Monday, August 01, 2005

How Different (In Nature and Ultimate Effect) Are SolO Scriptura and SolA Scriptura (vs. Keith Mathison): Part I

A fashionable Protestant comeback to the merciless beating that sola Scriptura has been taking over the past 15 or so years from Catholic, Orthodox and conservative Anglican apologists alike, has been the claim that present-day evangelical Protestantism -- following the tradition of early Anabaptism and other breakaway sects --, accepts a greatly distorted version of the primal, "magisterial" notion of the mainstream early Protestant leaders (or so-called "Reformers"), regarding the principle of Scripture Alone as the highest infallible authority for the Christian.

Keith A. Mathison (M.A. Reformed Theological Seminary; Ph.D. Whitefield Theological Seminary) is the author of The Shape of Sola Scriptura (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 2001): a book that many Protestants and Catholics alike believe to be the best defense of this more sophisticated, respectable version of sola Scriptura. According to this view, the distorted solO Scriptura is a radically individualistic caricature of the original vision, which had a significantly higher place for an authoritative (albeit non-infallible) Church and Tradition. Thus, when Catholics refute solO Scriptura (heretofore referred to as SOS), they have merely destroyed a straw man, and have left the best Protestant doctrine, or the "real" or "authentic" doctrine (solA Scriptura; heretofore known as SAS) untouched.

I, of course, beg to differ (no surprise there!). I gladly acknowledge that there are several significant and noteworthy distinctions between the two views to be rightly made. I understood this as a Protestant, prior to 1990, when I read about this very issue in knowledgeable evangelical and Calvinist writers like Bernard Ramm, R.C. Sproul, and G.C. Berkouwer. I also appreciate very much the attempt to restore a more respectable rule of faith, which incorporates (or, should I say, doesn't despise or discount altogether) some semblance of Church history, or, if you will, tradition, and Church authority within its purview.

It's also refreshing to see a stand taken against rampant sectarianism, individualism, ahistoricism, reflexive anti-Catholicism, anti-institutionalism, and the absence of a coherent explanation for the historical existence of an orthodox Christian Church throughout the Middle Ages. Much of this attempt, then, is laudable, and ought to be encouraged in many respects and basically understood as a positive development, by Catholics.

I part company, however, concerning whether SAS overcomes the fundamental difficulties that it claims bring down SOS, but not SAS. I believe SAS (i.e., in its more respectable manifestations such as Mathison's) is a noble attempt to salvage a hopeless position. It's a valiant effort which is inevitably doomed to failure. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and all forms of sola Scriptura, no matter how nuanced and sophisticated, are that. I will analyze Keith's "case" with the following issues in mind:

1) Are SOS and SAS essentially different?

My answer: no.

2) Or are SOS and SAS merely "first cousins" or "half brothers" in different (not all that far apart) points of a spectrum of the Bible Alone rule of faith: all of which (including SAS) are incoherent, inconsistent, and unable to be reconciled with the early Church's views and the Bible, and unable to be carried out in practice without largely the same ill effects occurring which are the fruit (so they say) only of SOS?

My answer: yes.

3) Is SAS a consistent development of the teaching of the Church Fathers on Bible and Tradition and the Church?

My answer: no.

4) Or is SAS also ultimately itself a corruption of same, logically redicible to largely the same end result, thus fit to be rejected and discarded along with SOS, as simply untrue and erroneous?

My answer: yes.

Keith Mathison's words will be in blue. I shall cite much of his article, "A Critique of the Evangelical Doctrine of Solo Scriptura" (taken from his book: pp. 237-253) and reply to it (with his footnotes also reproduced intact). He is welcome to come to this blog to defend his own position. I hope he does, just as I hoped that the Lutheran blogmaster Steve Parks would come and defend his papers (before I discovered that he had decided to take down his blog altogether, a few days before my first reply, due to the time constraints of a future pastorate).

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In the 1980s and early 1990s, a controversy erupted among dispensationalists which came to be referred to as the Lordship Salvation controversy. On one side of the debate were men such as Zane Hodges [1] and Charles Ryrie [2] who taught a reductionistic doctrine of solafide which absolutized the word “alone” in the phrase “justification by faith alone” and removed it from its overall theological context. Faith was reduced to little more than assent to the truthfulness of certain biblical propositions. Repentance, sanctification, submission to Christ’s Lordship, love, and perseverance were all said to be unnecessary for salvation. Advocates of this position claimed that it was the classical Reformation position taught by Martin Luther and John Calvin.

