“Sola Scriptura” In The Strange Land Of Evangelicalism: The Peculiar But Necessary Responsibility Of Defending “Sola Scriptura” Against Our Own Kind -- By: Matthew Barrett

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 19:4 (Winter 2015)
Article: “Sola Scriptura” In The Strange Land Of Evangelicalism: The Peculiar But Necessary Responsibility Of Defending “Sola Scriptura” Against Our Own Kind
Author: Matthew Barrett


“Sola Scriptura” In The Strange Land Of Evangelicalism: The Peculiar But Necessary Responsibility Of Defending “Sola Scriptura” Against Our Own Kind

Matthew Barrett

Matthew Barrett is Tutor of Systematic Theology and Church History at Oak Hill Theological College in London, England. He earned his Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author and editor of several books, including God’s Word Alone: What the Reformers Taught and Why it Still Matters (Zondervan, 2016), Owen on the Christian Life: Living for the Glory of God in Christ (with Michael Haykin, Crossway, 2015), Four Views on the Historical Adam (co-editor with A. B. Caneday, Zondervan, 2013), and Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration (P&R, 2013). He is the series editor of The 5 Solas Series with Zondervan, as well as the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine.

“Scripture alone is the true lord and master of all writings and doctrine on earth. If that is not granted, what is Scripture good for? The more we reject it, the more we become satisfied with men’s books and human teachers.” —Martin Luther

“I approve only of those human institutions which are founded upon the authority of God and derived from Scripture.” —John Calvin

Sola Scriptura “is the corner-stone of universal Protestantism; and on it Protestantism stands, or else it falls.” —B. B. Warfield

Introduction

“So what if everything in the Bible isn’t true and reliable or from God. That doesn’t really matter, does it? The Bible still remains an authority in my life.” Though it has been years now, I remember hearing these words like it was yesterday. I had no idea what to say in response.1

I was shocked because I was hearing these words from a church-going, Bible-carrying, evangelical Christian. This person saw no relation between the truthfulness of Scripture and the authority of Scripture, as if one had nothing to do with the other.

In that moment I realized two things. First, that the Reformation doctrine of sola scriptura is just as important today as it was in the sixteenth-century. In the sixteenth-century the Reformers faced off against Rome because the Roman church had elevated tradition and its magisterium to the level of Scripture. Nevertheless, Rome still believed Scripture itself was inspired by God and therefore inerrant, that is, trustworthy, true, and without error.2

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