I’m still going to come back to Romans 9-11, but in the meantime, I have a quick comment on sola Scriptura.
“Scripture Alone”, or sola Scriptura, is the idea that Scripture is the only infallible, absolutely authoritative source of truth that we possess today. (Or, depending on who’s saying it, you might say, “source of guidance & revelation for the Church”, or some variation.) Catholics and Eastern Orthodox reject it. Protestants stand on it.
He says, as Catholics and Orthodox often do,
Sola Scriptura is ultimately self-refuting. If only Scripture is a binding authority on matters of faith, and Scripture nowhere contains the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, then it cannot be true.
David’s missing two things. The second is very important, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Catholic or Orthodox who seemed to be addressing it. (Not on the Internet, anyway.) I completely understand how people miss it, and someone had to point it out to me–but once it’s pointed out, it’s pretty simple. (And if you’re not Protestant, I would welcome your reply.)
Let’s grant that Scripture nowhere directly teaches, “Scripture is the only infallible authority.”
1.) That doesn’t mean sola Scriptura isn’t true. Sola Scriptura doesn’t mean, “All truth is in Scripture.” There are many true things that Scripture doesn’t talk about. Sola Scriptura wouldn’t have to be in the Bible for it to be true.
But David could rightly respond: “You’re nitpicking. The point is that sola Scriptura can’t be a binding doctrine for a Protestant, because the Bible doesn’t ever say ‘Scripture alone’.” So, move on to #2.
2.) I only believe in one infallible authority today. Not because Scripture says, “The Bible is the only infallible authority.” But because the Bible only points us to one infallible authority.
Jesus & the apostles didn’t direct us to view “the Church” in general or the Pope or the Roman Catholic Magisterium as infallible authorities; that’s why I don’t accept Catholic & Orthodox claims about themselves.
It’s not that “Scripture is the only infallible authority” has been revealed. It’s that nothing but Scripture has been revealed as an infallible authority.
Actually, I would also argue that the Bible does say things about the Bible’s sufficiency, which would add support to sola Scriptura. And David might argue that the Bible does teach us to look to “tradition” as infallible, too–which would prove sola Scriptura wrong. We have to look at what the Bible says to settle it. But I think it should be clear that “The Bible doesn’t say ‘Scripture alone,’ so it’s self-refuting!” is missing the point.