The “Catholics are Divided Too” ObjectionNov 25th, 2012 | By Bryan Cross | Category: Blog Posts
When Protestants become Catholic, one reason they typically give for doing so is the prospect of attaining unity. They recognize both that the perpetual fragmentation between Protestant denominations cannot be the fulfillment of Christ’s prayer in John 17 that His followers be one, and that this fragmentation is perpetually insoluble by way of sola scriptura and the assumption that Scripture is sufficiently perspicuous to establish or preserve Christians in the unity for which Christ prayed. In the Magisterium of the Catholic Church they see a divinely established way of preserving doctrinal and visible unity through the role of the episcopal successor of St. Peter in Rome.1
However, there is a seemingly powerful objection to this argument, an objection raised frequently in response to the prospect of finding in the Catholic Church the unity for which Christ prayed in St. John 17. The objection is the following claim: Catholics are divided too, no less than are Protestants. According to this objection when a Protestant becomes Catholic he does not enter into a greater unity, because he is merely moving from a relatively unified Protestant denomination among many other Protestant denominations, to the structurally unified institution of the Catholic Church composed of members who, it seems, disagree over just about everything.
Nor is there any shortage of high profile Catholics whose public statements and positions illustrate the point of the objection. We might think of the present Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic who publicly supports both the legalization of abortion and the controversial HHS mandate requiring Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities to provide to their employees coverage for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilizations. Or we could point to the recent disagreement between the Holy See and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Or we could point to Notre Dame theologian Richard McBrien’s opposition to the Catholic practice of Eucharistic adoration, or the Call To Action group in Minnesota supporting the legal recognition of same-sex ‘marriage.’ There are outspoken Catholics in the media voicing support for and opposition to the legalization of same-sex ‘marriage,’ voluntary abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, torture of terrorist suspects, as well as women’s ordination, the use of drones as military weapons, and many other issues. 2
The situation is not limited to high profile Catholics. Most of us have encountered Catholics who think of themselves as good Catholics but are quick to list the matters about which they disagree with the Pope; the use of contraceptives is typically first on this list. Moreover, it is common knowledge that Catholics in the United States do not fall neatly or predominantly into either major political party. In view of all this disagreement among Catholics, the “Catholics are divided too” objection might seem to be quite accurate and compelling, and thus to undermine the notion that the Catholic Church possesses any more unity than any particular Protestant denomination, let alone possesses exclusively the supernatural unity that is the first of the four marks of the Church recited in the Nicene Creed. In order to explain why the objection is mistaken, we must first consider the nature of the Church’s unity.
The Nature of the Unity of the Catholic Church
The unity of the Catholic Church is constituted of three bonds, each stemming from Christ’s own unity in three redemptive roles. In the Old Testament, the roles of prophet, priest, and king were each held by different groups of persons. The prophets were distinct from the Levitical priests, and these in turn were distinct from the kings of Israel, typically anointed to this role by the prophets. These three roles, however, all came together and were fulfilled in the incarnate Christ. He is the Prophet, the Priest, and the King of the New Covenant people. He is the Prophet because He brings the fullness of divine revelation, as the eternal and exhaustive Word of God the Father. He is the Priest because He offers once and for all to the Father the only perfect Sacrifice (i.e. Himself) that can take away our sins and redeem man from death and hell. He is the King because all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, and He is the Son of David and eternal heir to David’s throne.3
The Kingdom of Christ, which is the Church, therefore possesses each of these three bonds of unity.4 Because of Christ’s unity in His role as Prophet, His Church believes and teaches one faith in all places and times. Because of Christ’s unity in His role as Priest, His Church shares all the same sacraments in all places and times, offering in the Eucharist through the New Covenant priests who stand in the Person of Christ, the very same Sacrifice of Christ Himself. And because of Christ’s unity in His role as King, His Church possesses in all places and times a unity of government through the hierarchical unity of the bishops in communion with Christ’s Vicar, the episcopal successor of St. Peter, to whom Christ as King entrusted the keys of the Kingdom.5 These three bonds of unity are also referred to as unity of doctrine, of cult, and of authority. Through these three supernatural bonds of unity, the unity of the Holy Spirit and charity reigns in Christ’s Church. When we do not maintain one or more of these three bonds, we do not share in the full communion of Christ and His Church.6