It was not. Nor is it the biblical position.

On the other side of the debate was John MacArthur who argued that these men were clearly abandoning the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone. [3] In addition to the books written by the primary dispensationalist participants, numerous Reformed theologians wrote books and articles criticizing this alteration of the doctrine of solafide. [4] A heated theological controversy began which continues in some circles even to this day.

I was firmly on the side of John MacArthur, having read his book, The Gospel According to Jesus, and having attended a talk of his around this same time (as well as having listened to numerous of his radio broadcasts).

Ironically, a similar drastic alteration of the classical Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura has occurred over the last 150 years, yet this has caused hardly a stir among the theological heirs of the Reformation, who have usually been quick to notice any threatening move against the Reformed doctrine of justification.

I think the change was only one of degree, not of kind. I don't think Mathison can demonstrate that any form of SAS can withstand scrutiny, or provide a cogent schema of Christian authority, sufficient to withstand either the effect of further denominationalism and internal discord, or Catholic apologetic critiques. I agree that the self-understanding of the doctrine is vastly different among these two "camps," but the practical results are scarcely different. Some trifling around the edges of the principle might produce a slowdown of the inevitable denominational and doctrinal decay, but not a reversal or solution to the internal difficulties of all Protestant positions. I shall particularize and further explain my contentions in due course as I respond.

So much time and effort has been spent guarding the doctrine of sola fide against any perversion or change that many do not seem to have noticed that the classical and foundational Reformed doctrine of sola scriptura has been so altered that is virtually unrecognizable.

A bit melodramatic . . . I don't believe that this can be demonstrated, any more than a magisterial Lutheran or Calvinist can explain how dissident (i.e., dissenters from the initial "mainstream" Protestantism, as well as Catholicism) Anabaptists (or even Zwinglians) were supposedly not following Martin Luther's primal principle of sola Scriptura, private judgment, and absolute (individualistic) supremacy of conscience. I say it can't be done. One can try to play this game for so long, but it always collapses in the end. Sola Scriptura (including an ultra-sophisticated SAS) is like peeling an onion: you keep going deeper and deeper to find the core or root, and you discover in the end that there is none. It reduces to nothing. It's an axiom with no compelling reason to be accepted by anyone, and it clashes with much else in historic, biblical Christianity.

In its place Evangelicals have substituted an entirely different doctrine. Douglas Jones has coined the term solo scriptura to refer to this aberrant Evangelical version of sola scriptura. [5]

It's not "entirely" different. This is polemical excess. Both SAS and SOS reject an infallible Church and Tradition, and apostolic succession (as always historically understood by the Christian Church). SOS merely takes the rejection of non-biblical (non-Bible) elements further than SAS does. But both do it, and in fact, it is fundamental to either view to deliberately set itself up as opposed to or master over, Tradition and Church.

Modern Evangelicalism has done the same thing to sola scriptura that Hodges and Ryrie did to solafide. But unfortunately so little attention is paid to the doctrine of sola scriptura today that even among trained theologians there is confusion and ambiguity when the topic is raised.

Well, of course, since the intrinsic nature of the position itself cannot prevent such confusion. The problem's in the pudding, not in the taste buds of the ones eating the pudding.

Contradictory and insufficient definitions of sola scriptura are commonplace not only among broadly Evangelical authors but among Reformed authors as well.

Ditto. Imagine proponents of a position said be be the very "pillar" of their position, not even being able to agree on fundamental definitions! I find this to be a sad parable of the chaotic, futile nature Protestantism as a whole (at least those portions of it which are false). But alas, Mathison will provide us with the correct definition, and all will be well.

In this chapter we shall examine this aberrant modern Evangelical concept of solo scriptura and explain why it is imperative that the Evangelical church recognize it to be as dangerous as the distorted concepts of solafide that are prevalent in the Church today.

It's dangerous, but so is SAS, and I shall demonstrate that SAS has its own fatal flaws as well, and (more immediately to my present task) cannot be adequately defended or distinguished from SOS: only proclaimed with the hope that all the holes in the bucket and the ever-streaming water from the sides of the pail won't be noticed.

