However, there is a false presupposition lurking behind this question and the statement made by that Evangelical leader, one that is commonly held by Christians today. It is the presupposition that the Bible is the source of Christian doctrine - that the Bible contains all the teachings of the Christian Faith and its purpose is to be a catechism of sorts for our teachings and beliefs. If you read just about any book from your local Family Bookstore (a chain of Protestant Christian bookstores), the language used is soaked with this premise: “The Bible teaches.”, “The Bible says.”, “we see from the Bible that.”. Unfortunately, this foundational tenet of Protestantism is also held by many Catholics.
This presupposition, however, is not only false, it is illogical and contrary to history. Let us take a brief look at salvation history and see how the Christian Faith was passed on to us - what is its source?
- After the Fall, God raised up a nation (Israel) to be His people. He sent them prophets, kings and priests to teach them about the ways of God.
- At the fullness of time, God sent His Son. This Son, Jesus Christ, preached, did mighty works, and suffered, died and rose again for our salvation.
- The followers of Christ, especially the apostles, went about preaching the Gospel to the known world. What is this “Gospel”? It is the revelation of God centered on the person of Jesus Christ - which includes the preparations for his coming as well as his teachings, mighty works and redemptive death and resurrection.
- Some of these followers wrote down this Gospel in letters, histories and “gospels.”
- The successors to the apostles - the bishops - continued to preach the Gospel handed on to them, guarding and protecting it from error.
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