Sola Scriptura Debate - Verga v. Antony

Self-Evaluation by the Moderator
Of places where points were deducted from Mr. Antony


The "Working Definition" of sola scriptura which was agreed upon by the participants and the moderator in this debate:

Sola scriptura teaches that the Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church. The doctrine does not say that there are not other, fallible, rules of faith, or even traditions, that we can refer to and even embrace.  It does say, however, that the only infallible rule of faith is Scripture.  This means that all other rules, whether we call them traditions, confessions of faith, creeds, or anything else, are by nature inferior to and subject to correction by, the Scriptures.  The Bible is the ultimate authority, allowing no equal, nor superior, in tradition or church.  That's because it is theopneustos, (God-breathed) and hence embodies the very speaking of God, and must, of necessity therefore be of the highest authority.

I must say, my primary focus for the definition was the primary clause of the definition, which is:  "Sola scriptura teaches that the Scriptures are the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church."  In hindsight, I wish we had stuck to this more basic definition.  But we did not, so with that in mind I am re-evaluating every place where I took points from Mr. Antony during the debate.

Round 1
Both participants received a "Mulligan" on this round, no points were deducted from either of them.

Round 2a
Not a scored round.

Round 2b
1) Invalid citation, not an online source.  [-5 points.  VALID]

2) Another offline source, -5 points.  It was also noted that Mr. Antony was referring to a commentary from Cardinal Ratzinger, which was not Catholic teaching or dogma and merely finding other Catholics who disagree with Verga does not constitute a valid argument!  I COULD have deducted another 5 points here, but since I already hit him for the invalid source, I did not double-deduct.   [-5 points.   VALID]

3) Another invalidly cited source. [-5 points.  VALID]

4) Invalidly referring to "standard Catholic practice" does not comply with the thesis OR the definition.  It was also a "tu quoque" argument, invalid two ways, only one 5 point deduction was made.  [-5 points.  VALID]

5) Another offline source.  [-5 points.   VALID]

6) Invalid, no source to consider, unsubstantiated argument. [-5 points.  VALID]

7) Reference to "(opening statement link)" which was not a link at all, and a vague reference to SOMEONE'S opening statement is not a validly linked online source.  [-5 points.   VALID]

Adjusted Points:  
Thesis Statement:  [Original 25 points]  Reviewed 25 points (no change)
Valid Documentation: [Original 10 points]  Reviewed 0 points (-10 from original)
Closing Summary:  [Original 25 points]  Reviewed 25 points (no change)
Invalid arguments:  [Original 10 points]  Reviewed 20 points (+10 from original)
Total Adjusted Score:  [Original 70 points]  Reviewed 70 points (no change)

For those who are counting, “7x5” should be “35 points deducted” but 6 of them were on “valid documentation” and my limit was 25 points for that category, the net score ends up the same as the original scoring - but for different reasons.

Round 3a
Not a scored round.

Round 3b
1) "Emphasis that there's no room for anything to stand beside..." I deducted 5 points, but in light of the fact that the "Working Definition" allows for "The Bible is the ultimate authority..." I will add that 5 points back to Mr. Antony and adjust the "scoring page" accordingly.    [-5 points   NOT VALID]

2) "To answer that question, we need to go right to the source and see if the claim of a "Theopneustos Tradition" can stand the scrutiny of biblical investigation."  My response was, "No, we don't, that is NOT the thesis of THIS DEBATE! -5 points."  This is valid because it was not Mr. Antony's responsibility to challenge "Theopneustos Tradition" (in OUR terminology, that would be "Sacred Tradition").  Upon futher review I have decided to accept this.  [-5 points INVALID points added back.]

3) Listing "three positive statements on which Verga's argument hinges" is not valid for this debate!  We were not here to debate 1 Cor. 11:2, 2 Thes. 2:15 or 2 Tim. 2:2 (the sources Antony listed).  No, we were here to answer "Is sola scriptura biblical?"  [-5 points.   INVALID points added back.]

4) An attack on a Pope saying "tradition makes progress" and "develops" instead of a defense of sola scriptura.  Not valid for this debate.   [-5 points.  VALID]

5) I objected that this debate was not about the supremacy of Scripture, and deducted 5 points.  The "Working Definition" does allow for this.  [-5 points.  NOT VALID]

6) 5 points were deducted because the "Thesis statement" was "weak and hard to find."  Since I invalidly deducted points for thesis related statements, I'll add this back too.

7) Closing Summary; I deducted 10 points, since one of the "thesis related" deductions I invalidly made previously (#5), I'll also add 5 points back in here.

Adjusted Points:  
Thesis Statement:  [Original 20 points] Reviewed 25 points (+5 from original)
Valid Documentation: [Original 25 points] Reviewed 25 points (no change)
Closing Summary:  [Original 15 points] Reviewed 20 points (+5 points)
Invalid arguments:  [Original 0 point] Reviewed 20 points (+20 points)

Total Adjusted Points:  90 points (+30 points from original)

Round 4 - Final Arguments
1) Arguing Verga’s motive is not the theme of this debate.  [-5 points.   VALID]

2) I said Antony was arguing about Sacred Tradition, I’m not sure why now - [-5 points.  INVALID]

3) I initially did NOT deduct 5 points for repeating an argument about Sacred Tradition, and this time Antony clearly was arguing about “traditions of the RCC” so now I will take the 5 points away.   [-5 points.  VALID]

4) Improper citation of “verse 31” when there is no verse 31 in John 21.  [-5 points.  VALID]

5) Argument for the sufficiency of Scripture, which is NOT part of the definition, even the broader wording of it which I did not consider earlier.   [-5 points.   VALID]

6) Equivocation fallacy.   [-5 points.    VALID]

Adjusted Points:  
Thesis Statement:  [Original 25 points] Reviewed 25 points (no change)
Valid Documentation: [Original 25 points] Reviewed 25 points (no change)
Closing Summary:  [Original 25 points] Reviewed 25 points (no change)
Invalid arguments:  [Original 5 points] Reviewed 10 points (+5 points from original)
Total Adjusted Points:  [Original 80 points] Reviewed 85 points (+5 points from original)

Again, I miscounted the number of invalid arguments the first time, only counting 4, when there were actually 5 of them.  After the reconsideration Antony got one back, but lost another one, so the net is the same as it SHOULD have been.

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