Anthony Rogers: “A more sophisticated view of Sola Scriptura than what most Protestants say”

This discussion and defense of Sola Scriptura is excellent, from Anthony Rogers in July of 2020. I finally had time to listen to this today and take some notes. Sam Shamoun moderated on his You Tube channel (Shamounian) and did an excellent job and was very respectable and rebuked RC and EO’s and other commentators in the live chat for the way that they did not listen to Anthony and attacked and made ad hominem comments. I commend you brother Sam for your behavior in this one, which is not what you are usually doing in your videos. (insults, name calling, sinful anger, bravado, chest-thumping, pugnaciousness, etc. against any one who disagrees with you.) See, brother Sam, you CAN do it! You can, by the power of the Holy Spirit, act properly and behave rightly.

Everyone please first listen to the whole discussion before commenting here. I took some notes, but I will not be repeating every single point that Anthony Rogers made. Anthony, if you read this, I really, really appreciate your presentation here and the way you answered the questions is exemplary and the proper way to interact with people who disagree. Thank you so much, my brother in Christ! . . . and fellow Reformed brother! (although I am credo-baptism or disciple’s baptism or the Baptist position on baptism.)

Two of the most significant comments made by non-Protestants was one from a RC, Allan Ruhl, towards the beginning, and another at the end (that I am assuming is a non-Protestant but I don’t know if it was revealed what exact church tradition he or she is from.)

Allan Ruhl, a Roman Catholic, wrote in the chat, something like, “Anthony Rogers, on this issue, you are the boss” (from my memory) – meaning, it seems, that Allan Ruhl was listening to the accurate explanation of what “Sola Scriptura” means. (which includes local church authority, respect for the early church fathers, and knowledge of church history, even Medieval Church history, and historical theology.)

The other comment came towards the end, and wrote in the chat: “This is a more sophisticated view of Sola Scriptura than what most Protestants say.” (from my memory) Don’t hold me to exact wording except if it changes the meaning – I don’t have time to back and get the exact wording. But I will gladly change something if I made a bad mistake that skews the meaning.

This (“a more sophisticated view of SS than what most Protestants say”) is TRUE! It is true that most low church, independent Evangelicals like Baptists, Pentecostals, Charismatics, and non-denominational Evangelicals – it is true that they do not have a very sophisticated view of Sola Scriptura and church history. Many do not even define “Sola Scriptura” properly. Many say it just means, “The Bible is the only source for faith and practice”. That is incorrect. The proper definition is “The Bible is the only infallible source / or rule for doctrine/ faith and practice”. Knowledgeable, believing Protestants understand that there are secondary authorities that are not infallible – creeds, early church fathers, theologians, pastors, good commentaries, proper interpretations, theological statements, the church, etc. Unfortunately, most Evangelicals do not know much at all about the early church fathers nor church history; and most only know about a little bit about Constantine, Augustine, the Crusades, and then Luther and Calvin, etc. And even what they know about them and those events is not very informed or it is skewed and unbalanced.

But, Anthony’s view that he articulated also the same view of myself and James White, Keith Matthison (The Shape of Sola Scriptura), R. C. Sproul, R. Fowler White, Micheal Haykin, Gregg Allison, William Webster, David T. King, Michael Kruger (who has 4 sophisticated books on the Canon, historical theology, and early church history), Nick Needham (see his series on Church History, 2000 years of Christ’s Power), and classic Protestant defenses of Sola Scriptura – George Salmon, William Goode, and William Whitaker, and the Lutheran Martin Chemnitz. (the sophisticated view was also the view of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Melancthon, Beza, etc.

My view, which I have learned over the years from those mentioned above, and is what Anthony Rogers articulated, is that the Church did not blink off after the apostles died, nor at the time of Constantine or Theodosius the Great, nor in 500 AD, nor in 600 AD, nor in 1215, nor in the Crusades, or 1054, etc. and then suddenly Blinked back on with Luther in 1517. The man-made traditions got worse and worse after 500AD onward, but even in the 1400s, the Church did not cease to exist. Rather, there were slow man-made traditions and practices that crept in and were added along the way to doctrines and dogmas, and that only at the Council of Trent in 1545-1563 did the Roman Catholic Church become a completely false church, because of the anathemas that they issued dogmatically upon the Biblical doctrines of Luther, Calvin and the Reformers. (Sola Fide specifically)

Anthony Rogers said the proper view of Church History is NOT “Restorationist” View (like Mormons (a pagan, non-Christian, polytheistic religion) and other uniformed Evangelicals), “Blinked Off, Blinked On” (BOBO view), but rather the Reformation of the church = correction of false doctrines and practices and dogmas that have crept in. I agree with Anthony Rogers. See my previous article on historical developments that eclipsed justification by faith alone. (at Beggar’s All)

Also see my previous article on Tradition. (at Beggar’s All)

One of the best points that Anthony Rogers made was when the non-Protestants were asking about why we can pray to the Holy Spirit as God, when there is not specific verse that says we can address the Holy Spirit in prayer, Anthony Rogers gave a great answer. Sola Scriptura does not say exact phrasing or wording has to be the Bible, rather a good and necessary inference from Scripture is also a valid part of theological deduction and development that does not violate the principle of Sola Scriptura. Anthony Rogers quoted 2 Samuel 23:2-3, and pointed out that this is Hebrew parallelism, and which shows that the Spirit of Yahweh is parallel to the God of Israel, and if the Spirit of the Lord (Yawheh) is God, and the Holy Trinity is true and Biblical, then it is a valid inference that to pray to the Holy Spirit is acceptable.

