Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Final (and I Do Mean Final) Response to Mr. Enloe (Part III)
04/06/2005 - James White
I close with some questions to Dr. White. If he denies that he practices nuda / solo Scriptura, why do his apologetics against Roman Catholics and other Protestants denigrate all authorities except Scripture?Answer: If saying all other authorities are not theopneustos equals denigration, then I guess I'm guilty. But as I have noted, Mr. Enloe simply has no idea what he is talking about when he says I denigrate all authorities except Scripture. Such is simply a straw man misrepresentation. Goodness, he knows I'm an elder in an LBCF Reformed Baptist Church--how could I hold the views he ascribes to me?
What other publicly-binding authoritative entities does Dr. White recognize than the local church?If I have defended the doctrine that the Apostles established the eldership of the local church as the highest ecclesiastical authority, why ask such a question?
How does his understanding of the local church not ultimately reduce to the "local" individual?I've published on the subject. I invite Mr. Enloe to read.
Was John Calvin “inconsistent” with sola Scriptura in Book IV of the Institutes? Is WCF 31 an “attack” on sola Scriptura? What did Dr. White mean when some time ago on his Dividing Line program he claimed that the 17th century Protestant Scholastics compromised sola Scriptura because they “took Bellarmine too seriously”?Since Enloe has never produced any documentation of his memory of this alleged quotation, I have no meaningful way of responding to him. I have no idea what he's talking about.
Elsewhere Enloe has recently written,
The doctrine of the Trinity is another big example. Yes, of course, the rudiments of Trinitarian doctrine are contained in Scripture and they can be found and brought out and assembled into a coherent exegetical picture "only" from Scripture.Can one believe sola scriptura and tota scriptura and not be a Trinitarian?
But this process was originally done in a far more complicated manner than Dr. White seems to presume it can be done, and in a way which affects all of our minds today whether we happen to recognize it our not.Why Enloe assumes I am unfamiliar with the complexities of the patristic period, I have no idea. To my knowledge, Enloe has never taught Church History. I have. But that oddity aside, I confess I am tired of Mr. Enloe assuming what I "presume to assume" or think, especially when he has shown himself unfamiliar with a fairly wide spectrum of my published works.
None of the Fathers who formulated Trinitarian doctrine had a "blank slate" concept of biblical exegesis, and even what they recognized as "Scripture" had already been previously shaped by canon controversies. (This is, in fact, why the canon argument gets so many Evangelicals to turn to Rome--it's historical focus is far more important than Dr. White's kind of apologetics recognizes).In a word once again, "rubbish." I have no idea what a "blank slate concept of biblical exegesis" is, and what's more, neither does Mr. Enloe. I have addressed canon issues in far more published works than Mr. Enloe has, but he doesn't show any familiarity with those, either. I don't believe Mr. Enloe has any firm grasp on the "kind" of apologetics I practice, either.
Now to be honest, I was very brief in this final portion because of the fact that I have read Mr. Enloe's comments elsewhere and realize that I am finishing this up simply out of a sense of obligation to do so, and for no other reason. There is no communicating going on here, and I see no hope of that changing. Mr. Enloe has decided he knows what I believe and how I think, and all my corrections are quite simply irrelevant to his conclusions. I simply have no reason to continue such an effort.