Addressing the question of unity as a mark of the Church, the Catholic Encyclopedia article on this subject states the following:
The Catholic conception of the mark of unity, which must characterize the one Church founded by Christ, is far more exacting. Not only must the true Church be one by an internal and spiritual union, but this union must also be external and visible, consisting in and growing out of a unity of faith, worship, and government. Hence the Church which has Christ for its founder is not to be characterized by any merely accidental or internal spiritual union, but, over and above this, it must unite its members in unity of doctrine, expressed by external, public profession; in unity of worship, manifested chiefly in the reception of the same sacraments; and in unity of government, by which all its members are subject to and obey the same authority, which was instituted by Christ Himself.7
The unity of the Church is not any mere accidental unity in the sense that persons who happen to agree concerning some particular interpretation of Scripture come together to form some federation or denominational organization. Such a unity would not have been established by the incarnate Christ, but by mere men. Nor is the unity of the Church merely an invisible or spiritual unity.8 As Pope Leo XIII wrote in 1896 in his encyclical Satis Cognitum (On the Unity of the Church),
Jesus Christ did not, in point of fact, institute a Church to embrace several communities similar in nature, but in themselves distinct, and lacking those bonds which render the Church unique and indivisible after that manner in which in the symbol of our faith we profess: “I believe in one Church.”9
And in 1943 Pius XII wrote similarly:
Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely “pneumatological” as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond.10
Rather, the unity that is the first of the four marks of the Church is constituted by the profession of the one faith received from Christ, sharing one and the same sacraments instituted by Christ, and enjoying one hierarchical government established by Christ. How then, are these three bonds of unity compatible with the sort of disagreements among Catholics described at the beginning of this article?
The Reply to the Objection
In order to answer the objection, we must first distinguish between two different kinds of disagreements among Catholics, because the reply to the objection differs for each kind:
Disagreements of faith: Disagreement with (a) what has been divinely revealed either in Scripture or Tradition, which the Church, whether by solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal Magisterium has set forth to be believed as divinely revealed, or (b) what has been definitively proposed by the Magisterium regarding faith and morals, or (c) the authentic teaching of the Magisterium not by a definitive act but nevertheless requiring religious submission of will and intellect;11
Disagreements not of faith: Disagreement regarding (d) open theological questions that have not yet been determined definitively or non-definitively by the Church’s magisterium and not under any of the three grades of assent described just above, or (e) concerning prudential judgments regarding the implementation or application of theological or moral truths, or (f) regarding matters not directly theological or moral.12
When we are speaking about “disagreements not of faith,” the Catholic reply to the “Catholics are divided too” objection is that disagreements of this sort are fully compatible with the preservation of all three bonds of unity, including the bond of faith, because disagreements concerning such matters do not entail disagreements of faith or detract from our unity in the one faith of the Church. If we recall the old principle “in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity,” disagreements not of faith are matters about which we have liberty. For example, for centuries the Dominicans and the Jesuits have held differing beliefs concerning the doctrine of predestination.13 On this question the Magisterium has considered the matter, declared certain positions to be incompatible with the faith, but left open a number of theological positions. This is not to say that the question between the presently open positions will not be definitively resolved by the Church’s Magisterium in the future. But for now the Jesuit and the Dominican positions on this question are each within the bounds of the one faith of the Church. Unity of faith does not mean that there cannot be a diversity of opinions on matters that the Magisterium under the guidance of the Holy Spirit has allowed to remain open questions.14