EVANGELICAL INDIVIDUALISM

The modern Evangelical version of solo scriptura is nothing more than a new version of Tradition 0. Instead of being defined as the sole infallible authority, the Bible is said to be the “sole basis of authority” [6]

Here is where we start to see the question-begging involved in SAS. Who says Scripture is the only infallible authority? The Catholic has just as much objection to the arbitrary "only" added into the SAS equation, as the SAS proponent has objection to the SOS proponent removing the "infallible" portion. It's just two peas in a pod: dichotomous fallacies and falsehoods on either side. Who said SAS was true? Martin Luther? Why should we accept his word? What authority did he possess apart from the Church which ordained him (the same applies to John Calvin)? None: that's how much. Not when he tries to overturn prior Christian consensus. The fact of the matter was that Luther was backed into his adoption of SAS in debate. He latched onto it because it was the only (prima facie) halfway-feasible alternative he had to the Catholic authority which rejected his heretical innovations. So he fell back to an abstract "Scripture Alone as Only Infallible Authority Over Against Churches and Councils Which Err" position. But this was not taught in that same Scripture. Nor was it ever held by the historic Christian Church or any important Church Father.

Tradition is not allowed in any sense; the ecumenical creeds are virtually dismissed; and the Church is denied any real authority.

That's all bad, but again, I fail to see how SAS fares much better. SOS proponents are pretty good about creeds and confessions, yet one might argue that SOS is more internally consistent (though further from the actual truth). So SAS gives lip service to the authority of the Church? What is the nature of this "authority"? Since no Church (now reduced to mere denominational edifices) is regarded as infallible, what's to stop any individual from dissenting from these groups, just as Luther dissented from the Catholic Church? It is even more plausible for them to do so, than for Luther to make his dissent, since any Protestant denomination has far less historical pedigree or legitimacy than the Catholic Church possesses.

So Joe Protestant can dissent from any given Protestant group on Luther's own foundational principles. How then does any Church possess "real authority"? Such authority must be binding for it to be "real" or sufficient as a unitive force, just as civil law is. If everyone could theoretically and actually dissent from civil law, society would be in chaos. Yet in Christianity, such dissent was raised to a high plateau by Martin Luther and the radical Protestant principle of private judgment (which SAS possesses just as much as SOS does, in the sense in which I have been detailing).

On the surface it would seem that this modern Evangelical doctrine would have nothing in common with the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox doctrines of authority. But despite the very real differences, the modern Evangelical position shares one major flaw with both the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox positions. Each results in autonomy.

They do? I don't see how. Protestant positions have this result, but neither the Catholic nor the Orthodox positions do, because both accept an infallible, authoritative Church and Tradition, as well as an infallible, inspired Bible. It is a three-legged stool. The individual "sits" on the stool. If any of the legs are not present, the stool collapses, and the person falls, but he can never "sit" unless all three are there. Protestantism forces the individual to sit on a stool with one leg. That's why it's always out of balance . . .

Each results in final authority being placed somewhere other than God and His Word.

Really now? How is that? This is merely a begged question based on a false dichotomy (from equally circular logic). A double begged question: how impressive . . .

Unlike the Roman Catholic position and the Eastern Orthodox position, however, which invariably result in the autonomy of the Church,

This is not true, because the Church itself is bound to both the Bible and Tradition; therefore, it is never autonomous; nor is the pope, for that matter. The Bible "needs" the Church in a practical sense (not an intrinsic sense, since it is what it is: inspired Scripture, apart from the Church proclaiming this) to be its interpreter and to set the parameters of orthodoxy and systematic theology. Tradition is needed to guide the Church in its interpretation of orthodoxy and proper biblical teaching and doctrine. All work together. In no sense is any "autonomous." But Protestantism makes the individual ultimately autonomous.

the modern Evangelical position inevitably results in the autonomy of the individual believer.

So does the initial (and present) Lutheran and Calvinist position (and SAS). I don't see how the individual is not autonomous. It's never been adequately explained to me. if we follow the chain of reasoning that I have been outlining, we always arrive at the individual in the "driver's seat," so to speak.

