This article discusses the contention of Roman Catholics and others that tradition is the only means by which we may know what books are in the canon of Scripture. It expresses two concerns with this, stating that while a helpful way to know which books are canonical, the consensus approach is not the only way. For the books of the Bible speak for themselves as authoritative.
What is the basis upon which believers must accept the authority of Scripture and the inspiration of Scripture? The author argues that the main basis should be in Scripture's own witness. In the process, the claim by the Roman Catholic church for tradition as a source of authority in the believer's life is refuted based on Scripture.
The Roman church has declared that the Protestants are accursed for taking away the Word of God as found in tradition. On the other hand, the Protestants have declared that the Roman church is a false church because it adds human traditions to the Word of God. What must we make of these opposing positions and how must we understand the source of authority for the believer today?
The author laments that what he terms "solo scriptura" is gaining ascendancy over the traditionally confessed tenet of evangelicalism, sola Scriptura. Solo scriptura is a teaching that is against the use of any tradition whatsoever as a source of authority in the church. Tradition, according to the author, touches on aspects such as creeds and the teachings of early fathers.
There are calls today for reformed churches to work with the Roman Catholic Church. Fundamental to this is the question: has the Roman Catholic Church changed? This article shows that what divided the Roman Catholic Church from the reformers was the view on the authority of Scripture. Catholicism still upholds tradition and hierarchy as the supreme authority, and therefore unity with reformed churches remains impossible.