Item description for Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority and Authenticity by James R. White...
Overview From the author of The King James Only Controversy comes a look at the principle behind Luther's rallying cry: "Sola Scriptura." Why do we believe God's Word trumps religious tradition? White, a Reformed Baptist, offers answers and argues that the biblical canon must remain "the sole infallible rule of faith for the church."
Publishers Description A denial of the sufficiency of Scripture is at the core of almost every form of opposition to the Christian faith today. Scripture Alone is written to instill a passionate love for and understanding of the Bible. In this defense of God's inspired Word, readers will comprehend what "God's Word"is, the nature of Scripture, the relationship of the Bible to tradition, how to apply Scripture to today's issues, and much more. Included is a faith-inspiring study of the canon--what it is and where it came from.
Citations And Professional Reviews Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority and Authenticity by James R. White has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 11/15/2004 page 66
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Studio: Bethany House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2004
Publisher BETHANY HOUSE PUBLISHERS #7
ISBN 0764220489 ISBN13 9780764220487
Availability 0 units.
More About James R. White
James R. White is the author of several acclaimed books, including "The God Who Justifies" and "The Forgotten Trinity." The director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization, James also blogs at www.aomin.org. He and his family live in Phoenix, Arizona. Shabir Ally holds an MA and a PhD from the University of Toronto. He is the president of the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International in Toronto, where he functions as Imam. He explains Islam on a weekly television program called "Let the Quran Speak."
Reviews - What do customers think about Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority and Authenticity?
Missing an Essential Defense Jan 7, 2007
One thing that is blantantly missing in this book is a logical defense of its premise. If the Bible is sufficient for all Christian doctrine, then where in the Bible is the canon of Scripture defined, and where in the Bible is Sola Scriture defined. I can't find it in this book. But we do find it in Protestant traditions. While we're at it, I guess the Holy Spirit got it wrong on the Old Testament canon but right on the NT canon? How can that be?
Excellent for it's purpose Oct 2, 2006
Dr. White does an excellent job in writing with a purpose. He mentions in his introduction that this is simply an overview, or primer for further insight into the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Dr. White does a wonderful job at covering all the bases in a clear manner that the average layman can understand and use in conversation with those opposed to Sola Scriptura. Though Dr. White's treatment of this subject is in no way extensive, it was not designed to be so. For further inquiry into this subject, I would recommend the reader to Whitaker's Disputations on Holy Scripture.
Please honor Christ and His Church. Sep 27, 2006
Forgive me but I didn't read this book. I don't have to read it to know what is in it--heresy of the worst kind.
One can easily guess that in this book James White is going to reject the Church that Jesus founded, and multiply words about it. I don't want to support his teachings, hurtful to Christ crucified, with my hard-earned dollars. So let me say this.
Though the Bible is divinely inspired, so is the one true historical Church--the Catholic Church, of course. The Bible itself says that the Church is the highest authority. It says that in a religious dispute, the Church is the final sounding board and has the last word. It says that Jesus promised His Church that He would be with it until the end of time, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. It says that the Church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth."
Jesus founded a church. His church is real, visible, living, breathing. It is not just a theory, as some would suggest. Jesus is the head of his church, and the church is His bride and His body. Cruel to think that one can disregard it, reject it, throw it out the window. And blasphemous, too. Remember, this is Jesus' Church.
The Bible is divinely inspired, but it is made of paper and ink. Paper and ink is never an authority--people are. In the case of the Bible it is a holy guide to be used by a flesh and blood authority. Remember, it was the Catholic Church that gave us the canon of Scripture--the list of inspired books that make up the Bible--in church councils of the 3rd and 4th centuries and beyond. How can you accept the canon of Scripture but throw out the Church? If Martin Luther can throw out 7 books of the Old Testament, what is to prevent another Martin Luther from coming along and whittling the Sacred Scriptures down even more? Shameful.
What's happened to the apostles, to their successors--the bishops, and their offices--founded by Christ? They are still with us, but people like James White choose to reject them, and in so doing, they reject Christ himself, who said to the apostles, the first bishops, "He who hears you hears me. He who rejects you rejects me." Sola Scripture is an attack on God and his one true apostolic church. From whence did this attack come?
