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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?

Noshic's picture


My intention was not to be critical, but to underline that subjectivity in interpretation seems inevitable, whether one is Catholic or Protestant, whether one is following just the Bible or the Bible and the Magisterium. This could potentially be the reason why the Catholic clergy here does not seem over-keen on conversion, it might have to do with their personal interpretation of Vatican II or concepts like baptism of desire. Or it might have to do with gaining acceptability amongst people here, as Hindus often have an instinctive and intense antagonism towards 'Only one road to God' belief.

Regarding the other issue you asked me about, at least in US you have a debate on the issue of abortion. Here it is not only legal to get abortion for failure of contraception, but also very common to do so. Not just the poor, but also wealthy, married women very casually get abortions as they are not ready for a child. Some Christian organizations are working against female foeticide, but I think they are missing the point. There is a need to raise the collective conscience against the abortion mind-set per se. You can't say that abortion is kosher but abortion of female foetus is evil. The social acceptability of abortions here is really astonishing. Contraception is a much more grey area, though I personally am an advocate of abstinence. Future would be very bleak here without population control. I'm pretty sure that Christians here too would be using contraception widely.