Sola Gratia:
The NAR affirms that salvation is by grace alone, it cannot be earned.

Sola Fide:
The NAR confirms that salvation is by faith in Christ. We can combine terms and say that Salvation is by grace, through faith in Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria:
The NAR believes that we should only glorify and worship God as only He is worthy in deed, character and nature. He is to be glorified for the creation, incarnation, atonement and resurrection.

These five Solas are the heart of the Reformation and the NAR is in complete agreement with them.


The Anchoress said...

A very interesting site, Peter - thanks for stopping by my place, so I could find you! :-)

I can go along with four of those Solas. But the first one makes no sense to me. The Bible is definately "inspired by God and incapable of error," however, we would not have what we call "the bible" were it not for the popes and councils who formed it.

I have never understood how Protestants can sneer at the Popes and councils who put the bible together, and yet obligingly accept that one man - Martin Luther - could throw biblical books out on his OWN authority and then claim Sola Scriptura, which is not even biblical. Who gave Luther that authority? Are we saying that the bible is ONLY "Inspired by God and incapable of error" after that one man decided which books he liked and chucked those he didn't? That simply makes no sense to me.

Paul tells us to hold fast to the traditions and to scripture. 1 Timothy 3:15 says that the pillar and foundation of truth is the church, the household of faith. This makes a great deal of sense when you consider that it was centuries into the advent of Christianity that there was no "Christian scripture" to study and cling to. The "traditions" are what kept everything going while those terrible "popes and councils" were hammering out whats and wherefores of the Bible.

And as a lifelong Catholic, I have to tell you that we do not set "popes and councils over the Bible." And we agree with you last line - we don't have modern prophets, etc.

Scripture and tradition are a seamless whole. The church survived and grew as a church based on early traditions, OT scripture, and the preaching and the Eucharist - Paul writes about it. When the Bible finally came about, it was not meant to stand alone - it was meant to add to the Deposit of Faith with sound instruction.

Like I said...I can't figure out how Luther - one man - gets to remove portions af an "inspired by God, incapable of error" collection of books, and then declare "sola scriptura." Did he mean "sola MY scriptura?" ;-)

It seems very "human" and "ego" based, to me. Very earthbound.

I'm no apologist, btw, I'm not interested in getting into a big harangue with you (I save that for politics) :-) But that question of Sola Scriptura has always bothered me. It simply makes no sense to me.

Peter J Barban said...

I understand your disagreement Anchoress. This is the fundamental divide between Catholics and Protestants. We are fortunate to live in an age where we can choose our authority, both politcally and spiritually.

One of Luther's complaints was that the Church leaders (Popes and Councils) had introduced teachings and practices that were foreign to the Bible (the Assumption of Mary) or contrary to it (the sale of indulgences). Church leaders defended their authority by claiming continuity with the Apostles and Ancient Church tradition. When the newly formed Protestants showed that some official Catholic teachings were in fact contrary to the early church fathers,and that differing Popes and Councils have contradicted each other. The Church responded with "Viva Voce", the truth is whetever we say it is. This argument fails to pursuade me.

I want to note that I am not anti-Catholic. I believe that a Catholic can come close to the heart of God as can all variety of Christians. In fact, I have learned a lot from the great writings and music of the "Pre-Reformation" Church.

The Anchoress said...

I understand Luther's complaints and he had some justification for some of them! :-) But that still doesn't explain to me how he - one lone man - had the authority to throw out the books he didn't like. If you can explain that to me, I'd appreciate it because no one ever has, before. Thanks! :-)

Peter J Barban said...

There was no Canon, or certified list of Bible books, before the time of Christ. Jews used the Septuagint, a Greek language translation of the Hebrew scriptures. The Septuagint included the "Apocrypha", those books accepted by Catholics but rejected by Protestants.

The first canon was created by the Jews in 92AD at the Council of Jamnia. They certified the Hebrew Bible and rejected the Apocrypha.

Early Christians continued to use the Septuagint. The Christian Canon formed around 393AD, including the Apocrypha. Catholic Scholar St. Jerome judged that the Apocrypha as noncanonical, but this was not acted upon by the Church.

Luther and the following reformers removed the Apocrypha from the Old Testament to match the Jewish Hebrew Bible in accordance with St. Jerome. Luther's personal reason was that the Apocrypha could not be inspired by God because they contained teachings that conflicted with "Salvation by grace, through faith."

Now since Luther and Calvin were not our infallible Popes, we Protestants don't have to agree with them. But we are persuaded that they got it right. I have read all the OT, the NT and the Apocrypha as well as several other early non-canon works. I'm not an Canon expert, but there's something special in the Bible, that is missing in the Apocrypha. I can subjectively feel the difference because the Word of God is living and active; sharper than any blade, able to divide soul and spirit.

The Anchoress said...

I knew all of that except about Jerome. Very interesting. One thing, though. You do realize, don't you, that the pope is only "infallible" when he is speaking ex cathedra - which I think he has done twice in the last 150 years? When people say "your infallible pope" to me, I always wonder if they know that. Truth be told, most Catholics have no idea what the pope is talking about, very often! :-) Most Catholics, for example, have never even read Humanae Vitae (which they should, because it's a terrific and prophetic document)...and since it wasn't given "ex cathedra" they know it's not "infallible"...hence, they didn't pay much attention to it. Sadly.