Calvinism did not exist before Calvin, and Lutheranism did not exist before Luther--not just as movements but as theological principles. The beliefs by which Protestants distinguish themselves from Catholics were not held by Christians prior to the Reformation.
Double predestination in Calvin's sense? While predestination was much written about in the early centuries, Christians did not hold Calvin's understanding.
Sola scriptura? There is no evidence in antiquity or the Middle Ages for the "Bible only" position.
An invisible church? This idea was quite foreign to Christian writers living before the sixteenth century.
The list could be extended. The Reformers introduced novelties into Christianity. They dropped historical beliefs with which they disagreed, and into the vacancies they intruded new ideas of their own. This is denied by Fundamentalist controversialists, who say that what they teach today was taught by the apostles, by the New Testament, and even by the Fathers of the Church.
Just as one can find in Scripture warrant for almost any belief, if Scripture is chopped up sufficiently, so one can find warrant in the Fathers, if one slices and dices. Even Augustine.
Augustine was a bishop and knew himself to be a bishop. He believed the Church to be structured as today's Catholics believe it to be structured: pope, bishops, priests, deacons, religious, laymen. He believed in the magisterium of the Church and knew he was part of that magisterium. For him, everything fit together. The structure of the Church was as much of divine institution as were the beliefs about salvation and Scripture.
In honor of our Lord Jesus Christ let's put false teachings to rest, beginning with Sola Scriptura.
Pope John Paul II said it well, "If you love Jesus, love the Church!"
Preaching to the Choir Aug 22, 2006
I purchased this book because I was looking for a persuasive argument in favor of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. I'm satisfied with the application of the terms "inspired" and "authoritative" to the Bible, but I've been struggling with the terms "infallible" and "sole rule of faith" for some months now. I was raised Evangelical Christian, but I was confused by the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. I thought this book might lead me to agree with the doctrine.
Unfortunately, I am very disappointed with James R. White's piece "Scripture Alone." It seems Dr. White's target audience is not people like me who are debating whether Sola Scriptura is sound doctrine. Rather, Dr. White's assumed audience is those who hold a priori the conviction that the Bible is the "sole, infallible rule of faith." As a person who grew up in a Church, I learned a phrase for this type of preaching to people who all agree: "preaching to the choir."
There isn't anything inherently wrong with preaching to the choir. In theory, a person who believes contrary to the preacher and choir could still learn by listening to the preacher expound on what his audience already believes. However, Dr. White's tone of voice in this book is quite harsh, condemning all other points of view and assigns to them the blame for virtually every problem in the church (seriously! he repeats this statement of blame multiple times).
If you believe anything other than Sola Scriptura, expect to be insulted immediately and frequently when reading this book.
Dr. White's condescension towards people of all other points of view cripples his message. His sometimes blatant and sometimes passive-aggressive jabs at my character caused me to spend much of my time simply "fighting back" a sense of indignation. For instance, I have read the Bible cover-to-cover and studied its contents for many years. Yet in the first chapter Dr. White insinuated that many of his opponents have never read or studied the Bible themselves and that, if they would only read the text, they would find themselves happily agreeing with his thesis. I developed a habit of writing notes in the margins to rebut not only Dr. White's arguments in favor of Sola Scriptura, but also his attacks on my character and all those who hold beliefs different from his.
Ultimately, I do not believe that Dr. White and I will ever agree. My hope that I might ever see things from his point of view was forever lost in these words which he used to close the second chapter:
We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian's conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.
The Bible whose perfection Dr. White so aggressively argues was established by a council; if the councils are fallible, how could their product be infallible? The Holy Spirit Dr. White refers to must have "added to" the Old Testament in order give us the New Testament; if this is invalid revelation, why isn't Dr. White an orthodox Jew? Finally, personal spiritual experience was always a critical source of revelation for the heroes of the faith from Abraham to Paul; why should we expect a relationship with God and truth different from the Patriarchs and Church Fathers?
I firmly and categorically disagree with Dr. White's convictions. In addition, I would council him to temper his tone of voice so that his future writing might be more persuasive and less offensive.
Excellent overview of the topic Jul 3, 2006
A better overview of sola scriptura would be hard to find. James White does an excellent job explaining why scripture can be trusted and how to handle the frequent objections to its sufficiency and accuracy. An good choice for those looking for a quick read on the topic but deeper than its length would indicate. I find it to be a very useful apologetics tool.