WCF. I. Of the Holy Scriptures – 10. Q & A

Blogging through and answering the questions from G. I. Williamson’s The Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes for personal review and comprehension.

WCF. I. Of the Holy Scriptures – 10.

 1. What is the difference between the Roman Catholic and Reformed Churches with regard to the supreme judge in matters of religious controversy?

WCF clearly teaches that Reformed Churches regard the Holy Spirit speaking through Scripture as the “supreme judge” in all matters of religious controversy, e.g., “decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits.” Roman Catholic churches do not believe this: Roman Catholics believe (a) the Roman Church can “infallibly interpret the infallible Word of God” and (b) the Pope can speak officially regarding doctrinal controversies, i.e., the doctrine of Papal infallibility.

2. Can the Church speak infallibly? If not, then how can it speak with authority or value?

No. Only God speaks infallibly (God is infallible, thus, he can speak infallibly). The Church can speak with authority and value insofar as it declares the Word of God.

3. In the Synod of Jerusalem did Peter act as pope? Who made the decision? Upon what was this decision based?

Peter was not acting as pope at the Synod of Jerusalem. The Church made a decision by appealing to the Old Testament (see verses 14-18).