When we are speaking about “disagreements of faith,” however, the Catholic reply to the “Catholics are divided too” objection is quite different. In these matters, the Magisterium of the Church has taught something either as divinely revealed or as definitively proposed by the Church or simply to be adhered to with religious submission of will and intellect. In these three cases the disagreements can be of two sorts: (1) disagreement concerning the proper understanding or interpretation of the Magisterial teaching or (2) disagreement with the Magisterial teaching.15 The latter sort of disagreement is generally called dissent. With regard to the former, the disagreeing Catholic parties each affirm the authority of the Magisterium, but do not yet agree concerning what it teaches. Honest disagreement concerning the proper understanding or interpretation of Magisterial teaching need only be a temporary condition because of the potential for Magisterial clarification if consulting the local ordinary does not resolve the disagreement.16
Whether a Catholic has accidentally misunderstood Magisterial teaching or has purposely dissented from Magisterial teaching, in either case, to the degree he has denied or rejected a teaching of the Magisterium, to that degree he has separated himself (either unintentionally or intentionally) from the one faith of the Church.17 When that happens, the one faith of the Church and the bond of unity enjoyed by the faithful through their profession of that one faith is in no way diminished, just as the holiness of the Church is not diminished when one of her members sins.18 When a Catholic departs from Magisterial teaching, rather than diminishing the Church’s unity or dividing the Church’s one faith, that Catholic instead separates himself to that degree from participating in the unity of the Church’s faith. In this way he loses participation in the Church’s unity; the Church does not lose unity. If he returns to the Church’s faith, either through further catechesis or through repentance, he is restored to participation in the one faith that was not diminished by his departure from it.19
This is why the unity of the Catholic faith does not consist in the level of doctrinal agreement among all those who call themselves Catholic. The bond of faith as one of three bonds constituting the visible unity that is the first mark of the Church specified in the Creed is the bond of unity manifested visibly in all those Catholics who profess the one faith taught by the Magisterium. In order to treat dissenting Catholics as evidence against the unified faith of the Church, one would have to assume that the beliefs of the dissenters belong to the faith of the Church. That we recognize them as dissenters shows that we already know that they are at odds with the teaching of the Church. Dissenters, in spite of themselves, by their very dissent testify to the unity of the Church’s faith. Only where there could be no such thing as dissent could there be no unity of faith.
When we apply this to the examples of disagreement mentioned at the beginning of this article we find that each of these disagreements fall into either what I have categorized as “disagreements of faith” or “disagreements not of faith.” Disagreements among Catholics concerning, for example, prudential judgments regarding the right application in public policy of binding Catholic principles can be fully compatible with the simultaneous agreement between the disagreeing parties concerning matters of faith, and thus the simultaneous preservation of the unity of the bond of faith. And the same is true of disagreements between Catholics concerning open theological questions about which the Magisterium has offered no authoritative teaching. In such cases it is possible to be wrong, even foolishly or culpably wrong, while maintaining the unity of the bond of faith. However, when Catholics dissent from the teaching of the Magisterium, either about theological doctrines such as transubstantiation or women’s ordination, or about moral issues such as contraception, abortion or the essential heterosexual character of marriage, they separate themselves from the unity of the Church’s faith. Although they do not harm or diminish the unity of the Church or the bond of unity in the profession of one faith by the Catholic faithful, dissenting Catholics do give scandal by their dissent, by obscuring to the world the unity that is to be a testimony of the unity of the Father and the Son, and of Christ’s having been sent from the Father.20 When a Protestant points to dissenters as evidence of the disunity of the Catholic Church, he is in essence pointing to Protestants. And just as the existence of Protestants is no evidence that the Catholic Church does not enjoy the three bonds of unity, so the existence of dissenters from the Catholic faith is no evidence that the Catholic Church does not enjoy the three bonds of unity. In short, both kinds of disagreement leave intact both the unity of the Catholic faith as well as the unity of the Catholic Church.
Where then does the “Catholics are divided too” objection go wrong? The objection mistakenly assumes that the unity of the Catholic Church is the degree of agreement concerning matters of faith among all who call themselves Catholic or receive the Eucharist, rather than recognizing that the unity of the Catholic faith is determined by the unity of the doctrine taught by the Magisterium. In this way the objection implicitly presupposes that there is no difference in teaching authority between the laity and the Magisterium. It treats Catholic unity through the Protestant paradigm’s way of judging unity, and thus presupposes the falsehood of the Catholic faith.
