Protbros: How do you personally justify the solas?

Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia. By faith, scripture, and grace alone are you saved.

Looking from a Catholic prospective, I have to ask how you, in good faith, hold these beliefs. I am not trying to shitpost or attack you here, I really want to understand how you think your beliefs line up with biblical teaching.

The idea of being saved by faith/grace *alone* appears directly contradicted in the book of James. 2:18-20:

The idea that scripture alone is necessary is also contradicted a number of places in scripture. The Apostle's letters to the congregations:

This also applies given that we know the apostles, their descendents, and such wrote letters that were not included in the bible. If the scriptures (which hadn't even been compiled into a proper bible when these letters were written) were sufficient on their own, what are these traditions written of?

A common rebuttal I hear is 2 Timothy 3:16:

Except "profitable" and "sufficient" are two entirely different words, both in greek, the language they were written in, and in every translation since. In fact, the same word rendered "profitable" here, ὠφέλιμος (ōphelimos) is used in 1 Timothy 4:8:

Help me out here.

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If you're really interested in hearing the earnest opinions of thinking Protestants I suggest you look elsewhere than this board

They follow a man (Luther) and that man's Bible (God's Word, mutilated).

Prots & Orthos are long gone, m8.

Where have they fled?

I'll answer by copying and pasting previous answers I've given on this.

I'll start with what I wrote regarding James 2:

Sola fide:

Before I begin I would just like to say that even James doesn't deny sola fide. Read James 2:23.

James 2 is talking about a justified person who is now fulfilling the fruits of his faith. You first have to understand the differences between justification and declaration.

First off lets start with 2 verse from the bible. First of all lets look at Romans 4:3 Here it talks about how Abraham was justified by faith now lets read James 2:21. Now to take both at face value would put you into a contradiction. If you really interpret both the same you will have to conclude what some Muslims even claim, namely that James is contradicting Paul. But they aren't talking about the same thing.

In Romans 4 we are discussing how one is "Made" righteous. This is proven by Paul's quoting Genesis 15, this was when he was first "made" righteous. Then we move on to James 2. Here when he says was not our father Abraham justified by works he isn't even referencing the same chapter as Paul IE genesis 15. He's quoting Genesis 22. This was when Abraham did his good work of sacrificing his son on the altar and thus having his justification "declared."

Now what is the difference between being declared righteous and being made righteous? Being made righteous is by faith "Alone." If it was by anything else then we will have something to boast about but not before God. Now this then leads people to think, who so we can sin but as long as we have faith we will be saved? Absolutely not! Remember what Philippians 1:6 says: he who began a good work in you will lead it to completion. And so to say someone had faith and then continues to sin would say that God is a lair and did not lead to completion a good work he started.

This is why one will later on be "declared" righteous. This means that the fruits and evidence of a lively faith will come. It is why after Abraham was actually "made" righteous is genesis 15 he then was being openly "declared" by his works in genesis 22.

So, the answer is that we are "made" right by faith alone and then declared righteous by out works, which are evidence of our faith. The individual being spoken of in James 2 does not have true justification. That's why James say what he does in James 2:14. "That" faith cannot save him.

Also, I wrote this too: Not Solo fide post:

Ok, thank you for your response. You have done a good job at represenitng your side and I have a better grasp of your position and so I can more accurately respond withou strawmanning.

Ok, great start. First of all you have to understand what faith alone means. There is a difference between "Sola" fide and "solo" fide. The difference is outstanding. First of all solo fide leads to antinomianism while Sola fide leads to good works. What do I mean? The meaning behind sola fide is that our faith the the ultimate authority in the sense that our faith, if it is true, leads us to do good works. This is what james means "faith without works is dead." He paul is talking about a "faith" that does not produce good fruits. Again the subject here is Faith and offspinf of this. He is telling us of two different types of faiths.

