If you read last week’s long post, you know I’ve been debating revelation and knowledge with a Roman Catholic named Tony Fernandez.
He has been mulling over how best to work through that volume I produced, and I have been mulling over my next essay.
Meanwhile, he retweeted this just now:
Isn’t that a perfect encapsulation of the issue? So let’s think about that for a second. If tradition is prior to Scripture, then it is a more authoritative form of revelation. If our knowledge and comprehension of God is more dependent on tradition than it is Scripture, what is the justification for that claim?
It’s funny how when we ask this of Roman Catholics, they appeal to Matthew 18.
It’s also revealing in that Tony had stated to me that he doesn’t believe there is anywhere we can hear Jesus’ voice today, without doubt or hindrance. Of course he is forced into that position, even while his Bible sits on the table beside his keyboard, seeing that the Roman Church has declared that the true and most immediate revelation from God is not Scripture mediated by the Holy Spirit, but rather Scripture mediated by the Church.
My first question, always, is How do I know I am hearing and interpreting the Church rightly, adequately, and without error such that I may be saved?
If only there were somewhere that God is speaking clearly and directly to His people, like a Shepherd who knows His sheep, calls them by name, leads them out, and gives them eternal life such that no one may snatch them out of His omnipotent hand.
But alas, we must hope that we are reading the right parts of tradition (there is no canon of tradition), and that our minds and hearts are sufficiently free of concupiscence so as to interpret that tradition rightly.