Today, our guest on EWTN is Christian Smith, author of The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture.
Interviewer: What's your basis thesis?
Smith: Interpretive pluralism disproves sola scriptura.
Interviewer: Can you give an example?
Smith: Take "amen".
Interviewer: What about "amen"?
Smith: The Bible uses "amen", but unlike a dictionary, it never provides the correct pronunciation.
Interviewer: And how is that a problem?
Smith: It's spawned pluralistic pronunciations of "amen". That's a fundamental dividing line between Anglican and Baptist theology.
Interviewer: Can you illustrate?
Smith: Baptists use the déclassé pronunciation, where "a" rhymes with "grape", while Anglicans use the more elegant pronunciation, where "a" rhymes with "father" or "Chicago". Have you ever been in a Baptist service where you thought everyone around you was Baptist, but when the time comes for the congregation to say "amen" in unison, someone behind you uses the Anglican pronunciation? It's a dead giveaway that they strayed into the wrong church by accident.
Interviewer: And that's why we need the Magisterium?
Smith: Absolutely! The Bible writers are dead, so you can't ask them for the right pronunciation. That's why a living teaching office is indispensable. Absent that, there's no way of knowing for sure whether the gauche Baptist pronunciation is right or the Oxbridge Anglican pronunciation.
Interviewer: And you think that's a big deal?
Smith: Are you kidding? "Amen" is the password to get into heaven. Millions of evangelicals have been turned away from the pearly gates because they couldn't give Peter the right pronunciation.