This point is better convayed by verse 14 where is says "Can that faith save him?" "That faith." The greek word used here is "ὁ πίστις" (Ho pistis). Tthe ho here is in the the definite article, which is used to refer to a particular member of a group or class. Here james is talking about a specific faith here not just anything.

And so a faith without works is not true saving faith whereas a faith with works is true. That is why paul can say what he does in philippians 1:6

More to come on the other Solas. Just give me time.

Hey, sometimes it's better to not talk on a subject you haven't got much knowledge on otherwise you risk making yourself look ignorant. No one who is intelligent enough will actually take your post seriously but I'm just here to let you know.

Sola fide and sola gratia are two different things btw. They're connected but deal with different parts of the ordo salutis

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Now, 2 Thessalonians 2:15 and 1 Corinthians 11:1-2 are common verses used in defense of extra biblical contents and because they use the word "tradition" it is a verse that is commonly used by cathodox to demonstrate this but one need not look further than the very context of 2 Thessalonians to know what the traditions spoken of are. In the first few verses we see that it references eschatological matters and how they should not fear and tells them to remember what he told the people regarding these topics. And so when Paul talks about tradition it isn't to be understood as some extra biblical concepts such as the assumption of mary or some other unheard of ceremonial act but rather it was things that are already found in scripture. And the same thing can be said for 1 corinthians since later on Paul states:

I'm not going to hit every point, but one thing I notice right away is you forgot 2 Timothy 3:17. The way you conveniently left it out makes me think you're being disingenuous, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
I even quoted the catholic douay rheims Bible here so you can't get mad at the translation. Look specifically at how verse 17 says "that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work". If the man of God is made perfect and furnished to every good work through scripture then you don't need outside traditions, and that's the Biblical proof for sola scriptura.

Just realized that the reply right before mine hit that point already, my bad

So we can contrast a living faith with a dead faith. The demons have a dead faith. A Christian has a living faith, one that pours out fruits. It is not the fruits that justify, it is the faith, Rom 4.

When you have a question of faith and morals, where do you turn? Where did Jesus turn? Mt 12:3, Mt 12:5, Mt 19:4, Mk 12:26, Lk 6:3, &c. As an Anglican, I cannot affirm this sola. I can say that if you chuck out tradition and the episcopate and start over with a Bible, you will never, ever, ever get it right. Ever. The Church is a living thing. But when a controversy comes up, we must review scripture, using the appropriate lens of tradition as a guide.

I don't understand how YOU can't affirm this one - See Eph ch 1,2 - God is working out the salvation of His elect by His own choice (Eph 1:12, Eph 2:1-10) - salvation is a work of God, not of man, and even less by merit of his own works. Even EOs affirm this one. Why don't you?

Are you in communion with Canterbury, or are you in the continuing Anglican movement?

If the first, how can you justify staying in a backslidden church? Especially considering your exaltation of the church as an authority compared to classical Protestants.

James does not contradict the concept. It still jars me that this argument is used by Catholics here. If James indeed does say that works have to do with salvation, then you will have to concede that scripture contradicts itself, as salvation (justification) through faith alone is reiterated multiple times, especially by Paul.

Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Galatians 2:16: yet we know that na person is not justified by works of the law obut through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, pbecause by works of the law no one will be justified.


I urge you to read your Bible. The point of James is that if faith is real, then it materializes in your works. For example, if you truly believe that a tornado is running right at your house, you will run to the basement with all of your loved ones, not sit and play League of Legends in your bedroom. Likewise, if you have faith in Christ, then you will behave accordingly. Justification comes through faith, not works, but saving faith constitutes good works.

In communion with Cantebury for now. I could ask you the same thing. I have to stay and fight until I can't. The Church is our mother.

I'm not a Roman catholic, I'm an Evangelical whose church isn't backslidden. I'm making an exception to my principle of not posting here just to ask you that question.

They can’t because the entire movement is justified by removing books like Maccabees that justifies everything the Catholics do.