We have already seen that there is a major difference between the concept of Scripture and tradition taught by the classical Reformers and the concept taught by the Anabaptists and their heirs. The Anabaptist concept, here referred to as Tradition 0, attempted to deny the authority of tradition in any real sense. The Scriptures were considered not only the sole final and infallible authority, but the only authority whatsoever. The Enlightenment added the philosophical framework in which to comprehend this individualism. The individual reason was elevated to the position of final authority.

SAS does the same thing. I agree that the disdain of any tradition whatsoever or teaching Church is rampant in SOS. SAS does far better in that regard. But SAS, nevertheless, and despite all these relatively good things, reduces to the same individualism. It simply gives lip service to Church and Tradition. If scrutinized, it collapses and must become positively hostile to Church and Tradition at some point, because of its having demoted their position from their rightful places in the biblical and historic Christian scheme of things.

Appeals to antiquity and tradition of any kind were ridiculed.

Yep, they were. But SAS proponents do the same thing when it comes to Catholicism or Orthodoxy. We have seen Mathison himself do it in this very paper. Catholicism and Orthodoxy are certainly traditions of some "kind." They appeal to antiquity. Yet what does Mathison think of these systems and "traditions"? We just saw it: "Each results in final authority being placed somewhere other than God and His Word." He can't comprehend any non-SAS positions being in conscious, atempted, and/or actual relationship with the authority of God and the Bible (and seems to think that logic itself demands this false dichotomy). For him, to be a non-SAS proponent is to be opposed to the final authority of "God and His Word," by the mere fact of that position. This is outrageous; it's an absurd analysis, and every bit as hostile to "appeals to antiquity and tradition of any kind" as SOS is. I would say it is worse, because Mathison knows better than this. He simply can't help knocking Catholicism and Orthodoxy because of his misguided notions of both. In any event, he has shown his hostility to Tradition in full color. I'm sure there is more where that was found, too. If he wants to show this supposed disjunction of logic: Church vs. Bible, etc., then he needs to argue that case, not simply assert it. Perhaps he has tried elsewhere in the book.

In the early years of the United States, democratic populism swept the people along in its fervor. [7] The result is a modern American Evangelicalism which has redefined sola scriptura in terms of secular Enlightenment rationalism and rugged democratic individualism.

True, but I fail to see how the actions and principles of early Protestantism were all that different. "Populism" and "democratic individualism" precisely define much of the initial Lutheran and Calvinist fervor (I think, e.g., of Luther's cynical use of vulgar woodcarvings and mass "tract"-type anti-Catholic literature used for purely propagandistic and polemical purposes). What did they care about Tradition (i.e., where they chose to reject it)? They were so against it that they wouldn't even allow the traditional worship which had been going on for 1500 years: Protestant territories almost always abolished the Mass and held it in utter disdain. This was rugged individulaism: the same force that compelled know-nothing crowds to force their way into churches to burn and pillage and smash statues of Jesus Christ, organs, and so forth (Luther himself opposed this but much of early Calvinism weas iconoclastic).

Yet Keith Mathison wants us to believe that such destructive individualistic forces were unleashed in America 100-200 years later? Protestant radical individualism is in the roots: by the very nature of Luther's revolt; it isn't a corruption. That's why all the problems which have plagued Protestantism ever since: sectarianism, internal discord, doctrinal relativism, ecclesiological chaos, etc., all appeared almost immediately after 1517.

Perhaps the best way to explain the fundamental problem with the modern Evangelical version of solo scriptura would be through the use of an illustration to which many believers may be able to relate. Almost every Christian who has wrestled with theological questions has encountered the problem of competing interpretations of Scripture. If one asks a dispensationalist pastor, for example, why he teaches premillennialism, the answer will be, “Because the Bible teaches premillennialism.” If one asks the conservative Presbyterian pastor across the street why he teaches amillennialism (or postmillennialism), the answer will likely be, “Because that is what the Bible teaches.” Each man will claim that the other is in error, but by what ultimate authority do they typically make such a judgment? Each man will claim that he bases his judgment on the authority of the Bible, but since each man’s interpretation is mutually exclusive of the other’s, both interpretations cannot be correct. How then do we discern which interpretation is correct?

Excellent question! One must know what the questions are before proceeding to try to give answers to them.

