I Won’t Read It, But It Must Be a Lie!

   Here was a thread that caught my eye on the Catholic Answers forums:

   “I was looking at Philip Porvaznik’s (“Philvaz”) website and saw an interesting quote from protestant apologist William Webster and David king in their book “The Holy Scripture: Pillar and Foundation of our faith”
   
” The patristic evidence for sola Scriptura is, we believe, an overwhelming indictment against the claims of the Roman communion. ” (volume 1 by David King, page 266)
   
” Such statements [regarding the unhistorical nature of sola Scriptura] manifest an ignorance of the patristic and medieval perspective on the authority of Scripture. Scripture alone as the infallible rule for the ongoing life and faith of the Church was the universal belief and practice of the Church of the patristic and medieval ages. ” (volume 2 by William Webster, page 84-85)
   
” When they [the Church Fathers] are allowed to speak for themselves it becomes clear that they universally taught sola Scriptura in the fullest sense of the term embracing both the material and formal sufficiency of Scripture. ” (volume 3 by Webster/King, page 9)
   
Obviously this is a blatant lie since we can see through reading the church fathers in context that they did not teach sola scriptura at all! Now if Webster’s argument was that there are certain passages from the church fathers which can be used to support his argument that is one thing (although I highly disagree with it) but to say that there was a universal consensus for sola scriptura seems like these heretics are intentionally trying to mislead people. What do you think?”

   What do I think? I think it’s sad that someone would rather read Phil Porvaznik’s misunderstanding of these volumes rather than read these books for himself. I think these comments accusing Webster and King of blatant lies rather than reviewing the evidence presented speaks volumes of the desperation of those dedicated to sola ecclesia.
   
   For the first quote:

   “The patristic evidence for sola Scriptura is, we believe, an overwhelming indictment against the claims of the Roman communion.” (volume 1 by David King, page 266)”

   Page 266 presents an answer to a common misrepresentation of sola scriptura: “Protestants Appeal to Patristic Evidence to Prove Sola Scriptura, Hence Their Proof Resides in Tradition.” Pastor King responds by pointing out sola scriptura was not a novelty that began with the Reformers. Volume Three of Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith contains over 300 pages of documentation to prove this. King then says, “Even apart from patristic evidence exists or not, the position of sola scriptura would and must be maintained for two primary reasons: 1) Scripture alone is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16) and gives us a full revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and, 2) there is no other special revelation extant outside of Scripture.”
   
   The next citation:

   “Such statements [regarding the unhistorical nature of sola Scriptura] manifest an ignorance of the patristic and medieval perspective on the authority of Scripture. Scripture alone as the infallible rule for the ongoing life and faith of the Church was the universal belief and practice of the Church of the patristic and medieval ages. ” (volume 2 by William Webster, page 84-85)

   This comment (found only on page 85) was directed towards Philip Blosser’s statement that Scripture alone was not the infallible rule for the first thirteen centuries of the church. Webster goes on to quote the great church historian J.N.D. Kelly who says the same exact thing: the fathers held to the authority, primacy, and sufficiency of Scripture. Is J.N.D. Kelly likewise a liar?
   
   The last quote:

   “When they [the Church Fathers] are allowed to speak for themselves it becomes clear that they universally taught sola Scriptura in the fullest sense of the term embracing both the material and formal sufficiency of Scripture. ” (Volume 3 by Webster/King, page 9)

   Volume three does exactly what is claimed. Ironically, some Catholics will argue for the material sufficiency of Scripture, others will not. So, the person making these charges against Webster and King would be indicting some his fellow Catholics. Yves Congar would admit the material sufficiency of Scripture: “…[W]e can admit sola Scriptura in the sense of a material sufficiency of canonical Scripture. This means that Scripture contains, in one way or another, all truths necessary for salvation.” [Cited by James Akin, Material and Formal Sufficiency, This Rock 4, no. 10 (October 1993): 15].
   And by the way, according to some Catholic apologists, we’re not “heretics” anymore. Your church now calls Protestants separated brothers.