What is sola Scriptura? (Pascal Denault)
This article is taken from the book Solas: the quintessence of the Christian faith by Pascal Denault
The Protestant Reformation did not come with the discovery of the sola Scriptura principle, but with the discovery of justification by faith alone (sola fide). It was a little later that the Protestants came to the inevitable conclusion of sola Scriptura. While studying the Bible, Martin Luther rediscovered that man is not justified by his good works, but only by faith in Jesus Christ… When he began to preach this Gospel, the Roman Catholic Church s is fiercely opposed, because Roman Catholic teaching was contrary. Luther, and all who agreed with him, were left with a dilemma: either the Roman Catholic Church is right or the Bible is right, but both cannot be right. Here is what Luther replied to ecclesiastical and civil authorities who urged him to retract and return to the teaching of Rome:
Since Your Imperial Majesty and Your Lordships ask me for a clear answer, I will give it to you hornless and toothless. No! If I am not convinced by the testimonies of Scripture or by decisive reasons, for I do not believe in either the Pope or the councils alone, since it is as clear as the day that they have often erred and that they contradicted each other. I am dominated by the Holy Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is bound by the Word of God. I cannot and do not want to retract anything because it is dangerous to act against your own conscience. Here I am, I cannot otherwise. May God help me!
Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is the Word of God and that it is the only standard of faith and of the Church. The Protestant position might seem like a step forward or a novelty in Church history, but as Keith Mathison writes, it was a return to the position of the apostles and early Christians until the Middle Ages. age.
Men like Martin Luther and John Calvin did not create a new doctrine when they fought against the tyranny and apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church by establishing the sola Scriptura. In fact, the reformers called on the Church to go back to her previous teaching, to return to the view that there is only one source of revelation.
This thought is clearly found in the evangelical movement which was born in Great Britain in the 17 th century and from which many evangelical churches have sprung up today. hui. This is how they expressed it in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, which to this day remains a masterpiece among Christian creeds: “Sacred Scripture is the only sufficient, certain and infallible rule of all knowledge. who saves, of faith and obedience… thus, Holy Scripture is indispensable ”. From this principle, a church that desires to be faithful to God must necessarily be centered on the Word of God. This is what we call the centrality of the scriptures.