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Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, Volume I: A Biblical Defense of the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura Paperback – October, 2001
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"A demonstration of the truth of sola Scriptura through sound and knowledgeable exegesis of the text of Scripture." -- Dr. James White, Founder and Director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, Phoenix, AZ
"The exegetical material sets forth a formidable biblical foundation for sola Scriptura and its claim of exclusivity." -- Dr. Tom Nettles, Professor of Historical Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
"This work contains an enormous amount of biblical research, ably answering arguments against the ultimate authority and perspicuity of Scripture." -- Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary.
About the Author
David T. King is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS and is currently the pastor of Dayspring Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Forsyth, GA.
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Top Customer Reviews
King starts out by summarizing the differences and the epistemological abilities of general and special revelation. This chapter should be taken to heart by everyone, Protestants and Roman Catholics alike. Roman Catholics because of their adherence to Thomism and other philosophical theologies. Protestants because of the pervasiveness of "evangelical Thomism" and the "Book of Nature" crowd.
King summarizes the historic Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura: Scripture is the only *infallible* rule of faith for the Church *today*. This is important since Roman Catholic apologists frequently use straw-man arguments (i.e. misrepresentations) against sola Scriptura.
King summarizes the Roman Catholic view of the relationship between Scripture and Tradition (and notice the capital T). He then points out the fallacy of equivocation that Roman Catholic (R.C. from now on) apologists have been trying to get away with since the Reformation: R.C. apologists equivocate on the term "tradition" as it is used both in Scripture and the church fathers. Next, he tries to draw a parallel between R.C.ism and Gnosticism on the view of Scripture. In my opinion, though they have their similarities, there are too many differences that the Protestant shouldn't use this argument except to bring context to the writings of the earlier church fathers (i.e. Irenaeus, etc.). He also discusses (and refutes) the R.C. use of John 20:30.
Here, King attempts to make a Biblical case for sola Scriptura using 2 Timothy 3:16. Despite P.J. Porvaznik's (see the reviews below) quick dismissal of King's argument (assuming that it is a tired, old, rehashed argument), King goes into great exegetical detail. He notes the Greek and (even more important) the context in which Paul is writing. If Paul is going to be martyred soon and Timothy is going to be left as the highest elder at the church at Ephesus, to what did Paul direct Timothy to for theological and moral matters? A church council? No. Peter? No. An oral "Tradition" not found in Scripture? No. It is Scripture which fully equips the Christian. King also argues (persuasively in my opinion) that the "Scriptures" mentioned in 2 Timothy 3 include both Testaments, not just the Old. I must note, however, that, in my opinion, the strongest argument for sola Scriptura is a *lack* of any other verifiable, God-inspired authority. King goes on to deal with the R.C. eisegetical misuse 2 Peter 1:19-21 and the issue of private judgment. It is important to note that throughout this work, whenever King exegetes a major passage under dispute, he almost always follows up his exegesis with citations of the church fathers on those passages.
In this chapter, he exegetes the major Biblical passages used by R.C. apologists that allegedly "prove" "Tradition" (i.e. the authorship of Matthew argument, Matthew 2:23, Matthew 23:1-3, 1 Cor. 11:2, 2 Thess. 2:5, etc.). Again, he not only exegetes the passages fully but also gives historical analysis (i.e. church fathers and other historical evidence which sheds light on the topic).
King deals with other major arguments against sola Scriptura such as: "the Church made the Scriptures, therefore the Church is above the Scriptures" and the appeal to "apostolic succession". Again, more historical analysis as well.
He discusses the importance of reading the Scriptures in the original languages for the purpose of exegesis. [The R.C. Church declared the Latin Vulgate to be infallible and the only Bible that should be referred to in exegesis.] He refutes R.C. pyrrhonism (i.e. using skeptical arguments from the multitude of textual manuscripts to argue for the view that we need an infallible church magesterium to decide between them. It is very similar to the oft-refuted skeptical arguments used by atheists such as Bart Ehrman today.] Lastly, he discusses the very embarrassing issue of Sixtus V and his allegedly infallible Latin Vulgate.
Chapter 8 and 9
King argues for Material Sufficiency (i.e. all doctrine and morals are contained in Scripture) in ch.8 and Perspicuity (i.e. Scripture is clear on all that is necessary for salvation and the Christian life) and Formal Sufficiency (i.e. sola Scriptura) in ch.9. He notes the Scriptural and historical arguments for these doctrines. Finally, he discusses the R.C. argument for the need of an infallible interpreter and shows it to be vacuous.
He discusses the arguments used by Jesus against the Pharisees (found in the Gospels) and shows that they would be meaningless unless sola Scriptura is presupposed. He also discusses the suppression of Scriptural reading by the laity that has historically been the policy of Rome since the Middle Ages. Lastly, he discusses the modern R.C. issue of extra ecclesiam nulla salus.
Here, he discusses the common straw-man versions of sola Scriptura made up by Roman Catholic apologists.
Every Protestant who discusses this issue with R.C.s should own this work. Every R.C. who discusses this issue with a Protestant should have it to know the issues (so as not to use any defunct arguments) and argue honestly (instead of trying to trip-up an unsuspecting Protestant who knows nothing about the debate).
This is great scholarship, great readability, and great food for thought.
Since the formal cause of the reformation was 'sola scriptura', one would expect Roman Catholics to downgrade a book such as this one. I'm a bit surprised they gave even 3 stars.
The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 deals with the concept of divine revelation, expositing the differences between general revelation and special revelation, the relationship of special revelation and Scripture, and the Roman Catholic concept of special revelation as it relates to Scripture and "oral Tradition". Pastor King thoroughly exposes the amazing ambiguity that exists among Roman Catholic scholars as to the exact status of "Tradition" (is it or is it not a second source of divine revelation, independent of Scripture and containing information that Scripture does not contain?). His case is made mainly with copious citations from prominent Roman Catholic theologians, thus removing this part of the work from the sorts of distortions that can often occur in the midst of heated apologetic battles among laymen.
Part 2 sets forth the biblical foundations for Sola Scriptura, exegeting the New Testament texts that speak of the nature and sufficiency of Scripture and also those that concern "apostolic tradition". Of great use here is the discussion on private judgment and the self-attesting nature of Scripture's authority.
Part 3 is concerned with the meaning of Sola Scriptura. Here pastor King ably and often with delightful wit further exposes a number of problems with standard Roman Catholic positions on Scripture and Tradition, and in the process also helps to correct common Evangelical misunderstandings of Sola Scriptura. This book is the best contemporary treatment of these issues that I know of, and I highly recommend it to anyone. Protestants will find their belief in the sufficiency and clarity of Scripture deeply bolstered, and Roman Catholics will find many of their misconceptions about Sola Scriptura held accountable to the bar of sound reason, history, and simple honesty.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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Mr. King digs into the Fathers of the Church in order to prove that they held to the Protestant...Read more