And if you’re allowed to ignore or explain away any other scripture which contradicts you.
Because if you insert the word “only” into a scripture, it can become the sole criterion for something to be true; the singular condition upon which a logical progression can be made.
And the genius of legalistic Christian thought is that the word “only” doesn’t even have to be expressed as part of a verse being quoted or a logical constructed being built … it’s assumed.
All thanks to the doctrine of the silence of scripture: Anything not expressly commanded is implicitly condemned.
Want to exclude the active, current, present role of the Holy Spirit in faith? Quote Romans 10:17:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Because the verse is silent on any other way by which faith comes, there is no other way. Faith only comes by hearing. (Of course, you have to ignore or explain away 1 Corinthians 12:9 and Ephesians 2:8, but those are relatively minor inconveniences.)
The problem, of course, is that the word “only” isn’t there.
And most legalistic Christians would be quick to point out the condemnation attached to this passage:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. ~ Revelation 22:18-19
“Faith comes only by hearing” is just one example of “the missing only” fallacy. I’ll bet you folks have encountered lots of others.
Share a few!