You mean the apocrypha, many of which contradict the rest of the Bible or have glaring errors in them?

Your second link, interestingly enough, has rebuttals for those arguments…

I'll just quote an NCR article in response to this, since it's worded a lot better than I could manage:

This passage doesn’t teach formal sufficiency. In 2 Timothy alone (in context), Paul makes reference to oral tradition three times (1:13-14, 2:2, 3:14). Also, a very similar passage, Ephesians 4:11-15, would prove (using Protestant reasoning) the sufficiency of “pastors” and “teachers” for the attainment of Christian perfection. The Christian believer is “equipped, built up,” brought into “unity” and “mature manhood, knowledge” of Jesus, the “fulness of Christ,” and even preserved from doctrinal confusion by means of the teaching function of the Church. Yet this Pauline passage doesn’t even mention Scripture.

There's also the little matter that sola scriptura promotes disunity. The sheer number of ways there are to understand the bible leads to hundreds-to-thousands of protestant denominations with mutually incompatible beliefs. There absolutely must be an authority of some kind, and it's absurd to suggest that there was a thousand-ish year period between Christ's death and the reformation where nobody was doing it right.

doublepost sage

I kinda dealt with these points here: but you made a few new points here and I guess I'll deal with those too.

Ok, now this point is more out of a misunderstanding of what sola scriptura is. Sola scriptura is opposed to bible onlyism. Sola scriptura doesn't mean deny tradition and restrict yourself to what the bible says and deny anything outside of it. Rather, it is about the primacy is scripture meaning that the bible, as the only infallible and inspired object in creation, is the foundation of all things. That means that we can have tradition, councils and creeds, which protestants most definitely have, but their only purpose is to express and convey truths that are found in scripture. If you add on to it and teach something that is contrary or enforcing rules which are not found in scripture then you are following the tradition of men. But to give a more specific answer, you have to understand that sola scriptura doesn't mean we don't listen to it unless it's written on paper. We all know, and certainly protestants are aware of the fact, that in the early church the gospel was mainly expressed through oral tradition. It wasn't actually written down, if we are to use scholarly dates, until the early 70's or late 60's. But this does not make it any less the word of God. If I go out and do street preaching then what I say is as much the word of God as the bible is in so far as I preach it faithfully and do not add anything. I am still operating under sola scriptura since what I preach orally is from God's word and so there is no contradiction here.

Ok, you do that thing again you did in your OP. It's not fair to find parallels and read them as meaning the same thing and ignore the context. Yes, this verse say that the preachers and pastors equip us but equip us for what? Also, I do agree with this verse that the pastors and apostles do equipt us and are sufficient as the bible is since what they use to equip us isn't tradition or their own teachings or their canons and councils but rather the bible. And so I would agree here that the apostles, just like the scriptures, are sufficient in so far as they convey truths that are found in the bible.

And just to remind you, you posted 2 timothy 3:16 but if you're being serious I suggest you to read the next verse and tell me what you think it means.

Two claims made here. Firstly, you claim that there are hundreds to thousands of different ways to interpret the bible but there really isn't. At best there are nuanced ways of looking at the bible but whenever cathodox talk about "muh 33gazillion denominations" I really want to ask them to look in to these differences. Even if the claim was true that there are 33000 denoms ask yourself, how much do they really differ from each other? If there are that many different denoms do you really think that they are that strikingly different? Humans aren't all that creative and when you look at the differences you'll notice that the differences are trivial at best and don't actually consitute a new gospel or something that is wildly different from another. Do you really think that pastor jim who survived a car crash and then had a born again experience and created his own church is really going to say anything no one has ever heard before? For example, at my church I was a reformed baptised and attended a presbyterian church and I sad alongside baptists and anglicans (the anglican guy recently got ordained in the anglican church.) But we were all in unity and didn't anathematise each other since we knew that we agreed on core concepts and our differences weren't enough to see each others as enemies or preaching a false gospel. That title would go to Jehovah witness and the like.