The typical modern Evangelical solution to this problem is to tell the inquirer to examine the arguments on both sides and decide which of them is closest to the teaching of Scripture. He is told that this is what sola scriptura means — to individually evaluate all doctrines according to the only authority, the Scripture. Yet in reality, all that occurs is that one Christian measures the scriptural interpretations of other Christians against the standard of his own scriptural interpretation. Rather than placing the final authority in Scripture as it intends to do, this concept of Scripture places the final authority in the reason and judgment of each individual believer. The result is the relativism, subjectivism, and theological chaos that we see in modern Evangelicalism today.

Very good. Now let's see how SAS can produce anythng all that different than this. I contend that it cannot. I'll wait to see how the case might be made. It's a futile effort.

A fundamental and self-evident truth that seems to be unconsciously overlooked by proponents of the modern Evangelical version of solo scriptura is that no one is infallible in his interpretation of Scripture. Each of us comes to the Scripture with different presuppositions, blind spots, ignorance of important facts, and, most importantly, sinfulness. Because of this we each read things into Scripture that are not there and miss things in Scripture that are there. Unfortunately, a large number of modern Evangelicals have followed in the footsteps of Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), founder of the Disciples of Christ, who naively believed he could come to Scripture with absolutely no preconceived notions or biases. We have already mentioned Campbell’s naive statement, “I have endeavored to read the Scriptures as though no one had read them before me, and I am as much on my guard against reading them today, through the medium of my own views yesterday, or a week ago, as I am against being influenced by any foreign name, authority, or system whatever.” [8]

Excellent analysis again. I'm still waiting to see how SAS overcomes this. I don't see how it can, but I'm open to being shown how it might work.

The same ideas were expressed by Lewis Sperry Chafer, the extremely influential founder and first president of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chafer believed that his lack of any theological training gave him the ability to approach scriptural interpretation without bias. He said, “the very fact that I did not study a prescribed course in theology made it possible for me to approach the subject with an unprejudiced mind and to be concerned only with what the Bible actually teaches.”9 This, however, is simply impossible. Unless one can escape the effects of sin, ignorance, and all previous learning, one cannot read the Scriptures without some bias and blind spots. This is a given of the post-Fall human condition.

I agree 100%. This is some of the "good stuff" of the SAS position that a Catholic can wholeheartedly agree with.

This naive belief in the ability to escape one’s own noetic and spiritual limitations led Campbell and his modern Evangelical heirs to discount any use of secondary authorities. The Church, the creeds, and the teachings of the early fathers were all considered quaint at best. The discarding of the creeds is a common feature of the modern Evangelical notion of solo scriptura. It is so pervasive that one may find it even in the writings of prominent Reformed theologians. For example, in a recently published and well-received Reformed systematic theology text, Robert Reymond laments the fact that most Reformed Christians adhere to the Trinitarian orthodoxy expressed in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. [10] He openly calls for an abandonment of the Nicene Trinitarian concept in favor of a different Trinitarian concept. One cannot help but wonder how this is any different than the Unitarians rejection of creedal orthodoxy. They call for the rejection of one aspect of Nicene Trinitarianism while Reymond calls for the rejection of another. Why is one considered heretical and the other published by a major Evangelical publishing house?

Of course, Reymond's position is not different in kind from the Unitarian move into non-trinitarian heresy: tantamount to a rejection of Christianity itself. At least it is still ostensibly trinitarian, but it shows no regard for Tradition and historical precedent and established orthodoxy. Keith will claim that this is SOS, but SAS entails no such conundrum. Oh? On what basis in SAS can one say that a Protestant theologian must accept the Nicene Creed or the particular constructions on the Trinity taught by these early councils? None that I can see. After all, no Church is infallible, so presumably no creed is, either. A creed is only as good as the council or Church that constructed it. But if both of those entities are fallible, then so must be the creed they produced. Therefore, it is fully able to be rejected, and this is no instance of a corruption of primal Protestant principles, but rather, a perfectly consistent application of them. Again, then, SAS and SOS reduce to the same anti-traditional thrust in theory and in practice.