The mistake underlying the objection is understandable for two reasons. The early Protestants claimed that the two marks of the Church were the right preaching of Scripture and the right administration of the sacraments. Discipline in the sense of rightly excluding those not prepared to receive the sacraments was sometimes listed by these Protestants as a third mark, but even those who did not treat it as a third mark subsumed it under the right administration of the sacraments. For this reason, from the Protestant point of view, Catholics who are allowed to receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church are assumed to be in full communion with the Catholic Church. Thus when known Catholic dissenters are allowed to receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, whatever dissenting position they affirm, even if logically incompatible with the teaching of the Magisterium, seems therefore to Protestants who raise this objection to be acceptable within the Catholic Church, thus driving the “Catholics are divided too” objection. But for reasons explained above, when a bishop whether for justified pastoral reasons unknown to us or even out of cowardice chooses not to excommunicate a Catholic who publicly dissents from Catholic teaching, the unity of the Catholic faith nevertheless remains intact. The dissenter separates himself from the Church’s one faith by his dissent, and his receiving the Eucharist does not make his dissent part of Magisterial teaching or part of the one faith of the Church.
A second reason why it is understandable that Protestants raise this objection is that since there is no Protestant magisterium to provide an authoritative and singular body of doctrine by which Protestants could enjoy a bond of unity in faith, within Protestantism the only way to determine the unity of faith is to survey the range of beliefs held by Protestants, and determine what is held in common. Agreement concerning the faith occurs within a Protestant denomination formed by persons brought together by sharing the same interpretation of Scripture, subsequently joined by persons who share that interpretation and abandoned by those who come to hold a different interpretation. But while the Catholic Church teaches that she is the Church Christ founded, almost no Protestant denomination claims to be the very Church Christ founded. Each typically views itself as a branch within the “catholic Church.”21 Nor within Protestantism can there be any authoritative or definitive delineation of what belongs to the essentials and what belongs to the non-essentials.22 No one person’s determination of what belongs to the essentials and what does not, is authoritative over all other Protestants. Without a magisterium what belongs to the essentials and what does not, therefore is ultimately a matter of private judgment for each Protestant. For this reason, claims that Protestants are “agreed upon the essentials” are claims that Protestants are agreed on what the claimant himself has determined to be the essentials, on the basis of his own interpretation of Scripture. In this way the Protestant denial of magisterial authority undermines even the authority of creeds and confessions.23 For these reasons, therefore, unity of faith within Protestantism can be determined only by the degree of doctrinal agreement among Protestants across all Protestant denominations. And this is why the “Catholics are divided too” objection arises from a Protestant way of conceiving the unity of faith in the Catholic Church.
A Possible Protestant Response
A Protestant could respond to my reply to the “Catholics are divided too” objection by claiming that Protestants have just as much unity of faith as do Catholics, because while the Catholic unity of faith derives from the single body of doctrine taught by the Magisterium, the Protestant unity of faith derives from the single body of doctrine taught by the Bible. The Protestant could claim that in the same way that Catholics who dissent from or misunderstand the Magisterium separate themselves from the unity of the Catholic faith, so Protestants who dissent from or misunderstand the Bible separate themselves from the unity of the Protestant faith, even when they remain visible members of a Protestant ecclesial community. In other words, as a Catholic might point to the Catechism of the Catholic Church to show the one faith of the Church, the Protestant could simply point to the Bible as the source and evidence of the unity of Protestant doctrine. In this way, the Protestant interlocutor could attempt to claim parity between the unity of Catholic faith, and the unity of Protestant faith.
There are a number of problems with this response. First, it overlooks the relevant difference between persons and texts, as I have explained elsewhere.24 Because of that difference, the unity of faith possessed by the Catholic Church is an actual unity maintained in the present by a living Magisterium, whereas the unity of faith referred to by this Protestant response is only a potential unity, because Scripture has to be interpreted, and within Protestantism there is no living magisterium to resolve the plethora of interpretive disagreements. The unity of Scripture as uninterpreted does not constitute a unity of the Apostolic deposit interpreted. The former is a potential unity that could in actuality lead to many contrary faiths, and in fact has done so. In the Catholic case, by contrast, the unity of faith is located in the interpretation through the authoritative organ of interpretation, not just in the text of Scripture. For that reason, the unity of faith at the level of interpretation is not compatible with many contrary faiths, and is thus not comparable with the potential unity of faith contained in Scripture alone as uninterpreted.
