Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Denominational Discord: Part 2

[PART 1]

Well I finished my research and it's quite obvious that there is not much variation in the opinion of scripture. It comes down to interpretation and application. I suppose in a world where there are only two groups (literal and non-literal) I should not have expected much else. But it was fun.

DenominationView of the BibleReference
AmishWe believe that the God of creation and redemption has revealed Himself and His will for men of all time in the Holy Scriptures. His supreme and final revelation is in His Incarnate Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the plenary and verbal inspiration of the Bible, the Old Testament and the New Testament, as the Word of God: that it authentic in its matter, authoritative in its counsels, inerrant in its original writings, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We believe holy men of God moved by Holy Spirit recorded and communicated divine truth without any mixture of error.[SRC]
Difficult to find, but they seem literal[SRC]
AnglicanThe Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the authentic record of God's revelation of Himself, His saving activity, and moral demands - a revelation valid for all men and all time[SRC]
The Old and New Testaments are "God's Word written," inspired and authoritative, inerrant (true and trustworthy), coherent, sufficient for salvation, living and powerful as God's guidance for belief and behaviour. The church may not judge the Scriptures, selecting and discarding from among their teachings. Rather,the Scriptures under Christ, judge the church for its faithfulness to His revealed truth.[SRC]
(1.) We confess the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God, containing all things necessary for salvation, and to be the final authority and unchangeable standard for Christian faith and life. (2.) With regard to the interpretation of Holy Scripture, we affirm the clarity of its plain sense so that it may and can be understood by ordinary readers. We hold to the importance of the scholarly interpretation of Scripture by a faithful use of responsible historical and grammatical scholarship. We affirm that the original meaning of the text is to be given its due primacy. Further we believe in the unity and harmony of its various books and two Testaments so that one place of Scripture may not be expounded so as to be repugnant to another. Also, it is only by referring to the whole Canon of Scripture that Scripture will be allowed to interpret Scripture. We hold to the sufficiency and trustworthiness of Scripture in bringing unbelievers to Christ and nurturing and sustaining believers unto eternal life. By following these principles of interpretation the Church will interpret Scripture in accord with its nature as the Word of God written.[SRC]
BaptistThe Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation.[SRC]
If we truly believe in a sovereign God then we must believe that He not only communicated to men but that He did so by His Spirit in such a way as to preserve the text of Scripture (2 Peter 1:21). God breathed His Word (2 Timothy 3:16) and so we have before us the inerrant Word of God to guide us unto salvation through Jesus (John 20:31; 1 John 5:13). The Bible sanctifies us as we allow it to pierce us within (John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12-13). [SRC]
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation[SRC]
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.[SRC]
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.[SRC]
the individual is free to interpret the Bible for himself or herself, using the best tools of scholarship and biblical study available to the individual[SRC]
Eastern OrthodoxThe Bible is always interpreted within the context of Holy Tradition, which gave birth to it and canonized it. Orthodox Christians maintain that belief in a doctrine of sola scriptura would be to take the Bible out of the world in which it arose. Orthodox Christians therefore believe that the only way to understand the Bible correctly is within the Orthodox Church[SRC]
Emergent / EmergingPostmodern literary theory critiques the referential theory of language. For some in the movement, the text takes on a personal meaning as they experience it, but it has no authoritative meaning such as authorial intent to distinguish a right from wrong interpretation. Others consider the reader based insights that arise from the biblical text alongside other considerations like textual content and authorial intent. A plurality of Scriptural interpretations is acknowledged in the movement[SRC]
LutheranLutherans believe that the Bible, as a divinely inspired book, is the source of all revealed divine knowledge. Scripture alone (Sola scriptura) is the formal principle of the faith, the final authority for all matters of faith and doctrine. The Book of Concord, published in 1580, contains ten documents which Lutherans believe are faithful and authoritative explanations of Holy Scripture.[SRC]
