“The Holy Scriptures, taken in isolation, cannot provide the word of response, because the letter kills when it is separated from the spirit, (sic) and the letter’s inner spirit is God’s word and not man’s answer.” Love Alone is Credible ( San Fancisco: Ignatius, 2004), 77.
The bible taken in the framework of sola scriptura falls because it cannot bear the weight of testifying to the love of God as is required of it The Scriptures can invite us to witness to the Life Of God’s self emptying love, but scripture is the invitation not the event itself and even then one of many invitations which work together to create our subjective response to God’s action in our behalf. Ultimately only Jesus can do this, thus the scriptures can only testify to the act of God which interprets itself to us. The cross is the apex of our understanding and begins a whole new way of thinking. It begins to reclaim the absolutism placed on anything but Christ Himself, even the law and all its commandments are secondary, even our highest dogmas are idols if they do not point to Christ Himself, either we understand this and live as such or else we have failed to do Christian theology.
The bible alone cannot teach us to recognize Christ because the inner life of scripture concerns Jesus, not our response to this event or how it should be ordered. We must receive our response from Jesus’ manifest encounter with us as living event. This event of Spirit provides us with the only appropriate response to the radiating glory we recognize when we first see God’s love in the cross, namely awe.
This event defies being constricted to any word, for in it He is the One who is not constrained. The cross is the absolute freedom of God to be for us, and it will not be bound to any word, save that name of Divine Love itself. Even the canon is suspect in the face of the radiating glory of this event, taken together with witness and our own compulsion to discern the great mystery it becomes intelligible in the Spirit, but taken in isolation the text becomes the aberration of the True Word that is Christ.