Clearly teaches? Plain Sense?

Well, at least I feel like we have the author of Matthew’s Gospel on our side:

There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazorean.”

I guess he “abandoned” Sola Scriptura too because I don’t know of any prophet who plainly or clearly said that.

Of course, I’m kidding. Even if I was to concede Jim’s point in his last post, I don’t think that pointing out examples where Catholics potentially violate the clear teaching or plain sense of scripture makes his case any stronger.

I could easily enough look at the Protestant world and say the same sorts of things … Grape juice for communion anyone?  Do we abandon Sola Scriptura any more than self-professed Protestants do?

What I think Jim fails to do is recognize is that Pentacostalism and Emergent-ism are a product of certain communities applying Sola Scriptura.  It would be nice if we could all just not claim those within our communities that we disagree with.  There are certainly enough Catholics that I’d like not to claim.  But, I can’t just say they’re not Catholic.

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6 Replies to “Clearly teaches? Plain Sense?”

  1. Don’t take this as a defense of Jim West’s views–I don’t think he understands Catholicism *or* Pentecostalism (and his comments policy doesn’t allow anyone to correct his many errors)–but there’s an important sense in which Pentecostalism is *not* so much Protestant as post-Protestant. Pentecostalism developed from the Wesleyan stream of tradition, which rejects the two main prongs of the Protestant Reformation (Lutheran and Reformed) in favor of more “catholic” views. In fact, there is a notable similarity, which can be explained both as the product of traditions-history and exegesis, between the Pentecostal and Catholic views of sanctification, as well as between the Catholic sacrament of confirmation and the Pentecostal doctrine of spirit baptism. Wesley corrected many of the errors of the Reformation, and it is for that reason that (the Catholic) Louis Bouyer called him “a reformer of the Reformation”. There is also, of course, a basic similarity between Catholics and Pentecostals in the question of cessationism vs. continuationism: Lutherans and Reformed pretty much all think that miracles ceased in the first century, while Catholics and Pentecostals recognize that there is no exegetical basis for such a view.

    You call attention to Pentecostalism’s (historical) acceptance of *sola scriptura*, but that acceptance in fact is simply an instance of internal incoherence within the Pentecostal tradition. Pentecostal scholars are more and more acknowledging that Pentecostalism is *not* a form of evangelicalism, and that the doctrinal “system” of Pentecostalism will not achieve a stable mass until the movement as a whole jettisons some of the unfortunate aspects of Reformed tradition that washed into the Pentecostal theology by virtue of the former’s influence upon North American religiosity.

  2. Ah well. I had Gonzalez as my history textbook in seminary. He treats Pentecostalism in a chapter on 20th century Protestantism in the US.

  3. Well, I’m not denying (of course) that almost all Pentecostals, if asked, would identify themselves as Protestants. I’m just saying that, with respect to what that identification sometimes means, they would be wrong.

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