5 Solas of the Reformation (Sola Scriptura)

The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, a group of theologians from several backgrounds and denominations, in 1996 came together to discuss the historic Protestant faith.   At this meeting the Cambridge Declaration was written.  In this document the 5 Solas of the Reformation were reaffirmed.  I thought they would be worth posting here and would welcome any comments.  Should we be just as committed to these principles as the Reformers?  

“Sola Scriptura: The Erosion of Authority

Scripture alone is the inerrant rule of the church’s life, but the evangelical church today has separated Scripture from its authoritative function. In practice, the church is guided, far too often, by the culture. Therapeutic technique, marketing strategies, and the beat of the entertainment world often have far more to say about what the church wants, how it functions and what it offers, than does the Word of God. Pastors have neglected their rightful oversight of worship, including the doctrinal content of the music. As biblical authority has been abandoned in practice, as its truths have faded from Christian consciousness, and as its doctrines have lost their saliency, the church has been increasingly emptied of its integrity, moral authority and direction.

Rather than adapting Christian faith to satisfy the felt needs of consumers, we must proclaim the law as the only measure of true righteousness and the gospel as the only announcement of saving truth. Biblical truth is indispensable to the church’s understanding, nurture and discipline.

Scripture must take us beyond our perceived needs to our real needs and liberate us from seeing ourselves through the seductive images, cliches, promises and priorities of mass culture. It is only in the light of God’s truth that we understand ourselves aright and see God’s provision for our need. The Bible, therefore, must be taught and preached in the church. Sermons must be expositions of the Bible and its teachings, not expressions of the preacher’s opinions or the ideas of the age. We must settle for nothing less than what God has given.

The work of the Holy Spirit in personal experience cannot be disengaged from Scripture. The Spirit does not speak in ways that are independent of Scripture. Apart from Scripture we would never have known of God’s grace in Christ. The biblical Word, rather than spiritual experience, is the test of truth.

Thesis One: Sola Scriptura
We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation,which alone can bind the conscience. The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured.
We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.”

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2 Responses

  1. OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH- this is a hard one.

    Yes, absolutely we need Scripture- teaching and preaching on Scripture and not bending to what culture says.

    I do however place alot of weight on the others too- experinece, reason and tradiiton….

    I also think we are losing our Christian language in society and hear alot of mission movements saying we have to to be something people will listen too- i’m not so sure.

    The parables in Scripture are relevant and will speak to peole as they are- they are still being played out today…

    Are you talking about supporting multi faith dialogue or not?

    Are you talking about pluralism?

    I am a Methodist pre- ordinand with a ‘wild background’ I found salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.

    I beleive in the true marks of the church. Scripture, sacramnts, prayer,

    Lets talk more…

  2. This is an interesting one: “We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian’s conscience” — it makes it self-contradictory..!
    And, I think if you limit the Holy Spirit to not being able to speak independently of the Bible, than you’re placing the Bible above God.

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