Category: Five Solas

The Five Solas: God’s Glory Alone

The Roman Catholic Church of Martin Luther’s day would have outright denied the concepts of Scripture alone and faith alone; it did not deny the concept that glory belonged to God alone. They certainly wouldn’t have suggested that God shared His glory, and yet the reality of practiced theology revealed something a bit different. What we say we believe is always revealed in how we practice our faith, and Rome’s practice did not add up to this idea of Soli Deo Gloria. The doctrine of God’s Glory Alone reminds us that biblical Christianity is not ultimately about us. There’s...

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The Five Solas: Christ Alone

“Who do people say that the Son of Man is” (Mat. 16:13)? This question remains as pertinent a one today as it was when Jesus asked it of the disciples. Historically the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformers didn’t disagree with each other on the person of Christ. Instead, Reformation Christology followed the pattern set by the early Church Fathers. The point of contrast arose, however, over the sufficiency of Christ’s work. The Reformers’ recovery of the sufficiency of Christ’s work needs to be upheld by the church today. The Early Church creeds had clarified in powerful terms the...

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The Five Solas: Faith Alone

It has been called the “main hinge upon which religion turns” (Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion. 3.11.1). The doctrine of justification by faith alone is easily the most significant issue arising from the period of the Reformation. Its significant lay in the fact that justification by faith makes the believer a passive recipient instead of an active cooperative. The Medieval understanding of justification by faith was not entirely defined, and there was no consensus on exactly how it occurred. Several common features of the period’s theology of justification, however, are important to note. Firstly, justification involved, at some...

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The Five Solas: Sola Scriptura

Everyone, it seems, is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. There’s good reason to celebrate it. The Reformation, after all, was a recovery of the gospel, which had been muddled by the traditions of men. That recovery was made possible by the reaffirmation of five key doctrines. Hailed today as the “Five Solas,” these doctrines served to point the Church afresh to the true gospel. They are the pillars of Reformation Theology. For the month of October, I intend to look at each of these five pillars and discuss their contribution to the Reformation’s start, and its...

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