Now, there's much more to say about the New Testament teaching on the Church. We haven't even mentioned Peter and the keys and the foundations of the Catholic teaching on the papacy. We've barely touched on the idea of apostolic succession. In arguing the case for the Catholic view of an authoritative Church, much more would need to be said. And we'll come back to this.
But at this point our focus is not on the Church but on whether or not the New Testament presents us with a Christianity in which the Bible functions as only real authority in the Christian's life -- all other authorities, when you get down to it, being merely advisory.
So far, I don't see a hint that the apostles had it in their minds that when they had passed from the scene Sola Scriptura would become the rule of faith and practice for the Church.
And so the question comes to mind: Why do Protestants not only embrace Sola Scriptura but embrace it as the very foundation of their worldview as Christians? Why?
As I ask this question, I think back to my own experience as an evangelical Protestant for over twenty years. How did I think about this issue of authority? How did everyone I knew think about it?
When it comes down to it, I don't think most Protestants hold to Sola Scriptura because they can point to passages in the New Testament that actually teach it. They hold to it because they don't believe the kind of authoritative Church we see functioning in the New Testament exists any longer.
They think "that Church" died with the apostles. And in the absence of such a Church, what alternative is there but to look to Scripture alone, and hope we can agree on what it's teaching?