"Let unity, the greatest good of all goods, be your preoccupation." - St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to St. Polycarp)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Keith Mathison's Reply

In November of 2009, Neal Judisch and I posted an article titled "Solo Scriptura, Sola Scriptura, and the Question of Interpretive Authority." The article provoked a good deal of discussion, the comments now number over 1,200. Our article was a reply to Keith Mathison's book The Shape of Sola Scripura, and focused on the distinction Keith makes between sola scriptura and what he calls "solo scriptura."

Keith Mathison

In his book Keith argued strongly against solo scriptura, and endorsed sola scriptura as the rightful alternative. In our article, we argued that there is no essential difference between solo scriptura and sola scriptura. The defining feature of solo scriptura is the retention by each individual of ultimate interpretive authority, but under sola scriptura, each individual likewise retains ultimate interpretive authority, even if that fact is somewhat hidden by forming associations of those sharing similar interpretations of Scripture and appointing officers among such associations.

Last year Keith assured us that he would write a reply. Yesterday, he announced that he has completed his reply. It can be read at the following link: "Solo Scriptura, Sola Scriptura, and Apostolic Succession: A Response to Bryan Cross and Neal Judisch." A pdf version of his reply is available here. I expect that in the coming weeks we will write a reply to Keith's reply; in the mean time, follow the discussion of Keith's reply here.