Two major groups argue that they are the right Christian faith: The Roman Catholic Church and the Protestants. Ever since the 16th century when Martin Luther moved away from the powerful Church to begin the Protestants, there have been hundreds, if not thousands, of debates over which faith is in the right and is the one God wants for His children. But just what are the beliefs about the Bible that separate the Protestants from the Roman Catholics? What did Luther find wrong with the Church and wished to correct?
I personally grew up within an Evangelical Protestant environment. Therefore I am unfamiliar with many Roman Catholic teachings from which Protestants derive and reject information about God and His Word. I believe, however, that it is important to gain a view of what foundational beliefs we have that separate us from the Catholics, and in order to gain that perspective, understand the main teachings of the Roman Catholics and their traditions. But I am not one to take a seminary course, or any other scholarly course on this topic; I don’t have the time nor the resources necessary. Thankfully, though, I was able to obtain a copy of Sola Scriptura, a book written by major Protestant teachers on the foundations on which Protestants stand concerning the Bible. These teachers include: Joel R. Beeke, Sinclair B. Ferguson, W. Robert Godfrey, Ray Lanning, John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Derek W. H. Thomas, and James White.
The main focus of this book is to help Protestants (and Roman Catholics) understand just where we stand on the Word which consequentially shapes our beliefs. If you know a little about the Roman Catholics, they teach that in addition to the Word of God, the Church and its leaders are needed for the proper interpretation and instructing of the Bible. Protestants, however, believe that the Word alone is sufficient for finding the way to Salvation, the way to live as Christians, and receiving revelation from God. It was written in a way that an ordinary, layman believer would be able to figure out scriptural truths for himself without additional tools… though aid from the Church and leaders may help in some areas. Sola Scriptura tackles the Establishment, Authority, and Sufficiency of Scripture, as well as how it relates to tradition and also its transforming power to shape the way we live. Each teacher listed tackles a certain aspect of scripture, for example John MacArthur wrote the chapter concerning “The Sufficiency of the Written Word”. Therefore there is a somewhat unbiased view of the entire Protestant stand on the Bible, which is key when one is examining such a large topic.
I was blessed to be able to read up on why I believe what I believe concerning the Bible. I know my beliefs, but I didn’t know why I had them or how they came to be. Sola Scriptura helped clarify my perspective and strengthened my belief in the Word of God and its sufficient power in leading us to Christ. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand the basis of their beliefs and strengthening their faith in God’s Word.
In compliance to the Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I will be receiving a free copy of Sola Scriptura in exchange for this review; I have just read the PDF version.