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100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura

100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura [Kindle Edition]

Dave Armstrong

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Product Description

“Where Is That in the Bible?”

Fundamentalists — and many other Protestants — use this question all the time, particularly when they’re dealing with Catholics. When they are being trained how to talk with Catholics, Fundamentalist evangelizers are taught to use this question. They see it as the “master key” to defeating Catholics.

Countless Catholics are absolutely stumped by the question and don’t know what to say in response. This is a very important principle in Protestant thought. It’s the idea that we should do our theology “by Scripture alone.” It even has a fancy Latin name — “sola scriptura.”

It’s time for Catholics to stop being beaten up with the Fundamentalists’ favorite question. That’s why Catholic Answers has published the book 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura by well-known apologist Dave Armstrong. This powerful new book contains just that — Biblical arguments. These are the kind that you need to get through to a Fundamentalist. After all, if they’re locked into the “Bible only” view, they won’t even listen to appeals from other sources.

That’s why you need the kind of precise, Biblically-based takedown of sola scriptura that Armstrong provides.

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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 722 KB
  • Print Length: 135 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Catholic Answers (10 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082GENW0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Arguments, Fun and Easy to Read 26 May 2012
By Devin Rose - Published on
What?! There are biblical arguments against sola Scriptura? It's true. And Dave Armstrong came up with one hundred of them in his new book, 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura.

The book is concise, coming in at around 130 pages, and can be read in a several hours' time. So this is a fun and fast read.

Dave lays out what sola Scriptura is by quoting from several Protestant apologists and scholars--no straw-men here--and then dives right in to the arguments against the doctrine. Most are short, from one paragraph to a page; he gets right to the point and doesn't waste words.

I found many of the arguments interesting, and lots I had never thought of before (great job, Dave!). Argument 9, for example, quotes from Nehemiah 8:7-8 when the Jewish leaders interpreted the "the law" in "the book" for the people. Another one is in argument 13, where Matthew 2:23 is quoted "He shall be called a Nazarene," yet Dave points out that this prophecy is found nowhere in the Old Testament.

In argument 41, he hits the nail on the head:

"Protestants grant to individuals the authority to decided...what is true and what isn't, while denying it to the Church. This makes no sense. If Protestantism discounts the Church's binding authority because the Church is made of fallible, sinful men, then they have to discount every individual's interpretation, since each person is a fallible sinner, too!"

I and others have made a similar argument regarding the canon of Scripture. Why should I believe that God would guide me personally to know which books are inspired and not guide His Church on the matter?

In many arguments, he shows how Tradition 1) doesn't nullify the Scriptures, and 2) is found everywhere in the Bible itself, while the doctrine of sola Scriptura is strangely not found explicitly in the Bible.

Argument 71 is particularly valuable: "The Catholic 'epistemology of authority' is a combination of faith, history, and reason." In this one, Dave lays out how discovering the Church is a process that employs reason and a study of history, which support then the assent of faith to Christ and His Church.

The historical reality, questioned by no one, is that *something* happened with this guy Jesus back in the first century, and the *result* was that an organization was established, led by the Apostles in the beginning, that continued to grow and function throughout the next centuries. The only question is, do you believe that this Church became corrupted in her teachings, or did God protect her from corruption. Protestants and Mormons believe it became corrupted. Catholics believe God protected the Church from error. Dave also briefly rebuts the Protestant argument that Catholics have to have "infallible certainty."

Chapter 9 covers the council of Jerusalem, a topic I bring up in my book as well, because it is a fertile ground for arguments for the Catholic Church against sola Scriptura. Trying to conclude the Bible alone doctrine from the events of this council is an impossible stretch, though I've seen Protestant apologists go to the mat trying to demonstrate this. Dave shows from the council how Peter's authority is greater than that of Paul's, among other insights.

