The Fathers Know
In this presentation, delivered to a capacity audience of 650 people at the 2010 “Deep in History Conference,” Patrick Madrid explains what the early Church Fathers taught regarding the relationship between Scripture, Tradition, and the Church. Among other key points, he quotes the Fathers in their own words to document the fact that they did not hold the view of sola Scriptura in the sense that the Protestant Reformers asserted it.
As patristics scholar Yves Congar, O.P. stated it, the while believing in “a material sufficiency of Scripture, the Fathers and medieval theologians affirmed its formal insufficiency. Scripture, they held, does not itself suffice to yield its true meaning; it must be read within the Church, within Tradition. Scripture itself is sovereign and is not subject to any rule which could judge it. But it does not itself fulfill all the functions that are necessary for fixing the faith of Christians. Moreover, Scripture itself does not claim to be an exclusive rule.”
This hour-long presentation offers an overview of the patristic record which corroborates Fr. Congar’s description.