Sola Scriptura!: The Protestant Position on the Bible by Don Kistler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Throughout Sola Scriptura the authors expound on what the authors argue is the key principle of The Reformation. The book compares and contrasts the Protestant doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture for faith and life and what the Roman Catholic Church believes regarding Scripture, Tradition, and the role of the Church in the life of Catholic faith.
Each of the articles provides a clear explanation of Sola Scriptura and why it is important. The author(s) of each of the essays also do a good job of carefully representing the Catholic position by not cherry picking the “worst” examples from the “other side” and then blasting them for being wrong.
The final chapter does a great job challenging pastors/ministers responsible for leading churches to encourage a more bibliocentric approach in the life of the Church and individual believers. Sections pointing to and calling for a more Scripture-centered, gospel-saturated pulpit ministry were particularly challenging and worthy of another reading.
At times the arguments were very dense.The comparisons between the two positions became difficult to follow and required a second reading. So, the reader should read carefully. The book is more academic on the whole, so this is less a criticism and more a point of information for those who decide to read it.
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My church will begin a study of the book of Colossians this weekend. We will be working through the book over the next several weeks (something I am looking forward to). Even though I have read the letter many times, we were all encouraged to read the letter again as a way of preparing for the messages and discussion during our LifeGroup meetings.
One of the benefits of reading a book of the bible several times in a short amount of time is the way different ideas, thoughts, and peculiarities seems to come to the forefront. One of these ideas is found in verse 3 of chapter 1. Paul is commending the church Colossae for their hospitality and kindness toward other saints. As he does so he makes this simple statement, identifying who he is giving thanks to. He writes, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
While there are many things that we could discuss about this description, the one that came to mind this time around is the relational reality of God’s connection to Jesus. Paul describes God as the Father of Jesus. Is there something that we have missed in the kind of relationship that exists between God and Jesus. We have grown so accustomed to the speaking of Jesus’ divinity we forget that while he walked upon this earth he did not relate to Jesus upon this aspect of who he was.
Jesus was a man in the full meaning and implications of what that means. To dismiss this is to negate a critically important part of who Jesus is. Even though Jesus had and has an eternal relationship with the Father, Jesus lived for himself the kind of life we can experience with the Father. When we were adopted into the family of God we were given access and permission to call God our father as well.
The apostle Paul tells us that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). This idea has captured my imagination for a couple of reason. First, there is a direct link between the Gospel and salvation. While this may appear obvious on the surface, I get the impression that many people no longer see this link. The Gospel, the good news of Jesus’ life and ministry, is essential to redemption. Without the Gospel there can be no salvation. The church has lost some of its urgency regarding this reality. Continue reading “God’s Power and the Gospel”
One of the great mysteries of the Christian faith is tied to the sacraments of the church. Depending on which church you attend there may be a variance in how many sacraments are observed and practiced. But, regardless of what church you attend two have remained central and essential to all–Communion and Baptism. I would like to talk about this second one today. Continue reading “I Felt the Waters Again”