Sola Scriptura is a doctrine that Protestants hold dear and it is unquestionable. Sola Scriptura is one of the five pillars of the Protestant reformation that is inarguable. But what if we stepped outside of whatever doctrinal background we have, and look at the plain word of God that we say we believe in? Briefly stated, the assumption of Sola Scriptura (Latin for “scripture alone”) states that no institutional church is infallible. A church is infallible only insofar as it can be backed up by scripture. (So we can “prove” Jesus was made of wood! John 10:9 says “I am the door!”. This is why I hate proof texting.)
Now, inspect 1 Timothy 3:15:
so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Now, it’s very easy to see how the Catholic church can say how the “church” can not err at all! Luther himself had to modify his definition of Church to make this scripture passage meld with his theology. He said the “true” church was “hidden”, and was only sometimes synonymous with the visible church. But when? Luther then said that 1 Tim 3:15 referred to this “secret, invisible” church.
Thus, the stage was set for the ambiguous ecclesiology that has been a thorn for the Protestant position ever since.
How do you interpret this verse? Most evangelicals clam they are not the spawn of Luther. (Then where are they from?) Anabaptists can claim independence from Luther, but how can we defend the Protestant position? Is the Catholic church the True Church? What could Paul have meant by this?
I’m looking forward to a lively discussion.