Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Role of Tradition in the Church

This blog is in response to C. Michael Patton's informative article titled, "Five Views of Tradition’s Role in the Christian Life."

The comments box seems to be moderated and I suspect my comments won't be approved. So, I'm posting my comments here.

Patton listed 5 different views concerning Tradition:

1. Dual-source theory
2. Prima Scriptura
3. Regula Fidei
4. Sola Scriptura
5. Solo Scriptura or Nuda Scriptura

In my comments I added 6 more logical possibilities, numbering them 1-6. I'll post my comments exactly as I did in the combox but continue the sequential numbering in double brackets.

I like the list, but it's missing some other possible options.

1. [[6.]]
What of an Evangelical continuationist view (e.g. Charismatic) position that affirms Scripture as the sole infallible rule of faith but also affirms the continuation of the charismatic gifts including the revelatory gifts? But which nevertheless believes that no revelation after the closing of the canon and before the return of Christ is on par with inspired and inerrant Scripture (i.e. during the interadventual period). Public infallible revelation that can bind the Christian's conscience ceased with either the death of the last apostle or the writing of the last canonical book (whichever occurred last). However, private revelations that cannot bind the conscience of a Christian does still occur. Such revelations must be tested by, be consistent with, and not contradict Scripture. In such a position, past tradition exists (e.g. the church fathers) as well new traditions being formed due to practices influenced by private revelations. [This is my view]

2. [[7.]]
A non-Evangelical continuationist view that believes that revelation on par with Scripture still occurs (and can therefore theoretically expand written Scripture). Like the above, such a position can include past, developing and future traditions. An example would be that of Mormonism which claims living prophets who can give new revelation. Mormonism also has addition books (The book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants).

3. [[8.]]
A continuationist view that affirms the usefulness of Scripture and Tradition but finds present revelations superior to both. An example would be that of some of the early non-Anabaptist wing of the Radical Reformation.

4. [[9.]]
A view that claims to be Christian but rejects Scripture and Tradition as obsolete.

There's also the possibility of a view that's selective regarding Scripture and Tradition like the Marcionites.

5. [[10.]]
Those that are selective and cessationistic; and

6. [[11.]]
those that are seletive and continuationist

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