Monday, November 27, 2006
By What Authority? An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition
After finishing The Science Before Science and then enjoying Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, I was finally able to read this book by Mark Shea, which I have been looking forward to. What I loved about it was the logical progression of thought flowing from the overall and primary question which is often thoughtlessly assumed in the affirmative by many protestants, is scripture sufficient? With this one question, the reader is taken down many avenues of necessarily related sub-questions. Where did we get the Bible from, anyway? Could the Biblical canon itself be from Tradition? Can the scriptures themselves tell us which books belong in the Bible? (Is there a self-attesting canon?) Is all tradition necessarily the tradition of men? Are there examples of tradition used in the bible? Do evangelicals use tradition? Did the Church come from the Bible, or did the Bible come from the Church? Does extra-biblical necessarily mean anti-biblical? And finally, can one accept the authority of that Tradition with regard to the canon while rejecting it with regard to everything else? These questions are answered logically and concisely in this easy to read book (I read it in one day, nearly in one sitting.) I would love to have read this during my conversion, as it tackles all the necessary questions in one easily accessible place, I certainly recommend it. Buy it directly from Mark Shea, and you can even get an autographed copy like I did!