Full Text for Dogmatics 1- Volume 9 - Lutherans often quote Luther, the creeds, the catechisms, and other people and their teaching as authorities. Does this practice contradict what you've been saying? (Video)

FILE: DOG9.WMV PAUL TOULETTE: Lutherans often quote Luther, the creeds, the catechisms, and other people and their teaching as authorities. Does this practice contradict what you've been saying? DR. JOEL OKAMOTO: Yeah, that's a good question. My answer simply would be no, or at least not necessarily. Lutherans and, for that matter, other Christians, often quote the creeds, Martin Luther, confessional documents, other theologians like the fathers of the church or Medieval theologians or even modern ones. They do so, or they should do so, I should say, not instead of the Bible, or not alongside the Bible as an authority, but in order to make the truth of the Bible come through more clearly. In other words, they should be used to help to develop a particular point or to develop particular arguments more clearly, more faithfully. Take, for example, the issue of salvation. Imagine that you want to talk about salvation. The Bible says a great deal about salvation. For instance, in Ephesians 2, the passage about grace. "For it is by grace you have been saved." Now, there are many things that the Bible says about grace but it says it here and there. It might be helpful sometimes to bring this out with a simple quotation. A summary statement. But you might not find exactly what you're looking for in the Bible but Luther might have said it well. ******** (Moanthin) might have said it well. It might have been said well by one of the early church fathers, but a modern theologian, or in the catechism or, for that matter, by a pastor, a favorite pastor. And it can be appropriate, too, to cite them, to quote them, but not instead of the Bible, as it were, but to help make what the Bible says come through more clearly. Now, so long as the Bible remains authoritative, this really isn't -- doesn't involve a contradiction. Of course, that can be easier said than done. It's not always easy to allow the Bible to be really our guide, really our source, really the norm for our teaching and preaching and the like. Francis Pieper brings this out, then, when he talks about the aptitude especially of the minister. Of the pastor. When he says that, along with personal faith in Jesus Christ, one must have the ability to confine himself in his teaching entirely to God's word. He must be able to suppress his own thoughts about God in divine matters and put aside the thoughts of other men deriving the doctrine exclusively from the word of God from holy scripture. So what's important here then is really not only how you use Martin Luther or the catechisms or the creeds or the confessions or other theologians, but even the Bible. And we were getting at that before. You can use even the Bible as an authority and you can say something that the Bible does but still use it wrongly. Still use it unfaithfully. Just because you can quote a Bible passage for something to support your teaching or as an argument doesn't mean that your teaching is true or that your argument is correct. And if you can use the Bible wrongly, then you can use Luther wrongly or the creeds or the confessions or the catechisms and the like as well. But to go back to your question, does the use of these things necessarily involve a contradiction? No, not necessarily. (End of DOG9.WMV.) (End of CD-ROM.)