A Beneficial Discussion of Sola Scriptura

As promised, I will attempt to discuss Sola Scriptura today. It will not be in any way exhaustive. Primarily I want to point you toward a very helpful sermon/podcast/Q&A between Phil Johnson and Pastor John MacArthur on the subject.

I have the Grace to You app on my Droid and being able to listen to expository sermons whenever I want is pretty great. Two days ago I listened to this one: Sola Scriptura: What it Means and Why it Matters. You can listen to it online or download it, so definitely check it out.

I’m just going to highlight a few of the major points from that discussion and leave you to listen to it for yourself. Also, if anyone would like to suggest more in depth reading on the topic please leave that in the comments!

Sola Scriptura or the Scriptures alone, was the 1st principle of the Protestant Reformation. It was a reaction by the reformers against the Catholic model of Scripture + tradition.

Phil Johnson summed it up nicely saying that it means “all truth that is necessary for salvation and godliness is in Scripture either explicitly or implicitly.” The argument that extends naturally from the principle of Sola Scriptura is the idea that the Bible is also sufficient for believers in matters of faith. Obviously, the Bible is not an exhaustive treatment of all things (it isn’t a science book, or a math book or even a world history book). But it contains all we need to know to hear the gospel, to be saved, and to continue in our relationship with Jesus after we are saved.

Pastor MacArthur cited a number of passages including Jude, John 14-16, 2 Timothy 3, and Revelation 22 as passages that defend the concept of biblical sufficiency.

As I pointed out yesterday and many times before, the rejection of Sola Scriptura and of the sufficiency of Scripture is rampant among Christianity right now and I think it presents very real dangers to the faith. I hope you will listen to the podcast, whether you agree or disagree.

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4 Responses to A Beneficial Discussion of Sola Scriptura

  1. julie says:

    Great post and link. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Before we had Blackaby and Beth Moore, et al we had the loss of sola scriptura. we have had the so-called christian psychologists and teachers who blended biblical truth with man’s ideas and then brought it into the church. The slide has continued to this day and now “Christians” do not even understand what you are talking about when you mention sola scriptura or the concept behind it. They seemingly cannot grasp the concept that God has spoken to us finally in His word and that it is sufficient and fully trustworthy. We do not need “another word.” Add to this ignorance an ignorance of church history in general and that explains the weakened state of the church today and its vulnerability to false teachings. Even those of us who understand and believe in sola scriptura have to be careful not to be influenced by those who do not hold to it, or be confused by their ideas. We must never think that others have something that we don’t and we need what they have! We have our Bibles. And we need to treasure the scriptures more, read them more, study them, meditate upon them, memorize them and encourage one another daily from the scriptures. One thing I like to do is collect small bibles. May even be just the New Testament and Psalms. I keep one with me in the car or wherever I go and that way I can read anytime – when I am waiting at the doc office, the drive-thru window, etc. You can often read a whole short New Testament book or a Psalm while you wait.

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  3. Kevin Daniel says:

    I do understand the Sola Scriptura concept, and why it’s important to many people. The downside to any Christian concept like this is that it advocates the “us vs. them” mentality within the Body, which is dangerous. Sometimes, it’s okay to disagree. Some people believe that God said everything He was meant to say in scripture; other people believe this mindset puts God in a box, or book. At the end of the day, should we really be kicking each other out of church over this?

    Personally, I believe Sola Scriptura is an unnecessary man made perspective. I understand the appeal, but it’s dangerous to advocate a mindset which causes us to believe our translations are “Sola Translatura.” In better words, this mindset causes us to view the translations of material as important as the material itself. Make any sense?

    (I’m really not smart enough to lead an argument for/against, these are just my thoughts. I hope you find them well).

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