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What is the 'Rule of Faith'?

tomgroeneman's picture

How do you understand the rule of faith in light of the Apostolic teaching, the Scriptures, the Creeds and Church history? Is it similar to the idea of the deposit of faith that some speak of? How does your understanding of the rule of faith effect the way you interpret Scripture? The reason I am asking is because I am trying to determine whether or not Tradition is a valid means of receiving the revelation of God. At what point does an individual rely on the teaching of the Church to formulate doctrine and as guidance on questions of faith and morals? I am open to all arguments for or against. It seems to me that just me and my Bible are limited in providing the sufficient illumination necessary to survive in this world. I know Protestant theology teaches that Scripture alone is sufficient for all that the believer needs but I am thinking there is more available in the plan of God. As a Catholic, I am taught that the Magisterium, the teaching office of the Church, works together with Holy Scripture to minister the life of God. Before the Canon was completed, the Early Church relied on the teachings of the Apostles (the rule of faith?) and the following generations of Church leaders to guide the people of God until the Canon was finalized. How much weight do the Early Church Fathers carry in our understanding of the truths of the Gospel? What say you?

tomgroeneman's picture

individual choices

Yes Noshi, I agree that there are many priests and people who assume spiritual authority for themselves without submitting to the leadership of their Church bodies. When a consensus and unity exist, there will always be some who dissent. For example: The Roman Catholic Church's teaching on the practice of abortion is clear and unequivocal; it is contrary to the life of God taught by the Church. Yet, there are many people-some prominent in the public arena-who accept or endorse policies and candidates that advocate abortion on demand. Our vice president, Joe Biden, is a professing Catholic but he and his party continually carp about women's reproductive rights and he supports President Obama's legislation that demands private citizens and faith organizations to provide contraception including abortion to women against their rights to freedom of religion and conscience and contrary to the teachings of the Church. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject as well as how contraception is handled in Indian society. Also I would enjoy hearing more about why Indian clergy are reluctant to accept new converts to Christianity. It seems to me that this attitude does not square with the whole program of evangelization. Peace to you.

Tom Groeneman