Secondly, you state that there was a thousand year time when no one understood the bible but if you understand the reformed position then you'd know that the reformers read a lot of patristic texts and their ideas come from that. I was surprised to learn that a lot of my calvinistic beliefs actually do have some presence in the early church and aren't something that was invented by a french lawyer in the 16th century. But what we do, and as christ did, is hold tradition up to the judgement of scripture and see if it coincides with what is taught within. As Christ says in Mark 7:7-8

Those are two of the weakest arguments I have ever seen they also rely on Protestant tinfoil hating to make their point.

Our religion is a supernatural religion, the Lord allows monetary sacrifice for reparation of past sins that were forgiven, muh guy wrote one name wrong. And Exodus says Ramses II was King of Egypt despite all historical accounts denying this.

Stop being worldly and just have some actual faith already.

Remember the entire reason the Protestants kept those books out was because some Jews 800 years after the compilation of the Bible gave them a Kosher edited version of the Bible and they fell for Jewish tricks.

If it was good enough for the Church Fathers it is good enough for me.

i would take prots just that much more seriously if you all organized into something you all agreed upon (harking on your example of different denoms worshipping together).

you might say you do in fact have something you all agree upon, to which i would say why so many different denoms and churches? do you really need two baptist churches across the street from each other? what was wrong with the first church you built? why did you stop going to the first church you built? what makes the second better than the first? (i do want to hear your opinion on this obvious problem)

i really think it's a matter of how you view authority in general. that's the root issue. the answer to these questions can be simplified into: will i obey authority or do what i want to do because i think it's best?

Converted or schismed to another board, history repeats itself kek

well we take roman catholicism very seriously, and have noted the gaping divide between what the church boasts of itself and what it does, the chasm of understanding between the laity and the priests, and the yawning void of any sense in the vatican, where special interest group upon special interest group vie for power in their political wranglings

when you sort your house out, perhaps you will be allowed to help others, but we've been waiting on you for over 500 years now, so we're not holding out much hope

but as a sop, how about i give you a sola-scriptura counter to such a protestant argument against your church
1 Cor 11:19

Nice cherry picked bible verse. The entire chapter says it is fine to disagree but when it is time for Mass you must leave your disagreements at the door otherwise you receive Communion unworthy. But you guys think that was all symbolism because muh sola Scriptura.

you're not getting me, i am offering you this verse for any time a protestant looks at your church and sees the hellions sharpening their knives and running through its corridors of power

scripture; it's the only language we understand

is that your answer?
you really think you're better off in chaotic disunity?
i'll clarify: taking you seriously means: converting.
keep in mind, if you think you're truly right, you should be convincing me the prot way leads to my soul's salvation from hell.
so your answer to some semblance of organization is bitching about what the caths are doing?

truly, give me a better answer.

i reject your premise

and i counter that the roman catholic system has been broken, perhaps irreparably, ever since you chucked the reformers out

i mean, you guys anathematised a simple friar for saying that indulgences which impoverished the laity to build great cathedrals didn't seem very christian, after he first went through all the correct channels in asking his beloved pope to please take a look at the situation

that's why we look at the kind of organisation which 500 years ago had strayed so far from its origins ( when a mere Paul could publicly rebuke the great Peter for falling into sin), and in the ensuing years has only spiralled further into scandal; to see it as the entity that's fallen into discord with The Truth

thus i say, clean your own house then perhaps the Lord will allow you to serve us

Okay, now this is more interesting.

What you've just described is the doctrine of prima scriptura. Sola scriptura on the other hand, literally and grammatically means "scripture alone" and pretty much is bible-only-ism.

So now, I must ask you to clarify which of these two stances most accurately reflects your theology.

Then whence cometh the hundreds-to-thousands different protestant Christian denoms? (Side note: I said "hundreds to thousands", not 33K, because the 33K number is based on methodology that turned out to be crap).

