Theo Speaks About the Elephant in the Room
"I've been thinking about some observations you discussed with me off-line. As you said, our conversation with JohnOneOne (Alan) was interesting not only because of what we discussed, but also in something we did not discuss--at least not directly. The "elephant in the room" as you say, was the matter concerning if, how and what we humans understand of God's own communication with us.
From our Catholic perspective the doctrines that have arisen in the wake of Charles T. Russell’s “new understanding” of scripture could be viewed as yet another direct result of "sola scriptura" in action. Of course, we recognize that our Protestant brethren would not recognize Alan's viewpoint as a "sola scriptura" perspective, especially in light of the role that official Watchtower interpretations can play in establishing the society's doctrine. Yet at the same time, regardless of whatever weight Alan and his fellows place on their own "Magesterium," they themselves claim the Bible Alone is their authority.
If we take this claim at face value, then, as you pointed out, our conversation likely was an echo of similar conversations heard in the halls of Christendom roughly 17 centuries ago, when the Church debated the doctrine of the Trinity at the council of Nicea--and that in a real sense, these had been "settled." However, if indeed the question was settled that God is three persons in one being, then we are still left with "How do we know this is so, when the scriptures themselves do not explicitly say so? How can we be confident in our exegesis? If we go back to Nicea and examine how our forefathers came to dogmatically state the doctrine of the Trinity, what will we discover about their understanding of how we may be sure we are hearing God’s message correctly."