Way back in 2012, Jason Stellman said,
….As I began to take the Church’s claims seriously, however, I started to discover more and more passages in the New Testament that failed to fit the Reformed paradigm well. Now, I want to be clear about something here: I am not saying that there were NT passages that I would read as a Protestant and think, “I don’t believe this” or “I have no idea how to fit this into my existing theology.” Indeed, I believed all the NT had to say, and I could explain each passage in the light of my larger theological paradigm.
But this isn’t really the issue. After all, any Bible-believing Christian can make any verse fit into his theology, that’s easy. For example, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Catholics all have differing positions on what baptism accomplishes, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can all read Romans 6 or Acts 2 and say, “I believe those words and can fit them into my system” (despite the fact that their respective systems are incompatible with each other).
The thing we have to remember is that the earliest Christians didn’t figure out what baptism accomplishes by consulting verses like “As many as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death” or “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins,” since the Church existed long before those words were penned and then recognized as canonical. No, the early Church had an apostolic doctrine of baptism that gave rise to, rather than being the result of, the relevant NT texts.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
Jesus Christ did not write the New Testament. Jesus Christ established a Church and taught that Church His Doctrines. He, then commanded that Church to continue Teaching His Doctrines to the whole world until the end of time.
The Church wrote the New Testament based upon those Doctrines which the Apostles learned from Jesus Christ. Those Doctrines are we call Sacred Tradition. Those Doctrines gave rise to the New Testament Scriptures.
83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus’ teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.
Can I get an, “Amen!”