Q. I recently read a paper on Catholic apologetics. Having grown up Catholic (though I’m not anymore) I found much of it a surprise. Apparently, at least in my area, the church didn’t want to make too much noise.
My question is, now that Catholics are attempting to refute the concept of Sola Scriptura by saying that it is self defeating in that scripture itself doesn’t claim to be the only spiritual source of truth and that they are seeing that as a green light to push their own doctrines such as transubstantiation, purgatory and veneration of Mary and the saints.
I was wondering, while very possibly true the apostles didn’t write down everything they taught necessarily, it could be possible to refute some of these things by exposing their contradiction to established infallible scripture. Such as transubstantiation being a violation of God’s command to not consume blood. I was wondering if you could teach some on Christian apologetics and defense against those who would try to introduce pagan influances into the church?
A. Evangelical theologians test ideas emanating from religious practices against a standard they call the Law of Hermeneutics. It’s made up of three simple questions.
1. Did Jesus teach it?
2. Do the Gospels contain it?
3. Did the Apostles practice it?
A practice that can not meet these three standards should be considered non-Biblical, no matter which group or denomination endorses it.
Arguments that the Apostles didn’t write down everything are really accusations of failure against the Holy Spirit and are easily refuted. John 14:26 says, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” By this Jesus meant that the Holy Spirit would teach them how to worship Him and tell them what to write about Him. This is why although the Gospels were written a number of years after the fact, they all contain exact quotes from the Lord.
To defend the practice of non-Biblical traditions in the belief that they were somehow left out of the Bible is to accuse the Holy Spirit of shoddy workmanship.