Second, this Protestant response is not supported by early Church history, as though the early Church believed that Christ established His Church to be perpetually preserved in visible unity by means of the sixty-six book Protestant Bible without any magisterial organ for definitively settling doctrinal or interpretive disputes, contrary to what we see in the first four centuries of Church history and the early ecumenical councils.
Third, empirical observation clearly testifies to the difference between the unity of faith possessed by those Catholics submitting entirely to the teaching of the living Magisterium, and an alleged unity of faith possessed by all those Protestants who in good faith seek to submit to Scripture apart from the guidance of the Magisterium. Protestants cannot point to any particular Protestant community as the Church Christ founded and which preserves faithfully the Apostolic deposit. Individual Protestants can make such an identification only by determining which existing ecclesial community comes closest to their own interpretation of the meaning of Scripture. Nor is Protestantism capable of providing a definitive or exhaustive list of the essentials of the faith, or a principled basis by which all persons of good will can distinguish in each case between what is essential and what is not. The Catholic has no corresponding problem precisely because the identity of the Catholic Church is defined through communion with the very Magisterium by which the content of the one faith is determined authoritatively and definitively.25
Fourth, this Protestant response is not supported by the history of Protestantism. Protestant scholar Anthony Lane writes that for the Reformers:
Scripture was ‘sui ipsius interpres’ and the simple principle of interpreting individual passages by the whole was to lead to unanimity in understanding. This came close to creating anew the infallible church…It was this belief in the clarity of Scripture that made the early disputes between Protestants so fierce. This theory seemed plausible while the majority of Protestants held to Lutheran or Calvinist orthodoxy but the seventeenth century saw the beginning of the erosion of these monopolies. But even in 1530 Casper Schwenckfeld could cynically note that ‘the Papists damn the Lutherans; the Lutherans damn the Zwinglians; the Zwinglians damn the Anabaptists and the Anabaptists damn all others.’ By the end of the seventeenth century many others saw that it was not possible on the basis of Scripture alone to build up a detailed orthodoxy commanding general assent.26
If the Protestant perspicuity thesis were true, then over the past five hundred years we should expect to see not an explosion of fragmentation into various Protestant sects, but a coalescing into one body of all persons who in good faith attempt to discern the meaning of Scripture. In this way the history of Protestant fragmentation over the last five hundred years is incompatible with the truth of the Protestant perspicuity thesis.27 The multiplication of sects into the thousands, while each in good faith attempts to interpret the Bible rightly, either falsifies the Protestant perspicuity thesis, or reveals that the perspicuity thesis has no discernible bearing on reality, because if in fact it were false, there would be no discernible difference than there is at present in the degree of fragmentation among those who presume its truth. For this reason the Protestant position has no adequate answer to the following question: if Scripture were, in fact, not sufficiently perspicuous for the unity Christ intended His Church to have between His Ascension and His Parousia, and all the fragmentation of Christians were in fact evidence of Scripture’s not being sufficiently perspicuous for the unity Christ intended His followers to have in this present age, how would we know?
Treating the Protestant perspicuity thesis as unfalsified by the last five hundred years of Protestant fragmentation treats the thesis as compatible with the coming into existence of a million additional Christian sects, each basing itself on Scripture and each holding a theological position incompatible with all the others and remaining divided and in disagreement with the others not just for five hundred years, but an additional five hundred years, even ten thousand more years. In short, it allows the formation, multiplication and endless perpetuation of any number of Christian sects, each basing itself on Scripture, and each coming to interpretations incompatible with all the others. The Catholic, however, is not even faced with a comparable question, because the very idea of thousands of Catholic sects each divided from the others and disagreeing with the others regarding what the Magisterium teaches, while each in good faith attempts to submit to Pope Benedict XVI, is unimaginable. This again is due to the ontological difference between persons and texts, explained at the link provided in footnote #16. The perpetual and pervasive interpretive pluralism and visible fragmentation over the last five hundred years among those who seek to be guided by Scripture apart from a divinely established interpretive authority indicates that Scripture was not intended to function in this way as the means by which Christ’s prayer in John 17 for the visible unity of all His followers is to be preserved.
