Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I like this T-shirt (regardless of the fact that I have no idea who is wearing it) because it describes almost all of us.

I imagine that most of the people reading this blog would agree with the Reformation cry, "Sola Scriptura." If you don't agree with it, then you at least would most likely say that the bible is authoritative in our Christian beliefs and practice.

The reality for the majority of us is that we don't really live by sola scriptura. Instead, we pick and choose what sections of the bible to live by. In my experience, it is relatively easy to hold to sola scriptura in what we believe about God (for example, His attributes). It is also easy to live according to sola scriptura in what we believe about the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Where it is more difficult to hold to sola scriptura is in how we live our lives on a daily basis. As an example, my life does not live up to sola scriptura when it comes to praying without ceasing, weeping with those who weep, loving my enemies, and visiting orphans and widows.

I'm not suggesting that sola scriptura means perfection. Rather, I'm suggesting that when we say we hold to sola scriptura, our lives should bear this out. If we dare to take a clear look at our lives, we will see that we don't really believe this.

Another way we don't hold to sola scriptura is in how we live out being the church. I have come under increasing conviction of this of late. The bible provides us with a clear model for church life. We see followers of Jesus living in community with one another, sharing with and caring for one another. We see them gather for participatory church meetings. We see the goal of their gatherings as edification of the body. We see them joyfully partake of the Lord's Supper as a full meal. We see them praying for boldness to share the gospel.

Is this what our churches look like?

We all have far to go if we really want to be able to say and mean sola scriptura. Speaking for myself, I feel like the journey has just begun.


Aussie John said...


Amazing! Was sitting at my desk this morning thinking about this very subject.

Sola Scriptura! But we reserve the right to discard that which doesn't fit our theology, philosophy, or personal ambitions.

Eric said...


We far too often believe what we want to believe. We are happy when the bible fits our desires.

Zach said...

I have a hard time with the premise of sola scriptura... I do truly believe Scripture is authorizatitive, but many in reformed circles see Scripture as the end, not the means. I am unable to go that far. The Lord said that He was going to send His Spirit to lead us into all truth. All truth is in Jesus, of whom the Spirit was sent to testify of (Eph. 4:21). The Bible is most precious, but it was never meant to take the place of the Lord Himself. Knowing the book of the Lord is not our goal; our goal is to know the Lord of the book. I believe this truth was initially very helpful for the Church, but as it has happened many times in Church history, this spiritual truth has become the focal point, when Jesus should be all along.

"(4)Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. (5)Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,(6)who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."
2 Corinthians 3:4-6

God Bless.

Eric said...


Thank you for commenting.

If "sola scriptura" means that someone is focused on scripture to the exclusion of Christ, then that is a serious problem. If, however, "sola scriptura" means that scripture is authoritative, then that is good.

I think the point of the Reformers, with which I agree, is that God has spoken to us through His word. The Holy Spirit illuminates us to understand His word. When we drift from the bible, almost any belief is open for debate.

So, I hold to sola scriptura for authority. However, I don't worship the bible.

Zach said...

I was not implying that you do worship the Bible. Please do not misundertand. I do think that there have been some any various movements, while not intentionally doing so, have end up placing the Bible, or certain spiritual truths, in a place where only Jesus should be. Jesus is the sum of all spiritual truth.

I also agree with you. I have just begun. And have far to go. But He with us at all times. He is patient. And for that, I am thankful!

God Bless.

I do agree with your sentiment that 'it is more difficult to hold to sola scriptura is in how we live our lives on a daily basis.' My original intent of commenting, which I did not accomplish well at all, was that our goal is not live better lives but to have Christ formed in us. By abiding in Him. His life will flow out.

The crux of your original post, I believe, is live out sola scriptura, as people say they are adhering to.

Eric said...


Thanks for clarifying. Thanks also for your openness. We all, myself included, have far to go. Thank God for His amazing grace.

Zach said...

By the way, I apologize for unclear sentence structure. When I was writing my most recent comment, I was in a bit of rush, and the fruit of that is easily seen in how ugly my thought structure was laid out in type. Good times!

Anyway. Have a great day!