Thursday, June 18, 2009

Calvin on Sola Scriptura vs. Sola Ecclessia

Doubtless, were only the Scripture allowed its own authority, there are
none of these things respecting which our adversaries would not be
constrained to be mute. And this is what they by no means dissemble,
when they contend that owing to the ambiguous meaning of Scripture, we
ought to stand solely on the judgment of the Church. Who, I pray, does
not see, that by laying aside the word of God, the whole right of defining
things is thus transferred to them? Though they may kiss the closed copies
of the Scripture as a kind of worship, when yet they charge it with being
obscure and ambiguous, they allow it no more authority than if no part of
it existed in writing. Let them assume specious titles as they please, that
they may not appear to allege anything besides the dictates of the Spirit,
(as they are wont to boast,) yet it is a settled and fixed thing with them,
that all reasons being laid aside, their will alone ought to be believed.

--John Calvin, from the dedication to Edward VI, in the Commentary on the Catholic Epistles

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