Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sola Scriptura

I come from a heavily Roman Catholic part of the country. I also live in a part of the country that is consumed with Marian devotion... to the point that even the Roman Catholic church has had to correct and reprimand members of the laity.

So I wanted to hear it from the horse's mouth (unfortunate choice of words, I know). What does the Roman Catholic church officially say about the Blessed Virgin? How far does this "devotion" thing really go?

I am reading "True Devotion to Mary" by St. Louis De Montfort. This book has the endorsement of several Popes. John Paul II called reading it a "decisive turning-point" in his life. I haven't even answered my original question yet, but reading this has taught me one fundamental thing about Roman Catholicism. (Something that I already knew more or less, but it is always nice to get some validation.)

The lesson I take from this book:

I now understand why it is taught by the Roman church that only the Roman Catholic Church can interpret Scripture properly. Why? Because, in many areas relating to newer doctrines, it is impossible to read the same thing that they read and draw the their same conclusions. When one uses grammatical context and stays within the confines of the information that is available in the text, you cannot see what they see, believe what they believe, or teach what they teach. Their interpretations are so wide and allegorical that it is impossible to follow their philosophy without being told (by them) how to think.

The authority of church Tradition has become so important to the Roman theological system that it cannot stand without it. Without the authority to formulate external doctrines and fabricate new teachings, there can be no distinctively Roman church. More often than not, the only reasonable answer that this mother can say to quell the questions of her children is the ill-advised, "because I said so."

New light has been shed upon the frustrations of the Lutheran Fathers as they waded through this quagmire of Aristotelian scholarship and romantic conjecture.

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