One thing I wanted to comment on that came up in the discussion between Greg and Frank Beckwith on the radio show yesterday is the fixing of the canon of Scripture. It's a common question, one that comes up from many quarters, not only within the Roman Catholic issue. It's something challenged by Da Vinci Code-types, too. And it's a common question of many people.
The canon of Scripture wasn't a real point of ambiguity even though it was not formally fixed for a few centuries, and then only because what was commonly held was challenged by some. The general agreement prior to that made a formal statement unnecessary. That's been the pattern throughout church history. Some things just aren't officially stated until it's under challenge. That's not to be mistaken for lack of a clear position prior to the formal statement. (That's not what Frank was saying yesterday; this is just a common misunderstanding by others who challenge the canon that is applicable here. And Frank often comments on our blog so he may have more to say on this himself in the comments section.)
F.F. Bruce explains well in his book The Canon of Scripture that the books of the New Testament were accepted quite early based on apostolic authority. The practices of the early church, how they used these books in church services and to get authoritative teaching, demonstrate that there was an early consensus about the canon. Other writings were sometimes used as sources of devotional teaching or encouragement, but the practice of the church elevated the books later formalized as the canon very early. It wasn't a decision that was left for centuries; it was only left to make official what was practiced. The sorting out of canonical Scripture from other writings was done very early and these books were used by the church as Scripture on par with the Old Testament books as God's Word.
Now where I disagree with what I understood Frank to be saying yesterday (and if I misunderstood him, he can correct me below), and what Roman Catholics often say, is that the Roman Catholic church decided the canon of Scripture. Consequently, the Bible gets its authority from Rome. And it has singular authority to interpret it. But that formal decision was more an affirmation of a more organic decision making process, a recognition process really, that happened early on based on tracing the authorship and teaching back to apostolic origin, those who received the teaching from Jesus directly or from an eyewitness. That authorship, that connection to Jesus is what give the books authority, not a decision by a Roman Catholic council. The church early on recognized that fact and formalized it later on when it was necessary.