But how do you know an opposing view is wrong (I know there's a tiny bit of joshing going on but I'm addressing the serious part)? Is it wrong just simply because it opposes your view? How do you know your view is correct? If your view is wrong and the opposing view is right, and yet for some reason you've missed that, haven't you then missed something that could be for your salvation (as you describe it above)?
CD, You have pushed this to the point of absurdity. Because in the limit, no one can know anything in the absolute. You asked " How do you know your view is correct? If your view is wrong and the opposing view is right, and yet for some reason you've missed that, haven't you then missed something that could be for your salvation".
If that is in fact the real situation, then it is not likely that any will be saved. It is akin to keeping the law as a means to salvation. And that we know, based upon Paul's teaching, that is not going to happen.
By the way, the absense of ambiguity is not an indication of truth in spite of what any notion of infallibility might imply.
Are you aware of what you have just acknowledged with this statement: "Because in the limit, no one can know anything in the absolute."
Protestantism began when Martin Luther concluded from his reading of Paul that salvation is by faith only. Luther, though not in any sense a philosophic thinker who could grasp long term consequences of ideas, recognized that if sola fide
were true, then the Church would need to be making amends for having failed to teach the truth for some 1400 years.
Luther declared sola scriptura
as the best way to make his case for sola fide
for two reasons: (1) he had come to believe in faith ONLY while studying Galatians
and he had a fierce pride in his interpretive skills (which is the reason that Luther automatically declared heretical any other Protestant who disagreed with him on any issue he deemed major, and (2) he knew that Church history was filled with documents that in various ways would refute sola fide
even though none of them were attempts to disprove sola fide
because no one had ever proposed faith ONLY before Luther.
Luther seems to have believed sincerely that the Bible was, as he proclaimed, perspicuous: absolutely crystal clear and obvious in its meanings. From that belief, Luther was certain that the more that people read the Bible, the more that everyone would agree that the Bible is unquestionably perfectly clear that salvation is by faith only.
That is the best way to understand why Luther was always furious when any otehr Protetsant disagreed with him: if scriprture is perspicuous, which doctrine is necessary to assert sola scriptura
without it creating endless chaos, then the masses of people would read it exactly like Luther.
The reality was that there were immediately all kinds of people who embraced sola fide
and sola scriptura
and began disagreeing with Luther, in great detail. The cahos was so great that if not for Lutheran princes using the sword to beat back and down the groups Luther referred to as mosquitos, forcing them to accept Lutheranism, there would have been dozens of different Protestant denominations in German speaking lands before the 1540s.
And here you are, a proponet of sola scriptura
acknowledging that Peter is correct is asserting that there are some things in scripture that are vry tough to comprehend and certain people wrest them to their own damnation. Peter speaks specifically of the writings of Paul being so absued by men certain that their interpretive skills were excellent and who acted as if their interpretive skills were infallible. That is most important because just as Luther took paul out of context and isolated from the rest of the New Testament, so had Marcion and a large number of Gnostics. Indeed, some things Paul teaches inspire men with great egos and/or imaginations to feel that they finally have the Gnosis denied to men by the Church.
That is in a nutshell how and why Johann Eck, the man who did the most to show how sola fide
was heretical, claimed that Luther was an unwitting ally of the Gnostics. I say that Eck was correct in that, as in seeing the errors of [sola fide[/i].
But back to your confession: if you cannot know for certain that your interpretations of scripture are correct, then you must have full faith in them anyway to proceed as if they are correct. And that means that you have faith that your interpretive skills are at least sufficiently correct as to serve you toward Heaven.
That means that you are taking a stance for sola scriptura
even though you know for certain that scripture is not perspicuous.
You take that stance, which Luther and Calvin and Zwingli would have declared a total contradiction, because you inherited it and can see no other way. You are culturally fully a part of the Protestant world (being in an English speaking nation), and the basics of seeing the world as a Protestant are second nature to you. Thus the chaos caused by sola scriptura
is something you accept as a given, even as you rightly assert that Christ prayed for unity and that movements toward unity - without denying esentials of the one faith - should be paramount.
So, if scripture is not perspicuous, then how do we know what it means? Christ instituted a teaching Church, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Those are the only two choices: sola scriptura
, which asserts the persicuousness of scripture and has delivered tens of thousands of Protestant denominations, or the teaching Church with the authority to adjudicate disputes and shepherd the flock.