the weblog of Alan Knox

Do you know what is written?

Posted by on Mar 22, 2011 in definition, scripture | 11 comments

Do you know what is written?

As you know, the focus of my blog is the church, and primarily the assembling of brothers and sisters in Christ. Because of that, people (in real life) often ask me about my beliefs about the church.

(Interestingly, I rarely bring up the topic myself. Instead, I try to live it out as an example.)

Since my ecclesiological beliefs (understanding of the church) are different than many people’s beliefs, there are often disagreements when I’m talking with someone about the church. I’m not upset or disappointed when someone disagrees with me, especially when those disagreements come from different interpretations of Scripture.

But, what I’ve found is that most people don’t know what the Scriptures say about the church. Those same people usually have very (very) strong convictions about the church. But, when I ask about Scripture, they usually say something like, “Well, I haven’t studied that like you have.”

Like I said, it’s perfectly fine when someone disagrees with my interpretation of Scripture. But, I’m very confused when someone stands steadfastly on a certain belief about the church, but that person knows very little about what Scripture says about the church.

Do you want to disagree with my understanding of the church? That’s fine. But, could you read what Scripture says about the church first?


11 Comments

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  1. 3-22-2011

    And here I thought sacred tradition was something we abandoned in the Reformation.

  2. 3-22-2011

    I feel this way about a LOT of topics, not just ecclesiology.

  3. 3-22-2011

    Art: Sacred Tradition isn’t ‘tradition’ in the sense of ‘doing what has always been done’, which seems to be the use of the word in Protestant circles. Yves Congar, O.P. wrote a great book entitled, “Tradition and traditions” that would be well worth reading.

  4. 3-22-2011

    Arthur,

    No. Traditions are alive and well in Protestant circles as well.

    Steve,

    True. Very true.

    Josh,

    Yes, there is a difference. Even Scripture talks about that which was handed down (i.e., tradition). Of course, our differences comes in determining what was “handed down.”

    -Alan

  5. 3-22-2011

    Alan,

    A healthy stream can fully flow, only if the springs feeding it are fresh and healthy!

  6. 3-23-2011

    Josh,

    I understand the difference between so-called sacred tradition in Rome and the traditions of the Protestant world. My comment was intended to be tongue in cheek.

  7. 3-23-2011

    Arthur: Nothing “so-called” about it. I understand your comment was meant to be tongue in cheek (what around here isn’t?). I’m just offering you a good read if you want to understand the differences.

  8. 3-23-2011

    It is not just a matter of “knowing what is written”. Many know what is written, but strongly disagree on the MEANING/INTERPRETATION of what is written. The battle for “doing church” accurately is a battle for sight.

    Prophetic sight, or lack thereof, becomes the hermeneutical and exegetical lense through which we read,interpret, and apply what is written.

  9. 3-23-2011

    Aussie John,

    That’s a good thing to remember.

    Arthur and Josh,

    We rarely consider our own Traditions to be traditions…

    Davie,

    Yes, there are different interpretations. I’d much rather have a discussion on any topic with someone who interprets Scripture differently than me than to have a discussion with someone who has a strong conviction about a topic but doesn’t know what Scripture says.

    -Alan

  10. 3-24-2011

    Alan:

    I’m the opposite. I consider my Tradition to be the very same Tradition that has been handed down. 2 Thess 2.15 discusses it, and the Catechism sums it up nicely in paragraph 78 (http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/78.htm).

    Catholics do not mean ‘things as they’ve always been’ by the word ‘Tradition.’ There are ‘traditions’ (little t) in various disciplines or liturgical actions, but that’s not the same as Tradition (big T).

  11. 3-24-2011

    Josh,

    Yes, I know you do.

    -Alan

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