The supernatural unity with which Christ endowed His Church is the goal of love, and in this way this supernatural unity is at the heart of Christ’s gospel. This is why unity is the first mark of the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church” Christ founded. As the world will know that we are His disciples by our love, so this love will be evident through our unity. This unity, therefore, will always draw men to itself as part of the good news of the gospel. Where it does so it signifies the presence of Christ’s gospel. The “Catholics are divided too” objection seeks to undermine this reason for becoming Catholic by claiming that Catholic unity is no greater than the divided condition evident within Protestantism. Here I have shown both that the disagreements among Catholics fall into two general categories, and how neither category of disagreement detracts either from the Church’s essential unity or from the unity of faith which is one of the three bonds of the Church’s unity. I have also provided some reasons showing why Protestantism has not and cannot provide a parallel response establishing a parity of unity of faith on the basis of Scripture alone. The visible unity that the world is to see in those who follow Christ can be had only through communion with the Magisterial authority Christ authorized and established in His Church for the preservation of that unity until He returns.
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (St. John 17: 20-23)
Feast of Christ the King, 2012.
- See, for example, Scott McKnight’s article “From Wheaton To Rome: Why Evangelicals Become Roman Catholic,” discussed here. [↩]
- See, for example, this article. [↩]
- Mt. 28:18. Ps. 89:4, 29; 132:11; Dan. 7:13-14. [↩]
- Cf. CCC 567, and 815. [↩]
- St. Matthew 16:19. See also Satis Cognitum, 11, and “The Chair of St. Peter.” [↩]
- See Catechism of the Catholic Church, paras. 813 – 816. [↩]
- Catholic Encyclopedia entry “Unity (as a mark of the Church).” [↩]
- See “Christ Founded a Visible Church.” [↩]
- Satis Cognitum, 4. [↩]
- Mystici Corporis Christi, 14. [↩]
- These three come from the last three paragraphs of the Profession of Faith. See also the CDF’s doctrinal commentary on the last three paragraphs of the Profession of Faith, as well as Ad Tuendam Fidem, all included at that same link. See also Canons 750-752 in the Code of Canon Law. The different degrees of certainty calling for different grades of assent should not be confused with the “hierarchy of truths,” as explained by Douglas Bushman in “Understanding the Hierarchy of Truths.” [↩]
- Bishop Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois clarifies the distinction between binding principles and prudential judgments in his October 7, 2012 Red Mass Homily. [↩]
- See, e.g., Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales, “Is the Thomist Doctrine of Predestination Calvinistic?,” available here. [↩]
- We can see that same principle of unity-in-diversity in the many different Catholic liturgical rites, in which the very same seven sacraments are celebrated. [↩]
- Culpability for dissent from or misunderstanding of Magisterial teaching is a separate question from the “Are Catholics divided too?” question, and I do not address it in this essay. [↩]
- See III. Persons and Texts in my reply to Michael Horton. [↩]
- Setting aside the question of culpability, the objective gravity of a Catholic’s deviation from the Catholic faith depends both on the relative importance of the rejected teaching in the “hierarchy of truths” and the three grades of assent, and on the proportion of the Catholic faith rejected. [↩]
- See “The Holiness of the Church.” [↩]
- It is also worth pointing out here that participation in the unity of the bond of faith does not mean that each person who professes truly the whole of the Catholic faith is in a state of grace. Formal heresy is not the only grave sin, and therefore it is possible to maintain the Catholic faith while committing a mortal sin (e.g. adultery) or remaining in a state of unrepentance after having committed a mortal sin. The loss of sanctifying grace and agape through committing mortal sin does not entail a loss of faith proper, only living faith, through the loss of the agape that makes faith to be alive. See the section titled “Members of the Church Militant” in the relevant section of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. [↩]
- St. John 17:21,23. [↩]
- See “Branches or Schisms?” [↩]
- See “Bad Arguments Against the Magisterium: Part IIIA.” [↩]
- See “IV.C. The Delusion of Derivative Authority” in “Solo Scriptura, Sola Scriptura, and the Question of Interpretive Authority.” [↩]
- See III. Persons and Texts. [↩]
- See “Tu Quoque.” [↩]
- A.N.S. Lane, “Scripture, Tradition and Church: An Historical Survey,” Vox Evangelica, Volume IX – 1975, pp. 44, 45. [↩]
- See Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible (Brazos Press, 2012). [↩]