This church accepts the canonical Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God and the authoritative source and norm of its proclamation, faith, and life. This church accepts the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds as true declarations of the faith of this church. This church accepts the Unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true witness to the Gospel, acknowledging as one with it In faith and doctrine all churches that likewise accept the teachings of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession. This church accepts the other confessional writings in the Book of Concord, namely, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles and the Treatise, the Small Catechism, the Large Catechism, and the Formula of Concord, as further valid interpretations of the faith of the Church. This church confesses the Gospel, recorded in the Holy Scriptures and confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Lutheran confessional writings, as the power of God to create and sustain the Church for God's mission in the world. [SRC]
MethodistBy reason, it is said, one reads and interprets Scripture. By reason one determines whether one's Christian witness is clear. By reason one asks questions of faith and seeks to understand God's action and will.[SRC]
[Methodists] have learned that the Bible's writers are as contradictory, fallible, rooted in their own cultures, and individual as any other human authors.[SRC]
PentecostalTheologically, most Pentecostal denominations are aligned with Evangelicalism in that they emphasize the reliability of the Bible and the need for the transformation of an individual's life with faith in Jesus. Pentecostals also adhere to the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy. Pentecostals differ from fundamentalists by placing less emphasis on personal spiritual experience and more emphasis on the Holy Spirit's work within a person than other Protestants.[SRC]
In the verbal inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments.[SRC]
Presbyterian (Calvinist Methodist)The church confesses the Scriptures to be the Word of God written, witnessing to God's self-revelation. Where that Word is read and proclaimed, Jesus Christ the Living Word is present by the inward witness of the Holy Spirit. For this reason the reading, hearing, preaching, and confessing of the Word are central to Christian worship. The session shall ensure that in public worship the Scripture is read and proclaimed regularly in the common language(s) of the particular church.[SRC]
The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.[SRC]
ProtestantMost mainline denominations do not require strict acceptance of everything written about or spoken by Jesus in the New Testament.[SRC]
Protestants believe that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church obscure the teachings of the Bible by convoluting it with church history and doctrine.[SRC]
Roman CatholicThe books of Scripture must be acknowledged as teaching firmly, faithfully, and without error, that truth which God wanted put into the sacred writings for the sake of our salvation.[SRC]
I believe that God will safeguard the infallible Sacred Magisterium from the errors in this poorly-written, poorly researched, heretical document [referring sarcastically to the bible]. And I know that the faithful will continue to believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of the Sacred Bible, despite the errors of some Bishops and the erroneous teachings of the document called 'The Gift of Scripture.'[SRC]
We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision[SRC1][SRC2]
Seventh Day AdventistsThe Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of [God's] will... They believe instead that God inspired the thoughts of the biblical authors, and that the authors then expressed these thoughts in their own words[SRC]
WesleyanWe believe the Bible to be the inspired, only infallible and authoritative Word of God, fully inerrant in the original manuscript.[SRC]
The priority of Scripture as the inerrant and authoritative written Word of God that guides us in all matters of faith, learning, and living.[SRC]

So it would be best to divide them into two groups: literal (Amish, Anglican, Baptist, Pentacostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventists, Wesleyan) and non-literal (Eastern Orthodox, Emergent, Lutheran, Methodist, Protestant).

UPDATE 21 January 2009: [HERE] is a nice in-depth comparison.


Duncan said...

It has been my experience that Methodism does place emphasis on reason however... in the defence of Methodism and the interests of ecumenism I draw you attention to Articles 5 & 6 of the Methodist Articles of Religion of the (United) Methodist Church.

I wish you well my friend

Qjay said...

I would say that reason does play a part of biblical interpretation. I do not see it as a viable partition of fellowship between a Methodist and myself. However, as long as within that reason there remains a submission to scripture.

I read those articles and was quite surprised: "The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and works, to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will." In this, I see no difference between myself and a Methodist, not that a requirement for fellowship is verbatim similarity.

I think what is important is Romans 10:9 - 10.

Duncan said...