Some of my Protestant friends have the impression, inspired by lack of clarity on my part, as well as logical fallacies on the part of writers like Greg Bahnsen (who assumes sola scriptura in order to find it in Scripture), that to attack the modern application of sola scriptura is to advocate additions to Scripture. The real issue, however, is that seeking to interpret Scripture solely with Scripture opens the door to profound doctrinal error. The truth is that we bring a worldview to what we read. The reason many Christians imagine God cannot be near a sinner, for example, is because they have a Platonic view of Justice as this higher essence that in a sense functions as deity, thereby constraining God. The doctine of Original Guilt, likewise, stems from an Augustinian (read: Roman, legalistic) reading of Scriptures.
The question is: how shall we understand what we all believe is the God-breathed Word? Early Church tradition helps us do so, because we have more reason to trust that the first churches, started by the Apostles themselves, were on a right path to interpretation than the schismatic Catholic church 1000 years later, and certainly than the Calvinist theocrats who rejected tradition (like paedocommunion) because it didn’t fit with Calvin’s legalistic reading of Scriptures (I recommend Trent’s explication of the difference between Luther and Calvin regarding sola scriptura, in the comments on my previous post). This is not equivalent, so far as I can see, to claiming that there is a whole other set of divine revelations out there.
Some of my Protestant friends — good, thoughtful people — earnestly believe that they are holding fast to the Apostolic Church traditions, and that it’s the Romanists (with whom they lump the Orthodox — a grave misreading of history) who abandoned the early Church. I used to agree. But the more I read about the early Church, the less sense this view makes.