Last week we kicked off our study on the doctrines of the Reformation with the topic of Sola Scriptura, or Scripture Alone. We saw that as humans we all appeal to an ultimate authority for our understanding of what truth is, therefore our task is to make sure we are appealing to the correct authority! Some of the different authorities Christians submit to include:
The Roman Catholic Church has historically appealed to their institutional authority as the ultimate arbiter of truth, while modern evangelicals have often wrongly interpreted Sola Scriptura to be a license for individual autonomy (Often seen with the refrain, “Me and my Bible is all I need.”), totally void of any reliance on tradition or the historic Christian creeds. These differing approaches have left such a wide chasm that many in our day are now feeling the pull of hopeless agnosticism.
Contrary to these three approaches is the Reformation principle of Sola Scriptura, which can be defined the belief that:
The Bible alone is our authority (not Institutional Authority), we study it in the context of community and historic orthodoxy (not Individual Autonomy) where we find truth (not Hopeless Agnosticism).
Out of this doctrine four principles regarding Scripture can further be affirmed, leading us to say, Scripture is:
One of the great treasures of the Protestant Reformation was its emphasis on Scripture and the fact that it led to the translation and propagation of the Word of God into many different languages. With this being the case, may we be a people who study God’s Word, look to it as our authority, and share the Good News it communicates with all those we meet!