Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Quote of the day

"The earliest list of a twenty-seven book New Testament appears in 367, and there was still rather striking variations into the Middle Ages. In light of that, what is the force of some conservative Protestant arguments that whatever is not in the Bible should not be part of the church? By the later fourth century when Athanasius made his list of New Testament books, many features of the church that evangelical, particularly free church, Protestants find questionable are already functioning. Does it make sense to say that the fourth-century church was making very good decisions about the Bible but mostly poor ones about everything else?"

From F. W. Norris' article, "The Canon of Scripture in the Church" cited in Craig D. Allert, A High View of Scripture, Baker Academic, 2007, p.77


At 12/03/2008 3:30 AM, Anonymous TJ said...

United Kingdom? Oh please! It's like calling the King of Sweden a man.

At 12/03/2008 9:49 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

TJ, your link was rather interesting, actually. Poor Monty was near the top.

Thanks for these helpful thoughts. I, too, want to maintain the tension. A question I am askign is what to do with the other church canons. Idon't mean the canons of scripture but those relating to liturgy, creeds ...
It was not just the text but the text according to a certain hermeneutic that was authoritative, one provided by the church and its rule of faith.

Thanks again for your helpful thoughts.

At 12/03/2008 10:40 PM, Anonymous Phil Sumpter said...

Whatever the solution, I think it will have the word "dialectic" in it.

At 12/03/2008 11:12 PM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Thanks for these links and recommended reading, Phil, brilliant.

And I was thinking exactly the same as you about "dialectic"!

At 12/04/2008 2:09 AM, Anonymous TJ said...

"Thanks again for your helpful thoughts."

You are welcome. I'm clad I can help!

At 12/04/2008 6:01 PM, Anonymous james said...

"I'm clad I can help" means Phil is dressed when he is reading your blog.

I'm clad I'm not,

At 12/08/2008 3:11 AM, Anonymous Grandmère Mimi said...

In light of that, what is the force of some conservative Protestant arguments that whatever is not in the Bible should not be part of the church?

My answer would be that the Protestants' arguments don't hold up, because there was a church before there was a Bible. How can one say that, if the Bible comes out of the church rather than the other way around?

As far as I understand, there is ecumenical consensus between Catholics and Protestants that Scripture has a quality of authority that is superior to that of tradition.

Phil, is that true of the Roman Catholic Church today? I don't believe that it is. And maybe not true across the board in the Anglican Church, either.

At 12/08/2008 4:34 PM, Anonymous Phil Sumpter said...

Grandmère Mimi,

there was a church before there was a Bible

The church always had a Holy Scripture, regardless of its literary scope. The relation between Word and Tradition was dialectical, as far as I understand it, both in relation to the Gospel.

Concerning the "ecumenical consensus," I'm quoting a Catholic OT scholar who said it in discussion once. But he said it in German, so perhaps I'm mistranslating him.

At 12/08/2008 5:13 PM, Anonymous Grandmère Mimi said...

I should add that I speak of the Christian testament in my comment.

Further, despite the testimony to the importance of the Bible and tradition, all denominations seem to me to have a tendency to make things up as they go along.

At 12/09/2008 12:08 AM, Anonymous Grandmère Mimi said...

Phil, the pope and the powers in his inner circle don't always agree with the RC scholars. I remember when the theologians and professors in the RC universities in the US waited in fear and trembling for the visits of Cardinal Ratzinger, who was known as "The Enforcer". The list is long of theologians, professors, and even bishops, who were silenced or otherwise disciplined for straying too far out of line. The list includes some of the finest minds in the church.


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