4/27/2010

The Five Solas

4/27/2010 Posted by Sheldon Clowdus , , 1 comment
With all the furor (primarily raised between the camps of John Piper and N.T. Wright) raised recently over the doctrine of justification I decided to spend some time here examining the foundational elements of protestantism known as the five solas.  Here is how Wikipedia introduces the five solas in its article:

The Five solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English. The five solas articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. All five of the "solas" implicitly reject or counter the then prevailing status quo, the Catholic Church, which had, in the various reformers' minds, usurped divine attributes or qualities for the church, its hierarchy, and especially, its head, the Pope.

So when I say "foundational elements of protestantism" I am not necessarily referring to what all branches of protestant churches would confirm today but to what the actual reformers believed were the most important issues of doctrine facing the church of their day.  They believed the Roman Catholic Church had perverted these doctrines and felt it was important enough to break away from the church to get back to biblical truth.

The five solas are:


  • Sola scriptura - by scripture alone
  • Sola fide - by faith alone
  • Solus Christus -  Christ alone
  • Sola gratia - by grace alone
  • Soli Deo gloria - glory to God alone




The plan is to take each of these principles, one at a time, examine them from a biblical standpoint.  Do they hold up as true?  If so, are they worth fighting for?  Are they really foundational elements of our faith?  If so, what do we do with those who do not hold to the same beliefs as those expressed in the solas?

I look forward to deepening my understanding of these doctrines and hope you will join me as I learn.

1 comment:

  1. I'd be interested in how you defend Sola Scriptura from the Bible. I recently posted an article on why I think Scripture does not support that doctrine:

    http://catholicnick.blogspot.com/2010/04/sola-scriptura-is-unscriptural.html

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