Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Scott Hahn Conversion Story- an excerpt.

The Scott Hahn Conversion Story:

Then all of a sudden an episode occurred one night in a seminar
I wasn't ready for. An ex-Catholic graduate student named John raised
his hand. He had just finished a presentation for the seminar on the
Council of Trent. The Council of Trent, you'll recall, was the Church's
official response to Martin Luther and the Reformation.

In about an hour and a half he had presented the Council of Trent in the
most favorable light. He had shown how many of their arguments were in
fact based on the Bible. Then he turned the tables on me. The students
were supposed to ask him a question or two. He said, "Can I first ask
you a question, Professor Hahn? You know how Luther really had two
slogans, not just sola fide, but the second slogan he used to revolt
against Rome was sola Scriptura, the Bible alone. My question is, 'Where
does the Bible teach that?'"

I looked at him with a blank stare. I could feel sweat coming to
my forehead. I used to take pride in asking my professors the most
stumping questions, but I never heard this one before. And so I heard
myself say words that I had sworn I'd never speak; I said, "John, what a
dumb question." He was not intimidated. He look at me and said, "Give me
a dumb answer." I said, "All right, I'll try." I just began to wing it.
I said, "Well, Timothy 3:16 is the key: 'All Scripture is inspired of
God and profitable for correction, for training and righteousness, for
reproof that the man of God may be completely equipped for every good
work....'" He said, "Wait a second, that only says that Scripture is
inspired and profitable; it doesn't say ONLY Scripture is inspired or
even better, only Scripture's profitable for those things. We need other
things like prayer," and then he said, "What about 2 Thessalonians
2:15?" I said, "What's that again?" He said, "Well, there Paul tells the
Thessalonians that they have to hold fast, they have to cling to the
traditions that Paul has taught them either in writing or by word of
mouth." Whoa! I wasn't ready. I said, "Well, let's move on with the
questions and answers; I'll deal with this next week. Let's go

I don't think they realized the panic I was in. When I drove
home that night, I was just staring up to the heavens asking God, why
have I never heard that question? Why have I never found an answer? The
next day I began calling up theologians around the country, former
professors. I'd ask them, "Where does the Bible teach sola Scriptura?
Where does the Bible teach us that the Bible is our only authority?" One
man actually said to me, "What a dumb question coming from you." I said,
"Give me a dumb answer then." I was catching on. One professor whom I
greatly respect, an Oxford theologian, said to me, "Scott, you don't
expect to find the Bible proving sola Scriptura because it isn't
something the Bible demonstrates. It is our assumption; it is our
presupposition when we approach the Bible." That struck me as odd; I
said, "But professor, that seems strange because what we are saying then
is that we should only believe what the Bible teaches, but the Bible
doesn't teach us to only believe what the Bible teaches. Our assumption
isn't taught by the Bible." I said, "That feels like we're cutting off
the branch that we're sitting on." Then he said, "Well what other
options do we have?" Good point, all right.

Another friend, a theologian, called me and said, "Scott, what
is this I'm hearing that you're considering the Catholic faith?" "Well,
no, Art, I'm not really considering the Catholic faith." Then I decided
to pose him a question. I said, "Art, what for you is the pillar and
foundation of truth?" And he said, "Scott, for all of us Scripture is
the pillar and foundation of truth." I said, "Then why, Art, does the
Bible say in 1 Timothy 3:15 that the pillar and foundation of truth is
the church, the household of faith?" There was a silence and he said,
"Well, Scott, I think you're setting me up with that question then." And
I said, "Art, I feel like I'm being set up with lots of problems." He
said, "Well, which church, Scott? There are lots of them." I said, "Art,
how many churches are even applying for the job of being the pillar and
foundation of truth? I mean, if you talk about a church saying, 'We're
the pillar and foundation of truth; look to us and you will hear Christ
speak and teach'? How many applicants for the job are there? I only know
of one. I only know that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that it was
founded by Christ; it's been around for 2000 years and it's making some
outlandish claims that seem awfully similar to 1 Timothy 3:15."

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