Part 1: Shouldn’t we move away from tradition and get back to Scripture?

I found it to be necessary to start with this question as the first post, as:

1) This blog’s aim is to bring awareness to the Reformed tradition

2) This blog’s aim is to teach the Reformed tradition as the most consistent, and loyal position to the Scriptures.

i.e. Reformed Theology is consistent Christian Theism

A complaint one would  hear about the above statements, is about the label. I can understand the problem one would have in the label. The Scripture that would come to mind at this point is Paul’s letter to Corinth:

3. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? 4. For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? (1 Cor 3:3-4)

This Scripture is usually argued that “I am of Paul, I am of Apollos” takes place when one labels himself as Reformed/Calvinist or Arminian. That is, the division Paul is speaking against to the Corinthians who were doing this, speaks to us for being “Reformed” or “Arminian”. It is an understandable complain but it hasn’t gone unanswered. One answer is that Paul was not speaking to doctrinal division, but rather pride. (1)

I won’t go too in depth with this, because it is clearly stated in the above link. For a brief example, one would pride themselves in one apostle, and another person would pride themselves in another apostle of the same foundation. Consequently, one member would find themselves to be better than another, not because of doctrinal differences exactly, but because they studied under one particular apostle. So the attention went primarily to who they were and what they did, rather than what the apostles taught.

A point to make is that Paul did appeal to his apostleship and teachings, and even taught the overseers/elders to do the same, over against false teachers and apostle, so that the flock would have a sure foundation to hold to.

Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. (Phil 3:17) ESV

{Likewise}urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, (Titus 2:6-7) ESV

For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. (1 Cor 4:15-16) ESV

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, (1 Thes 1:6) ESV

just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me, as I am also of Christ. (1 Cor 10:33-11:1)

I’ll end this with the  following comments that are taken from John Calvin’s commentary on 1 Corinthian chapter 11 v. 1

Here there are two things to be observed — first, that he prescribes nothing to others that he had not first practiced himself; and, secondly, that he directs himself and others to Christ as the only pattern of right acting. For while it is the part of a good teacher to enjoin nothing in words but what he is prepared to practice in action, he must not, at the same time, be so austere, as straightway to require from others everything that he does himself, as is the manner of the superstitious. For everything that they contract a liking for they impose also upon others, and would have their own example to be held absolutely as a rule. The world is also, of its own accord, inclined to a misdirected imitation, (κακοζηλίαν) (2) and, after the manner of apes, strive to copy whatever they see done by persons of great influence. We see, however how many evils have been introduced into the Church by this absurd desire of imitating all the actions of the saints, without exception. Let us, therefore, maintain so much the more carefully this doctrine of Paul — that we are to follow men, provided they take Christ as their grand model, (πρωτότυπον,) (3)  that the examples of the saints may not tend to lead us away from Christ, but rather to direct us to him.(4)

 

(1) "You Follow Calvin? Well, I follow Christ!"
(2) Κακοζηλία as it is used here is an "absurd invitation"
(3) πρωτότυπον as it is used here is "the original"
(4) Calvin's Commentary on Corinthians- Volume 1
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