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2 Timothy 3:16–17
From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
But they have authors of reputation, Scotus, Biel, and the like, as well as passages of the Fathers which are cited in a mutilated form in the decrees. Certainly, if their testimonies are to be counted, they win, for there is a multitude of trifling experts on the Sentences, who, as though they had conspired, defend these figments about the merit of attrition and of works, and other things which we have addressed above. Lest anyone be moved by the mass of citations, there is no great weight in the testimonies of the later writers, who did not produce original thoughts, but only compiled the writers before them, transferring these opinions from one book to another. They have exercised no judgment, but like petty officials have silently and without comprehension approved the errors of their superiors.
Pulling It Together
In C. S. Lewis’ poem, “As the Ruin Falls,” he writes, “a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek.” People may sound authoritative; indeed, some birds may seem so. But by their singing, one may determine what sort of birds these authorities are. Do they whistle works and human philosophy, or do they sing of Christ and the work of God? This is why we insist upon the phrase, “sola Scriptura”—Scripture alone. By this we mean that Scripture is the basis of truth and doctrine. Our ideas and philosophies, as well as the multitude of authorities who bombard us daily, must be subjugated by the word, “It is written” (Matt 4:4; Rom 1:17; etc.). What Scripture says about a matter must always caution and correct cultural righteousness. It does not matter if it is church, state, or society, claiming authoritative status. God’s Word is our final authority.
Prayer: Train me in righteousness through your Word, Lord. Amen.
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A Reading and Discussion of the Augsburg Confession is written in easy-to-understand language but is a challenging study series based on assigned readings from the Book of Concord and related Scripture texts. Each study is comprised of eight sessions, plus an optional introductory session, each presented in a question and discussion format. Click here to see the Table of Contents and a sample session.