An important point that must be kept in mind is observed by the great nineteenth-century Princeton theologian Samuel Miller. He noted that the most zealous opponents of creeds “have been those who held corrupt opinions?”[11] This is still the case today. The one common feature found in many published defenses of heretical doctrines aimed at Evangelical readers is the staunch advocacy of the modern Evangelical notion of solo scriptura with its concomitant rejection of the subordinate authority of the ecumenical creeds. The first goal of these authors is to convince the reader that sola scriptura means solo scriptura. In other words, their first goal is to convince readers that there are no binding doctrinal boundaries within Christianity.

Who determines such "binding doctrinal boundaries"? If some Church or Council establishes this, then it must be infallible when it does it, lest we have a situation where Christians are bound by a fallible (therefore, quite possibly untrue) doctrine. Binding force implies infallibility. The binding is supposed to be related to a "clearly biblical"doctrine. But as Keith himself notes: good Christian folks in good faith differ on what is clear and unclear in the Bible, and on what is taught and not taught. A Church or Council has to decide and interpret authoritatively. Keith wants to have his cake and eat it too. Having rejected any infallible authority outside the Bible, now he paradoxically insists on the existence of what he has supposedly rejected and ruled out. Creeds must be at least partially infallible, lest Protestants go the Unitarian route. He sees the way out of his own dilemma, yet continues to inconsistently apply his "solution" which is doomed to failure from the outset. He can't have infallible Tradition but he has to to remain orthodox and biblical. How ironic . . . In such a situation one can only play with words and/or hope that observers don't notice the sleight-of-hand taking place.

In his defense of annihilationism, for example, Edward Fudge states that Scripture “is the only unquestionable or binding source of doctrine on this or any subject?” [12] He adds that the individual should weigh the scriptural interpretations of other uninspired and fallible Christians against Scripture.’ [13] He does not explain how the Christian is to escape his own uninspired fallibility. The doctrinal boundaries of Christian orthodoxy are cast aside as being historically conditioned and relative. [14] Of course, Fudge fails to note that his interpretation is as historically conditioned and relative as any that he criticizes. [15]

Yes, how does either the SOS or SAS Christian "escape his own uninspired fallibility"? Excellent question! I predict that it won't be answered. Nor will the internal inconsistencies be acknowledged. Keith is too busy noticing the speck in Catholic, Orthodox, and SOS Protestant eyes to notice the log in his own doctrinal / ecclesiological schema.

[ . . . ]

Footnotes (Keith Mathison's original ones)

1. Zane Hodges, Absolutely Free! (Dallas: Redencion Viva, 1989).
2. Charles Ryrie, So Great Salvation, (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989).
3. John MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988); Faith Works, (Dallas: Word Books, 1993).
4. E.g., Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Lord of the Saved, (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing Co. 1992); Michael S. Horton, ed., Christ the Lord: The Reformation and Lordship Salvation, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1992).
5. Douglas Jones, Putting the Reformation “Solas” in Perspective, audio tapes, (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1997).
6. Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1986), 22.
7. Cf. Nathan Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989). See also Os Guinness, Fit Bodies Fat Minds, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994), 44-48.
8. Hatch, op. cit., 179.
9. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, 8 vols. (Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1948), 8:5-6.
10. Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1998), xxi.
11. Samuel Miller, The Utility and Importance of Creeds and Confessions, (Greenville, SC: A Press, 1991 16.
12. Edward William Fudge, The Fire that Consumes, Rev. ed. (Carlisle: The Paternoster Press, 1994), 2.
13. Ibid., 3.
14. lbid., 4.
15. For a good scriptural critique of annihilationism, see Robert A. Peterson, Hell on Trial, (Phillipsburg: P&R Publishing Company, 1995).
16. For an introduction and scriptural critique of this new heresy, see C. Jonathin Seraiah, The End of All Things, (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1999).
17. Ed Stevens, “Creeds and Preterist Orthodoxy,” Unpublished Paper. Emphasis mine.
18. Ibid.
19. John Noe, Beyond the End Times, (Bradford, PA: Preterist Resources, 1999), 213.
20. No author, (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 2000).
21. In one sense this section has already been covered by virtually every published Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox critique of what they term solo scriptura. These published critiques tend to focus only upon Tradition 0 or solo scriptura.
22. For an outstanding study on the canonization of the New Testament, see Bruce Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987).


END OF PART ONE

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