Bible Study: Sola Scriptura

The following is a bible study I did for Newman. Feel free to use as you see fit.

What Does The Bible Say About: Sola Scriptura?

Definition: Sola Scriptura is the Protestant doctrine that the only infallible rule of faith (and practice) is Sacred Scripture.

Biblical Data:
2nd Timothy 3:16-17 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 
Discussion: All scripture is what by God? Inspired. What does inspired mean? This means that God, although he uses man to write the scripture, is ultimately the author of scripture. What is it useful for? Teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. What is the point of teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness? So that we as Christians can be proficient/equipped for every good work. Does this prove that scripture is therefore the only infallible rule…

John Locke's Argument for God's Existence

This was an essay I turned in for class.

Locke’s Argument for God

Locke’s argument comes in two stages. In the first stage, he argues for a first cause, and in the second stage, he argues for identifying that cause as God. It can be summarized thusly:

1. There are beings that have a beginning
2. All beings that have a beginning have been produced by something eternal
3. Therefore, something eternal exists

In support of the first premise, Locke points to our own existence as a thing that exists. His reasoning here is that if one truly does not exist, then one is nothing. Yet at some point, Locke is confident, that the one claiming he is non-being will eventually be hungry or have pain, which is only possible to being, not to non-being. This may sound like a practical argument, and practical arguments are not always the strongest arguments, but Locke also says that non-being cannot produce being. Non-being cannot have properties, sensations, passions, or anything whatsoever, predicated to…

Do We Only Inherit The Consequences of Original Sin?

I have an anabaptist coworker, and we got the talking about Original Sin. After pointing out Romans 5 to him and how it talks about how Adam's sin lead to the condemnation of all people, he pointed to a verse in the OT that says we will not inherit the iniquities of our fathers (which I have dealt with before on my short 3 part series on Original Sin, which you can find here, here, and here). I then pointed to other OT verses that seem to say the opposite, my point being that with the ambiguity in the OT, we should look to the NT for a clear interpretation.

But it occurs to me now that perhaps that isn't even necessary. His response was that the OT verses I pointed out only show that we suffer sins consequences. Is this a good response? It is not. According to Romans 6:23, after its long emphasis on the fallen state of humanity, says that the wages of sin are death. In contrast, our reward in Jesus is eternal life, and because that contrast is being made, we know that death i…

Meno's Paradox

The following is an essay I wrote on Meno's Paradox. 
Meno raises a problem concerning whether inquiries or a search for knowledge is, in principle, possible. Meno objects, “How will you look for it, Socrates, when you do not know at all what it is?...If you should meet with it, how will you know that this is the thing you did not know?” Socrates takes the word “it” here to refer to the form, or a standard, particularly the standard of virtue, although Socrates applies the problem to the search of any standard whatsoever. It isn’t certain that limiting the problem to the search for standards is what Meno had in mind, as Socrates first calls the argument a kind of debaters trick. Nonetheless, Socrates narrows the argument to just the search of standards when he says, “He cannot search for what he knows-since he knows it, there is no need to search-nor for what he does not know, for he does not know what to look for.”
For example, suppose you didn’t know how to use the metric syste…

Why We Need Dualism in Art

I recently found out that there is a Rothko Chapel. Apparently, Rothko intended on arousing a religious experience when you looked at his paintings, and it inspired some to build a chapel in his honor, where there would hang some of his work (different panels of the same project). Looks cold, sterile, and somewhat dystopian. 

Two years ago, I wrote about how realism is necessary for art, which you can find here. It was a reaction against Pollock and Rothko, and I still agree with what I said there. I did qualify myself as saying realism may not have been alone a sufficient reason, but it was definitely a necessary one. I want to add that abstraction is also necessary, which wasn't a view I held at the time. My reaction against the radical abstractionism of Rothko and Pollock inclined me against the view that abstraction was a necessary condition. I mean, look at the "chapel" and you could see why I believed it. It was nothing but abstraction. 
But in a conversation I ha…

Confession Face to Face

I was in line at the confessional last week or so. I was towards the end of the line, and the priest had already begun hearing confessions. Another priest then came and directed some of us to another room where he would also be hearing confessions. So I go, and so do a few others. We realize that his confessions will be face to face, and not behind a veil. This isn't a problem for me, and never has been. It seemed to be a problem for the lady behind me. Now, it's usually bad manners to chit chat while in line for confession, since that's a time to prepare and meditate upon our sins, but apparently she didn't get the memo. "Oh dear," she says to me, "he's doing face to face. That makes me nervous."
"It shouldn't." I tell her. 
"But he will know who I am." 
"That's right. And when you die, and you see God in the face, God will know who you are and what all your sins were, and you will have nothing to hide your fac…

Bible Study: Mary

Another Newman Bible study I wrote.

What Does The Bible Say About: Mary
Biblical Data:
Luke 1:41-48 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” 46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

Discussion: Sometimes Protestants will point to v47 to show that Mary was a sinner in need of a savior, which is contrary to Catholic teaching that Mary, from the moment of conception, had…