“The Spirit of the LORD [Yahweh] spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
“The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,

2 Samuel 23:2-3

Some people asked questions about James 2:24 and Sola Fide, and the fact that the phrase “not by faith alone” is there. This seems to go against Sola Fide. Anthony did a good of defending that, but I will add some of my own comments here. Anthony made the proper point that justification in James 2:14-26 means “justified before men”, not “justified before God” – that is, dikaow / δικαοω (to justify) in James 2:14-26 means “to demonstrate as true”; “to vindicate”, “to prove”. This usage of the same Greek term has this meaning in Matthew 11:19 (proved to be right), Luke 7:35 (proved to be right); and 1 Timothy 3:16 (vindicated by the Spirit)

Another great point that Anthony Rogers made was in regards to 1 Timothy 3:15 – “the church of the living God, which is the pillar and bulwark (support, buttress) of the truth” (NASB = support; ESV = buttress). The church, every local church, see from verse 14 (see below), is suppossed to teach, proclaim, support, defend, and act like a pillar in ministry of the truth (God’s Word and the message about Jesus Christ – John 17:17; John 14:6; John 18:37) This is the same view as James White has explained over the years, in his books (See page 58, The Roman Catholic Controversy) and debates with Roman Catholics. Also, see J. N. D. Kelly in his commentary on the Pastoral Epistles. ( page 87-88.) Anthony quoted Irenaeus on this – Irenaeus applied the phrasing to the Gospel, which has come down to us, he says, in the Scriptures.

In Against Heresies 3.1, Irenaeus writes this:

We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.

See here for more. (be sure to read the previous article there on Irenaeus, for the 2 articles go together).

and also see here for more on 1 Timothy 3:15.

 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

1 Timothy 3:14-15

Notice that the apostle Paul emphasizes the writing (Scripture) and that is what Timothy and the church will have to constantly refer to in order to know how to behave and carry on the ministry in the church.

Lastly, of what I want to make a comment about – as I wrote earlier, at the beginning of this post, Sam Shamoun did well and behaved properly in this video, and had a proper demeanor and respect and did not do his usual shtick of calling people whores, dogs and bastards and Satanic dogs and sewage and scum , etc. – Most of his videos that I have seen, he puts down even some of his own friends and calls them stupid, etc. and also insulting people or at Muslims or other Unitarians, etc. (when they call in) And Sam Shamoun egged me on several times by email (April 14-15, 2021), to call into his program a few days ago and “come face me, you coward, you sissy, you fat slob, you filthy dog, Satanic demonic bastard”, etc. I had rebuked Sam Shamoun for his insults and anger, etc. from a video he has since taken down, when he challenged the Jewish Rabbi Tovia Singer to a debate. (his explanation of why he took down the video is not very good; something about a guy named Jai who did not do exactly what Shamoun wanted him to do.) Nonetheless, Sam spewed out some really vile insults at Tovia Singer, and of course, the Rabbi will not want to debate you (duh) when you talk to someone like that! Act like the way you did in the Anthony Rogers video and repent of all that garbage of insults, bravado, pugnaciousness (always wanting to fight), and sinful anger, and clean up your act, brother Sam!!

You can see his video with my name in the title (April 15, 2021) (when I called into his podcast; and I even sincerely said that I pray for him (which I do . . . really); he turned on me with more mockery and insults and hung up the Skype call. So, now, Sam, who is the sissy and coward? I was willing to face you; and you showed yourself the sissy and coward because you never even gave me a chance to talk much, etc.

and see my comments over at Paul Williams’ blog about this situation. (which I still stand behind)

But, Sam Shamoun confessed that he is following the “tradition of Luther” of cussing out his opponents with harsh and filthy language and insults, calling them dogs, etc. (but Sam Shamoun also does much worse than just “dogs”) Anthony Rogers quoted Luther who said something like “I am like a ripe stool and the world is like a giant anus”. Rogers knows his church history. You can google and find lots of Luther quotes and the woodcuts of Lucas Cranach that show the Reformers farting at the Pope, etc. Yes, Luther did do that and behaved that way. Was it good and proper? Was Luther’s words to the Jews good and wise and useful? (pamphlet: “On the Jews and Their Lies”) No. Unfortunately, Luther’s harsh words in print in the 1500s were later used to promote Anti-semitism in Europe and Germany and were used a lot by the Nazis and Hitler in the 1930s and WW 2 and were used to give justification for the evil of the Holocaust. Luther was right on Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, but wrong on his harsh language against the Jews and others. He was too harsh against Zwingli on the matter of the Eucharist. To this day, it is difficult to witness to Jews, as a Protestant, because of Luther’s harsh words. If Shamoun had left his video up filled with nasty and dirty language against Rabbi Tovia Singer as a person, it potentially could be used in the same way to discredit Sam’s message and Christianity in general, in the same way that Luther’s words have been used to discredit Christianity and bring shame on Christ’s name. (see Romans 2:24; Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:20-23)

See Heiko A. Oberman’s book, “Luther: Man Between God and the Devil”. And also, John Piper’s book, “The Legacy of Sovereign Joy”, page 28-32 on Luther’s sins and dirty language and Anti-Semitism. Piper quotes Heiko Oberman, probably the most well known expert on Martin Luther. (Piper’s book is about Augustine, Luther, and Calvin)

https://www.desiringgod.org/books/the-legacy-of-sovereign-joy

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Colossians 4:5-6

24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive [i]by him to do his will.

2 Timothy 2:24-26

Acts 13:1-4 – missionaries and evangelists and apologists much be first approved and confirmed by a local church authority and sent out with accountability.

The local church at Antioch sent them out and the Holy Spirit sent them out.

For more on Acts 13:1-4, see here.

See also here, on Acts 13:1-4

For more on the “sophisticated view of Sola Scriptura and church history”, see here.

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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