You can speak of unity and ecuminism and how your parishoners all get along, but at the end of the day, there are two problems with this approach: details *do* matter at the end of the day, and not recognizing and correcting those errors in the face of a "why can't we all just get along" platitude is *not* doing a Christian any favors. This precise thing is why so many Catholics are upset at the RCC since the 60s.

If the details don't matter, all of those churches could be dissolved into unitarian universalism or somesuch other ecumenical "church" with no substantial change to teaching.

To me, this reads like 2 Tim 4:3 about getting one's ears tickled. Just a little heresy is still heresy.

This, again, ties into the difference between "prima" and "sola". Sola says that if it's not in the bible, it doesn't matter. Prima means that other stuff works too, so long as it doesn't conflict with the bible. I'd guess you'd describe yourself as the latter given how you mentioned the early church, but please clarify.

Regarding 2 Tim 3:17, the answer is simple, and given in whole in the article I quoted. Given that you later admitted that you don't disclaim oral tradition, though, I think we're in violent agreement.

lad, convince me your way is better; again my soul depends on it if you're right.

not realy my job, pal - it's the Holy Spirit which guides men into all truth

got to say though, it's not looking too good for you buddy; wilfully turning a blind eye to the evils of the system you entrust your soul to, seems like a very unrighteous suppression of the evidence

just how long are you gonna kick against the pricks?

cop out answer.
are you saying you don't have the capacity? that's fair.
but if you do (or even have the effort to try) it really is your job to do so.
why would it not be?
all the more reason to at least try.

Friend, could you shitpost in a different thread?

well there is another reason for my reticence, friendo: you're willing to assert that my belief system is chaotic, but soon as i compare yours with a couple of small examples you start shifting the goal posts and demanding i preach to you

if i demomstrated the same standard of behaviour, would you think i was acting in good faith?

course you wouldn't, you'd call me out on it immediately, right?

but see, i wanted to deal with your assertion that reformed/protestant christianity is disorganised rather than call you out on personal sins, so i was sticking to the subject – and it was only at your insistence that i offered my concern for your eternal destination

that being said, i'm sure if you sat down and had a sincere chat with a friendly protestant evangelist, i'm sure he would answer any questions you might have, but unfortunately you don't have that opportunity with me because i mistrust your motives

lads, if i may be so bold as to say: discussing how sola scriptura (coupled with personal interpretation) causes seemingly endless denoms: is on topic.

's begs to differ they're endless or different;
i'm basically saying: prove it.
and what is your response to that?

and considering our eternal soul is not changing the subject, but encourages us in what is on the line.

From a confused user, thank you for laying this out so clearly. Also to cathbro, thanks for the friendly discussion.

The common definiton I get is that we don't believe in solo scriptura but rather sola scriptura. Solo meaning bibly only but sola meaning bible alone as the sole infallible rule of faith.

As I defined just now and in my previous post. Even the reformers didn't operate under bible onlyism because even the early reformers had councils, creeds and confessions. So this definition of sola scriptura has to be a misunderstanding of what the reformers actually taught.

They're not different denoms. This video discusses it quite well:

Who said we ignore them? Although I don't believe you need to be a Calvinist to go to heaven I still defend the position against those who disagree. I would love for all protestants to be a calvinist but at the same time i have to be patient and understand that just because you have a different conception of predestination it doesn't effect your salvation. Also, you can't compare V2 with our view. There is nothing wrong with having disagreements since even in the early church there were differing views and even till this day there are differing views since not every single area of theology has been settled. That being said if someone is honest enough and reads the bible with good intentions then they'll definitely become Calvinists.

What? No! This isn't like that at all. If someone comes along and says jesus isn't God or says that you are justified by works or Christ didn't die on the cross, these are things tat strike at the heart of the gospel and condemn a man. But if someone comes along and believes in a different ecclesiology then we can look past that. You can't even partake in communion in my church without first having first being baptised in the trinitarian formula.

And that answer is?