In a combox comment below, Pastor Weedon said:
The Lutheran Church is a community of faith, as also the Roman Church is. The difference between the two communities has to do, above all, with their approach to the Sacred Scriptures and whether these Scriptures are sufficient for the establishment of the Church’s dogma and to govern her practice.
The question that needs to be asked is this: Regardless of whether the Scriptures are held to be all-sufficient or not, is it possible that in the Christian community (or in any particular Christian community) the Sacred Scriptures themselves are able to “establish the Church’s dogma and govern her practice”?
Tell me, when did a book–even a book filled to the gills with the Word of God as surely the Scriptures are–ever, on its own, establish beliefs or govern practices?
It always has been and always will be the people who have the power/authority in any given community who do the establishing and the governing. This may or may not be done on the basis of what they read in the Scriptures.
And, in my experience, what one reads in a book depends to a very great degree on what is already in your head when you read it. In this respect, I cannot see that either Lutherans or Catholics differ one jot.
Imagine two Christian communities setting out separately to “establish and govern” according to purely “Scriptural” principles apart from any human tradition.
I can absolutely guarentee you that these two communities would, probably sooner rather than later, emerge as quite different in their character. And that in fact they would probably each denounce the other as being “unscriptural”.
So it comes back to the guys (or girls) with the power. In the Church there must be people who have Christ’s own authority to “establish and govern”. Because although the Scriptures must always be their inspiration, their guide and their rule, the Scriptures will never do their job for them.