Well, here are my ramblings...they are not as complete or organized yet so bear with me and be ready for some upcoming posts.
Note: Here I will just give a brief recap of why I think Sola Scriptura is the best option. I will do this given the assumptions of both systems about apostolic authority and God’s active involvement in human history to give us what we need to know for our faith and growth in Him.
In the very beginning, oral tradition was extremely beneficial and acceptable for an oral culture because 1) There was a smaller group and the information did not circulate to nearly as many churches as it did later. 2) The apostles were still alive to correct misconceptions- and they did. 3) The information was fairly fresh since it was closer to the event.
Later, written tradition became necessary because 1) Over time, memory fails and in this case, the message was passed on to many different areas, cultures and people. 2) With written tradition, there was less room for corruption. 3) The apostles and eye witnesses were dieing and would soon no longer be around to correct misconceptions.
So, why do I think Scripture should be our final authority? I am committed to the idea that the closer one is to the source, the better. In the case of the writings of the apostles and ones closely connected to them, that is as close to the source as we can get. Since we no longer have the apostles here with us, it seems sensible to look towards their writings as our authority.
Further, we can trace these writings in the manuscript tradition and see little mistakes down the line. These mistakes came about even in the possession of the church, but we are able to look back down the line and isolate where the mistakes arose and make the necessary corrections. We have a document that is around 99% reliable. We can not say the same for the EO's particular oral tradition.
Note: This is only in regards to interpreting written tradition
Given that we both accept apostolic authority as from God to the apostles, we must now consider our reasons for thinking there is an added step. I say added because, approaching Scripture from a view of Church infallibility does not stop at saying “Scripture is infallible since it came from an apostle” (our view of infallibility is all based on apostolic authority and written tradition is not the thing in question). People advocating this view go a step further and claim that in addition to the very words of the apostles, the infallibility of the Church is needed to properly interpret the infallible documents.
Why add a step either way? Why need writings when the Church can direct us in the right way? Why need the infallibility of the Church if the inspired writers wrote with the set intention of making the mystery of God’s love known to us? Or wrote in the hopes of clearing up misunderstandings. This is not to say all details will be grasped- just as Church interpretations are not fully grasped by individual’s within the existing “infallible Church.” One must also wonder how conducive this view is to the exposure of errors within it’s system.
Also, how could one committed to the necessity of the Church’s interpretations recognize there is any inconsistency between Scripture and the views of the Church? After all, those exposing such inconsistencies or contradictions are heretical- protestants or ones living in rebellion to the one true apostolic Church. Church interpretations are correct and no matter what contextual or hermeneutical evidence is put forward, the interpretation stands.
Addition and Subtraction
The charges of possible missing books, conspiracies and added books are not only problems advocates of Scripture Alone are subject to. As far as the danger of tainting God’s sacred word goes, both of our systems are liable to the warning. The Protestant may be guilty of taking away from the canon and the “Holy Orthodox” Church of adding to it- just as those preaching circumcision among the Gentiles added to the grace of God.
"I, who advocate Scripture Alone claim that God, in His wisdom and foreknowledge, preserved His crucial message and has directed the canon process."
One could charge that there is no guarantee of such a thing without the infallibility of the Church to ensure a reliable canon. To this I could easily say: “Oh, but God is all powerful and in His goodness preserved this source of His infallible truth.” A person might dislike this answer. However, in response I could just as easily point out that there is no guarantee when it comes to the infallibility of the Church either, to which the person might respond, “Oh, but God is all powerful and in His goodness preserved this source of His infallible truth through the infallibility of the Church.” The problem remains and cuts both ways.
It seems that maybe we ought to look for practical and in some areas- material indications that something ought to be in our canon (given we both take the apostles to have spoken infallibly). I have given my reasons for believing Scripture alone is the best route to take. Now I need reasons to believe in the infallibility of the Church. Merely appealing to the desired goal will not cut it.
Are either or both systems in the wrong on some issues? Possibly, and even on matters apart from the content of the canon. In comparing the two systems, I propose those approaching this matter spend time in prayer before looking to see if: 1)there is any indication that the Church is infallible, 2) the nature of this infallibility or 3) If in the absence of Church infallibility one must necessarily leave either system for the other.