The final argument chapter includes rebuttals of popularly used Protestant prooftexts for sola Scriptura. These are ones I rarely take the time to rebut, because they seem so far-fetched. But Dave does a great service is showing how they do not work. He hits the exact arguments that some Protestant friends of mine use to support their beliefs, like "Thy word is true," and "God's word 'will stand forever' ," and of course 2 Tim. 3:15-17, the favorite of all Protestant apologists.

Dave's book is a great source for arguments and launching point for delving more deeply into the sola Scriptura debate. I gleaned many new ideas from it that I want to think about more. I love how Dave makes so much use of the Scriptures in his arguments, showing that the Bible is fully compatible with Catholicism, even more plausibly so than it is with Protestantism.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great apologetics resource for a fundamental topic 13 Jun 2012
By Jeffrey Miller - Published on
The prolific Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong has a new book out 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura which was published by Catholic Answers.

Now there is a certain irony in taking apart Sola Scriptura via the scriptures but you have to stay within a certain framework when dialoging with others. Jesus when talking to the Sadducees only quoted from the Pentateuch since this was all they accepted. So this apologetical pattern certainly applies here.

Now first off when discussing Sola Scriptura it is best to define terms first. How Catholics might define Sola Scriptura can be quite simplistic compared to how many Protestants would understand it. So Dave Armstrong starts the book by quoting prominent Protestants as to exactly how Sola Scriptura is defined.

Many of the arguments Dave Armstrong used are quite nuanced and interesting and go beyond some run-of-the-mill typical apologetics replies concerning the topic. In many ways Protestantism stands or falls on this since there must be some method of authority to answer questions. If you abandon the authority of a physical teaching Church than Sola Scriptura makes what appears as an acceptable fallback position. It is not enough to just refute Sola Scriptura though. Dave Armstrong as he methodically presents his arguments also sets the case for the understanding of authority presenting the three-legged stool of Scripture-Teaching Church-Sacred Tradition. He does this in a structured way discussing the authority of tradition, authority of the Church, and then answering common arguments used to defend Sola Scriptura.

Apologetics books of this type can be for dry reading, but I did not find that here as I was so interested by the arguments made and how they were presented. Certainly an excellent resource for the apologetic toolbox and one that goes in-depth on a fundamental topic.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another nail in the coffin of the foundational Protestant dogma 3 July 2012
By Teófilo de Jesús - Published on
Sola scriptura is dead, or at least is undead, a zombie still stalking the darkened hallways of Protestantism. Many well-meaning Protestant Christians don't see the zombie-dogma for what it is; instead, they choose to see it as a being of light. My friend Dave Armstrong has returned to blow the old decrepit sola scriptura monsters one at a time in his latest work, 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura.
Let's recall the definition of the sola scriptura dogma - yes, it is a dogma - as understood by Norman Geisler, a recognized Protestant authority Dave quotes in his work:

By sola scriptura orthodox Protestants mean that Scripture alone is the primary and absolute source of authority, the final court of appeal, for all doctrine and practice (faith and morals)... (p.16)

Geisler, and authorities Dave quotes, further explain that other authorities exist, but that these are of secondary importance. Geisler also defends what he calls the perspicuity of Holy Writ, which means that anyone can understand the basic truths of Scripture: the plain things are the main things and the main things are the plain things, Geisler states. (p.17). As a true analyst, Dave separated the sola scriptura dogma into its constituents claims, found out its contents, examined its individual parts, and studied the structure of sola scriptura as whole. He found them defective and insufficient to expound and explain the full spectrum of Christian claims.

Dave kills the sola scriptura zombie by selecting 100 verses from Scripture contradicting this central Protestant claim. I guess he selected 100 verses because the number "100" gives the reader a sense of exhaustive answer and completion, not because there are only 100 verses that should make all sincere Protestant Christian at least uncomfortable with the teaching. In fact, Dave is the author of another related work, 501 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura: Is the Bible the Only Infallible Authority? , which is useful if you need another 401 arguments to kill the sola scriptura zombie dead.

