Friday, June 13, 2014

Session 2: Sola Scriptura

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30
Writing about Session 2 Sola Scriptura, Brady Warrick shares his thoughts on tradition.

The focus of Session 2 of our study was on Sola Scriptura. Sola Scriptura is the belief that Scripture is the final and only infallible authority for the Christian in all matters of faith and practice. Not included in the definition is the word ONLY. It does NOT say scripture is the ONLY source of truth.

Solo Scriptura (not Sola) is the belief that Scripture is the sole (only) basis and authority in the life of the Christian. Solo Scriptura views tradition as useless and misleading, and creeds and confessions are the result of man-made traditions. This, of course, is the other end of the spectrum from the Sola Scriptura view of tradition and is flat wrong.

Sola Scriptura (not Solo) defines tradition as a “summary” of Christian beliefs that accurately represents the Scriptures. If it does NOT accurately represent the Scriptures, it is not true tradition.

Growing up, I typically thought of tradition as a bad thing. My biggest memory of tradition as a child was Christmas. At Christmas, we were a small group; a couple of aunts, an uncle, mom and dad, brother, grandpa and grandma – no cousins. We would eat a big meal, all help with the dishes, and then pass out presents so we could start “tearing” into them. Except, we didn’t get to “tear” open the gifts because it was a tradition for EACH of us to go around in a circle and open one gift at a time. That meant it took three plus hours for eight or so people to open Christmas presents. As a teenager, that is what I thought tradition meant; do things in a boring, meaningless, repetitious manner.

That negative view of tradition stuck with me throughout high school and college, especially with religion. When it came to church it seemed boring and repetitious. Then, I began to search for truth on my own outside of what I thought was the boring repetition of tradition.

As my slow walk with the Lord started to grow, I began to dig into the word more and more. In doing so, I determined Scripture was the only source of truth. Why go to church? Why go to Bible studies? God gave us His word that is complete so why do we need anything else? Without knowing it I had adopted the Solo Scriptura’s wrong view of tradition.

During the past few years of my life, spiritual tradition has become much more important to me. Tradition is an important part of my spiritual growth. I have listened to two or more sermons per week via podcast for over the past year and this has helped me grow tremendously. These sermons are summaries that accurately represent the Scriptures (right view of tradition). In addition, I have read Christian books, including topics of serving the less fortunate and parenting that accurately summarize Scripture (tradition). Both of these sources have helped my walk with the Lord. This is not to say these are the only aids to my spiritual growth as there is still no substitute for reading the Scriptures.

What really spoke to me during Session 2 of our study is to strike a balance of growth from the Scriptures and from tradition as defined above. The Scriptures are clearly in front of tradition; however, tradition still plays a significant role in my spiritual growth.

Brady Warrick

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