Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Roman Catholics and Biblical Inspiration

The Roman Catholic view of scripture is unorthodox and insufficient for several key reasons.  First of all, the Catholic Church believes that Christ gave His authority to Peter and that Peter passed that authority on to the next pope (Bishop of Rome) who in turn passed on this authority in something called apostolic succession.  In addition, the Catholic Church teaches that these popes and the apostles knew more than they wrote down and that they passed this unwritten tradition, called the Mageisterium, down through the church.  This collected body of teaching has the same authority as scripture in their minds.  Further, the church exercised apostolic authority in selecting the books that would be placed in the canon of scripture.  However, a serious student of scripture will observe several theological problems with this view. 
First of all, instead of the Bible being the word of God and being the final authority of truth, the church itself is the final authority.  Secondly, church teaching on certain topics (how a person obtains grace) is flatly contradicted by the clear teaching of scripture.  Further, church teaching has evolved over time.  Therefore, it is difficult to see how what is taught in Vatican II, for instance, could possibly be the same thing the apostles taught.  Finally, the process of canonization appears to have been one of recognition rather than selection and cannot be identified with any one particular church.

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