Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Religion of the book?

A Roman Catholic friend of mine posted this thesis on his facebook wall,

“Catholicism is not a "religion of a book", Catholicism is a religion of the "Word" of God, a word which is "not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living." The Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, and the Church, through the Holy Spirit, "open our minds and hearts to understanding the Holy Scriptures." (Found in CCC p37 paragraph 108)

Now, before I even get to the reason why Protestants, the Latin church, and the Eastern churches differ on this issue (which will have to be in another entry) I must address errors (even in the Latin church’s view) that are built into this statement. I welcome comments (supporting or opposing my statement) so long as they are well thought out and backed with factual data.

The most glaring issue with this thesis is the statement proclaiming scripture “a dead letter,”

In page 36 on paragraph 104 of the CCC we see that sacred scripture is the word of God. It also states the same on p 43 pp 135.

In the book of Hebrews Ch4: 12 we see this proclamation,

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

We’ll write this out as an “if then” statement.

If the scriptures are the word of God and the word of God is living, then the scriptures are living.

If the scriptures are living they are not a “dead letter”

I am also curious as to how the written word could be described as “a written and mute word,” Since written language has been invented it has spoken volumes. Before telephones it was the only way to rapidly spread information from one location to another in a reliable fashion.

During the Roman persecutions it was punishable by death to own the sacred scriptures. If they were found they were burned (and so were their owners on some occasions). Not only are the letters of sacred scripture far from mute, they cry out with the blood of the martyrs!

I will delve more into Jewish and Christian history in another entry, but it must be said that written scripture has a voice, and it is mighty.

The fact that we need the Holy Spirit to guide us in our understanding of scripture is unquestionable, but the idea that being under or not being under Rome imparts or removes the Spirit from a church is unsupportable by scripture.

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