100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura is a distillation of the 501 Biblical Arguments... in a more manageable, less overwhelming fashion for the beginning reader. It's 133 pages in length and divided into two parts. In Part 1 Dave discusses the binding authority of Tradition, as substantiated in Scripture, and in Part 2 he discusses the binding authority of the Church, again from Scripture. The result must be uncontestable to the sincere Protestant Christian as well as eye opening to the full range of deeds and wonders the Incarnation of the Word of God brought to history.

Will the sola scriptura zombie really die after Dave's work? This is a senseless question because the zombie is already dead. It's kept ambulating by strings pulled from the most diehard of its followers. Those strings must be cut by the individual, sincere Protestant Christian himself. Dave Armstrong's work, 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura not only blows the zombie of sola scriptura away, he also provides the scissors to cut the strings.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating critique of Protestantism's main doctinre 5 Sep 2012
By Brandon Vogt - Published on
No belief is more central to Protestantism than sola Scriptura, which says the Bible is the only infallible, authoritative source of Christian faith and practice. It was a main rallying cry of the original Protestant Reformers and remains so today. While Catholics root their authority in the three-legged stool of Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the teaching magisterium, Protestants pledge ultimate allegiance only to the first--the Bible.

What this means is that on that leg, Protestantism stands or falls. If sola Scriptura is true, Catholicism is false--or at least contains excess doctrines, like barnacles on a ship. But if sola Scriptura is false, Protestantism is completely undermined.

As a Protestant apologist, Dave Armstrong understood this dilemma. So once he discovered that sola Scriptura was a man-made doctrine he converted to the Catholic Church. Since then, through his blog and many books, Dave has helped others spot the holes in sola Scriptura. And in a new book, 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura (Catholic Answers, paperback, 134 pages), he compiles all the arguments in one place.

One common objection you'll hear from Protestants whenever sola Scriptura is under attack is that the attacker misrepresents the doctrine. There are, admittedly, several nuanced definitions of sola Scriptura among various Protestants. For instance, some groups differentiate between solo Scriptura, the notion that Scripture is the only authority, and sola Scriptura, the notion that Scripture is the only infallible authority while other lesser authorities exist. (However, both systems ultimately reduce to the same thing.)

To counter this objection, Dave makes clear in the Introduction that the sola Scriptura he demolishes is not a straw man, but the real thing as advocated by its strongest supporters. He defines sola Scriptura by quoting its definition from three reputable Protestant teachers including Norman Geisler, Keith Mattison, and James White, and it's their common definition he disproves.

Dave's book reads like an onslaught. He shoots holes in sola Scriptura from several angles from Jewish tradition, to Greek etymology, to first-century culture, to biblical theology. He holds nothing back and leaves sola Scriptura hopelessly slain into pieces. To his credit, Dave does all this very charitably, while steering clear of the polemical tone you'll find among some apologists. But he's ruthless and complete in showing how sola Scriptura ultimately comes up short.

Surprisingly, Dave saves the most devastating argument for #55 where he points out sola Scriptura's Achilles' heel: the doctrine is not explicitly found in Scripture. Therefore you need an outside authority to confirm the doctrine, which in turn violates its very principle. To say it another way, sola Scriptura cannot be proved by Scripture alone.

As an aside, it should be noted that the book's title is a bit deceiving. Several arguments are less "biblical" and more based on logic, reason, or history. Also, some are a bit of a stretch, and probably wouldn't stand on their own. Nevertheless, collectively, these 100 arguments build an airtight case against sola Scriptura which should trouble any Protestant. After all, it only takes one to topple the whole sola Scriptura tower.

In 100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura, Dave delivers plenty more than that and shows sola Scriptura proponents that they are in fact two legs short of a full stool.
5.0 out of 5 stars Settles the question of authority 26 Mar 2014
By Brad - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Convincing in his arguments. This book helps settle the matter of authority for Christians. Who do you listen too? Reformers who taught sola Scriptura or the tradition that has been passed down from the beginning. Excellent book to send to Protestant family and friends.
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