I'm not a Catholic, but I hear many Christians say Catholics (most, not all, depending on their specific beliefs) are not really Christian, and that they go to hell. I really don't have a big opinion on the matter though.
Any opinions on this?
"Tradition" never saved a soul. "First" and "truth" are not the same thing. It ain't a race. So, argue over tradition and first-across-the-finish-line to your heart's contentment. Makes no difference to me.
God acts in ways neither of us will understand this side of death. Of that I am confident. Don't pretend to know whether I'm saved. "Judge not" is overused by know-nothings ... but that's its actual meaning.
We're judged individually -- not by denomination.
How can you separate doctrine and tradition from the criteria of salvation? How did you learn about salvation at all?
If there is an ultimate divine source of these denominations... it seems quite important which one has the correct criteria. It seems reckless to say you are confident that you will never understand God's ways (alive). I find it very hard to believe that you have no doctrinal foundation for your views about salvation.
How do you otherwise know if you're "saved" without doctrine, text, history, theology?
Without this very discussion?
Who said anything about doctrine? Doctrine and tradition aren't the same thing.
How did you learn the criteria of salvation if not through doctrine, tradition, theology, history...?
I never said the path to Salvation wasn't learned through doctrine. Not sure where you're pulling that from. Doctrine matters.
Not tradition, though -- except insofar as Biblical doctrine itself is considered "traditional". Extra-Biblical traditions and rituals aren't relevant to Salvation ... most are fine, I guess, they're just peripheral, at best. That's ultimately why I'm not Catholic. There's a lot of extra stuff there that I don't buy.
Theology, kind of. I'd regard that as the study of doctrine, not doctrine itself. I suppose theology contributes to your understanding of doctrine ... but doctrine itself is the point.
"History" is too broad. History of what?
I mean the history of the church, which is inseparable from traditions and doctrines, less so theology, perhaps.
I'm just saying that you seem to discount doctrine as itself a part of tradition. Any information you might have about salvation is through that medium, as far as I can tell, yet you seem to be saying that tradition has no bearing on salvation, or that one cannot know if one is saved or not until after death.
What are the criteria for salvation, and how do you know those criteria are of sound doctrine? The question you seem to dismiss is that which is the topic of discussion.
Unless you learned of salvation by other means, I'd say the question demands a substantive answer.
Like I said, doctrine and tradition aren't the same thing (to which you replied "I know"). Doctrine matters. Tradition doesn't. I clarified to add that tradition is irrelevant "to the extent essential Biblical doctrine isn't considered 'tradition'."
I never said one can't know of one's own Salvation before death ... I said one can't, and shouldn't, presume to judge somebody else's. I cautioned somebody else about pretending to know my Salvation. I didn't claim ignorance of my own.
There are essential doctrines of Christianity which are required for Salvation ... one God, fallen mankind, virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the humanity of Christ, crucifixion and bodily resurrection, Salvation by faith/Grace, substitution, Christ as the only way, second coming, and genuine belief in the message of the Gospel, etc. (I think I got them all ... included the "etc" just in case).
If you believe that, you're a Christian. If not, you aren't. Denomination doesn't matter unless it deviates from that (most mainstream Christian denominations don't, as far as I'm aware). Minor interdenominational doctrinal differences, aside from any essentials, are largely academic. They're not critical to Salvation ... though knowing and ignoring certainly can certainly evince lack of belief in the essentials.
We know it is sound doctrine because it is Biblically verifiable. Not because of tradition (again, except insofar as you consider belief in those essentials of Christianity "tradition").
Without getting too picky, is the importance of tradition (and what tradition is) itself a doctrinal issue?
To some extent. But, it isn't a doctrinal issue with bearing on Salvation. Denominational difference, not one of the essentials.
The Biblical text you read is itself tradition bound (canonical). There is a difference between the ideas of tradition and doctrine, but I would posit that all doctrine falls under the category of tradition by virtue of the canons.
Or one could say:
All (Biblical) doctrine is tradition, but not all tradition is (Biblical) doctrine.
Whether or not you limit the doctrines to those accepted by all denominational branches of Christianity, there still remains a history of tradition that determine those doctrines.
The question therefore is one of the reliability of the canon. Biblical verifiability in itself is not a guarantee of the true doctrine of salvation, as it depends on tradition.
Notwithstanding the salvation of others, how does one know of one's own salvation apart from depending on traditional, canonical text?
And just for clarification: I'm assuming that being a true Christian (believing what you described as true doctrine) is synonymous with salvation. ?
Like I said ... twice ... "except insofar as Biblical doctrine itself is considered 'tradition.'" I don't see the use in parsing it to death. Call it whatever you want. Either way, its significance is derived from the doctrine, not the tradition.
The need for parsing it to death is to clarify why salvation doctrine (or anything else Biblically verifiable) should be considered reliable when it is canonical tradition that brought it to you. It would seem that salvation is as arbitrary as any extra-Biblical ritual you might dismiss, the only difference being that salvation doctrine was written down, traditionally.
Is a tradition of text a mark of truth while a tradition of ritual to be dismissed? How does one know which traditions God has ordained? Which doctrine? Whether or not he is saved, and indeed if salvation is something to be had in the first place?