Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reading Scripture Through Our Own Interpretative Lens

“It is all too easy to read the traditional interpretations we have received from others into the text of Scripture. Then we may unwittingly transfer the authority of Scripture to our interpretations and invest them with a false, even an idolatrous, degree of certainty. Because traditions are re-shaped as they are passed on, after a while we may drift far from God’s Word while still insisting all our theological opinions are “biblical” and therefore true.”

Some theological opinions that people have read into scripture:

  • The belief that salvation is by faith alone (disregarding any role that works play in our eternal destiny)
  • The belief that the Bible is the only way in which God can share truth with his people
  • Accepting Jesus as "Savior and Lord" is how to be  "born-again"
  • Baptism is a symbolic public gesture to represent what has already occurred spiritually 
  • The Eucharist is symbolic and the bread and wine remain.... bread and wine.
  • Once you are "saved" you can't lose your salvation
  • The rapture is when Jesus returns and takes believers with him leaving unsaved behind
These are just a few examples of "traditional interpretations" received from others that have been read into the text of Scripture. However,  these traditional interpretations cannot be found 
in the writings of theologians, early Church fathers and the apostles themselves who wrote scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit before the 16th century. So one must either believe that all those before the 16th century "got it wrong" which necessitates the belief that the Holy Spirit was unable to lead the Church in all truth or, there was a secret hidden group of persecuted true believers since John the Baptist who held to these above "traditions."  Or the other possibility is that those who hold these post reformation beliefs are guilty of "investing" scripture with their own tradition at the same time insisting they are all  "biblical."

Oh, yeah.... The author of the initial statement is none other than Dr. D.A. Carson , Protestant theologian. Sounds like he has been reading from the Church fathers:

 "...owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. "   (St.Vincent of Lerins 5th Century)


Anonymous Renée Lin said...

I'll never forget the time I sat down with a Bible and tried to work out the doctrine of the "rapture" by myself. There is simply NO WAY the average person reading through the Bible is going to find a "secret rapture of believers" before the Second Coming - you have to be TAUGHT to see that doctrine in Scripture.

Though I never would have admitted it, many of the doctrines I held dear as an Evangelical were based on the flimsiest of Biblical evidence....

December 31, 2012 6:01 PM  

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