Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Five Solas: Sola Scriptura: updated

The Five Solas

One of the wonders and beauties of the emerging church is that while I have been a part of it, I have had to dig deeper and think harder about my faith. In that I have had struggles and questions… and have take a lot of heat… mostly unwarranted as the person would usually misrepresent my view and most of twist to fit the label placed on me.

I wanted to state here the five Solas and my thought and research on them.

SOLA SCRIPTURA (Scripture Alone)

“The inerrant Scripture is the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.

We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian's conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.“

I love the bible, I find it the most amazing and life changing book I have ever know. My respect for it has increased with each year I have walked with the Lord, yet I have always struggled in that what is meant by some as “inerrancy”. It seems that I have only seen at least two types and I hope to show that another view is capable without diminishing “inerrancy and infallibility” as well as the “authority” of Scripture.

Straight out I do believe all Scripture is “God Breathed”. I have no issue at all saying it is “inspired”, though I see many have misrepresented people like Brian McLaren on this topic.

I see agree wholeheartedly with this definition, except for one thing… what is the definition of “inerrant”?

1. One view is that the bible even as translated is without error and infallible. The hold that the Bible has been preserved even when translated to another language. Many hold this view, yet I think few have thought it through as translations are not always totally accurate as subtle nuances can be lost.
2. Another view is that the original text as written or the “autographa” is not available to actually check this out, so much faith must be used to believe this view. It is usually held by those who may not hold that the Bible as far as translations is inerrant and that there are in fact some ancient text that do indeed contradict each other.

So what to do? You either seem to have to check you head at the door or walk by faith and just never know…. Yet there does seem to be another view I have found I think is most accurate. It is the view that the bible is without error in that it is God inspired and all it teaches about truth is without error, also of its inability to err.

What I am getting at is that I am one who must place faith in Jesus and take God at His word… and in that believe all that is revealed in the scripture was to point me to Jesus… and in that the bible is without any error. Again, I know I will take heat on this yet as I approach this with an open heart and in all honesty I cannot say that I see that translations are without error. I do see that God was able to preserve His word even in the hands of men to an incredible degree! In that I see that the “transmission” was also inerrant as God’s written word was faithfully copied in its original language. I am amazed at how many copies of manuscripts we do have that all seem to agree on the major points of truth and if be different, it is usually over a spelling of a name or something as trivial.

I see on these levels or of the concepts of inspiration, transmission, translation, and interpretation the Bible is a very consistent and trust worthy document. Though I see the weakest link is the last two, I see that God is faithful by the Holy Spirit to fill in the missing or wrongly translated or interpreted parts.

Contrary to what some have said about me, my struggles with and my in ability to state emphatically I believe in “inerrancy” of scripture, does not mean I see it without authority. It does not mean I do not think it to contain all truth needed for one to learn to walk in Christ Jesus… It does mean that at times I am brutally honest with myself and others in my struggle to believe on some things.

So I affirm part of SOLA SCRIPTURA and will state that I believe that all the truth on Salvation, the Bible teaches is without error, and that the transmissions of these truths were preserved by God’s hand. I also affirm that God spoke to men and inspired them to write His word and these men were faithful and accurate in what God spoke and what they wrote, and that the Bible itself is God breathed.
Now, I emphasize the "written" yet do also realize that we "walk" by faith which is "physical". To state as is stated above and if I understand correctly, that one cannot experience revelation outside of scripture I disagree with, but with a great cautionary caveat. That all personal revelation need still be run pass the filter of scripture as to whether it be of God or not. God will not contradict Himself and say to a person that Jesus is just a prophet and not God, while it is taught clearly in Scripture that Jesus is God and Creator of all the is created. So, one may experience a revelation from nature or from general observation as we are dealing with "Persons" in the Trinity. I am not saying that God will give "new" revelation apart from what is revealed in the bible.

Be Blessed,

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