21centkid

"21st century kid, you're surrounded by illusion and confusion, So maybe if you're holding out for the truth now. Could it be the greatest weapon?"
-Jamie Cullum
#party in the #sun  (Taken with instagram)

#party in the #sun (Taken with instagram)

This is where #dinner always ends up. #babies (Taken with instagram)

This is where #dinner always ends up. #babies (Taken with instagram)

From earlier today, I’m pretty sure I was saying “get back here!” (Taken with instagram)

From earlier today, I’m pretty sure I was saying “get back here!” (Taken with instagram)

And…. he’s out #sleep (Taken with instagram)

And…. he’s out #sleep (Taken with instagram)

Teething makes a sleepless delirious baby that uses pacifiers as picks. #baby (Taken with instagram)

Teething makes a sleepless delirious baby that uses pacifiers as picks. #baby (Taken with instagram)

Exploring Historic Doctrine With Tony Jones, Part 4a

As we saw previously in this review was that Tony feels deeply that the beginning of any reading of the Bible starts with our own worldview. We can’t “begin with the Bible,” rather we have to start with some introspection of our past and move towards reading the Bible and determining what it means to us. Following that short discussion in his book he then speaks on how he views one of the Five Solas of the Reformation, Sola Sciptura:

"Does this mean that I reject the Lutheran formula of sola scriptura? Well, insofar as sola scriptura is naïve to everyone’s interpretive biases, yes. I don’t think I can actually rely on scripture alone. I am always also reliant upon my own reason to interpret and apply scriptural truth."

At this point I think Tony may not have a good grasp of how Sola Scriptura is used and how it functions. Sola Scriptura doesn’t deny interpretive biases, but rather it calls our interpretive biases to face the Bible as it is and diligently trying to not read into it. Nobody denies that our own reason is integral in our reading of the Bible. However the aim of the Christian is to be mastered by what the Bible says and not our own reasoning. The purpose for the emphasis on the Bible as the Christian’s sole authority arose to battle with the Roman Catholic view of the Bible during the Reformation (which is the view they still hold today). That the authorities within the Roman church are as equally authoritative as the Bible itself. We see where that has gotten them.

The early Protestants saw the Roman view as abusive and wrong. When Martin Luther finally got his hands on a Bible, the God that he had come to believe in was not in it. The rest is history. This can only happen with a view of the Bible as the Christian’s sole authority. The odds were stacked against Luther. Many men that he revered did not see the Bible as the ultimate authority. Luther had every reason to bend under the pressure of his superiors and recant what he had found in the Bible. Yet he believed without a doubt that the Bible must be authoritative over every Christian and every Christian church.

The moral of the story here is that Rome had decided to view their reasoning to be equal with scripture itself. So, Sola Scriptura entirely supports interpreting scripture with your own reason. It doesn’t neglect our reasoning. It calls us to embrace it and try to have it mastered by the scriptures. If the early Protestants hadn’t fought and died for this then we probably wouldn’t have half as much access to the Bible as we currently do. God’s word in the hands of the people is a far better setup than in the hands of any government church who has the power to persecute anybody who differs with their interpretation.

So when it comes to application and interpretation, our default should be to line up our reasoning with the reasoning that comes from the scriptures themselves.

Along with the preceding quote there was a footnote to further explain his view on Sola Scriptura. It asked some questions that I would like to try and answer:

"Just a question here: Doesn’t sola mean “alone”? As in, all-by-itself-with-nothing-else? How, then, can there be five solas? Is that not logically incoherent?"


Unfortunately this footnote is furthering my feeling that Tony hasn’t done a lot of work on the Reformation and the doctrines that arose from it. Of course sola means alone. The reasoning behind the 5 solas of the Reformation was to counteract various doctrines put forward by the Roman Catholic Church. Each of the solas are intertwined with the others. I’ll give a brief explanation to try and summarize them and how they fit together.

  1. Sola Scriptura - Scripture alone is what is authoritative as a source on Christian teaching, not councils or various traditions that are outside of scripture.
  2. Solus Christus - Christ alone is our only means to knowing God. Christ alone, not our works or the works of past believers (saints etc…)
  3. Sola Gratia - Grace alone is the only way we can be saved by God. Not of our own works or various rituals we have to keep up with.
  4. Sola Fide - Faith alone is necessary for salvation. Not faith and works intermingling to earn us salvation.
  5. Soli Deo Gloria - To the glory of God alone. Not to our own glory or other human’s glory.

All of these solas simplify the Biblical message, which put in sequence usually looks like this:

"According to the Scriptures, Christ’s work alone saves us solely by God’s grace given to us through faith alone to the glory of God alone."

Mostly the solas intertwine to emphasize God’s grace and glory. They were an attempt to reign in all of the spurious extra-biblical/unbiblical doctrines that were peddled to sway people into throwing all of their money at the Roman Catholic Church.

In conclusion, it is appropriate and not illogical to have 5 Solas which characterize a view. If the reformers only decided on one sola, then that one sola would need a whole lot of clarification to synthesize all of the others into it.


Iain’s specialty is the lap uke (Taken with instagram)

Iain’s specialty is the lap uke (Taken with instagram)

I was outside and saw lil man up. Everyone meet sleepwalking Iain, he’s the sweetest kid ever  (Taken with instagram)

I was outside and saw lil man up. Everyone meet sleepwalking Iain, he’s the sweetest kid ever (Taken with instagram)

Our seats were really close. That’s why we tolerated 40 degrees in April? (Taken with instagram)

Our seats were really close. That’s why we tolerated 40 degrees in April? (Taken with instagram)

Amos Lee… (Taken with instagram)

Amos Lee… (Taken with instagram)