Friday, May 05, 2006

Sola Scriptura in Doctrine and Practice (Part 1)

Sola Scriptura in Doctrine and Practice (Part 1)

Sola Scripture teaches that the Bible is the final authority, in doctrine and in practice. Scripture is the final and inerrant source of all spiritual truth in doctrine and in practice. Notice that Sola Scriptura declares the Bible as the final and inerrant authoritative source in two areas:
1) Doctrine or orthodoxy, and
2) Practice or orthopraxy.
In the next five blog writings I want to do a couple of things:
a. briefly go over the fact that Sola Scriptura drives the fundamental essential orthodox doctrines which conservative Christendom believes, and
b. focus on and discuss some principles of applying the truly sufficient Sola Scriptura to all of life.

Sola Scriptura And Orthodox Doctrine – Part One

How can it be that there is so much continuity in doctrine within Christendom even with the many churches and denominations throughout history and around the globe today? How can it be that the Church holds to and contends for “the faith” in the doctrinal essentials such as:

Inspiration of Scripture,


Virgin Birth of Christ,


Death and resurrection of Christ,

The leadership and authority of the church,

Sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper,

Second coming final judgment and eternal hell and / or heaven

First, the answer starts with the fact that the Church of Christ knows that they have God’s complete word for them in the completed canon. The Church has a grasp on the canon of the Bible. They have done an excellent job answering the questions that arose from scholarly higher and textual criticism questions. They are firm and dogmatic that the canon which consists of the 39 Old Testament books and the 27 New Testament books of Holy Scripture is complete and closed therefore there is no more revelation to become Scripture. The scriptures are the word of God and are inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient. They properly quote (2Ti 3:16-17 ) “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

Second, the Church also practices proper exegesis and hermeneutical principles. These principles and rules can be very complex but in simplicity the overarching outline of how to exegete scripture is by interpreting it in its theological, historical and grammatical context. Any minor denominational differences in many cases involve differences in understanding some grammar or history and how it is understood to apply in passages of scripture. But all are in agreement in all essential doctrines of systematic theology.

Third, the Church Studies and continues to study biblical narrative and systematic theology. For example the Church understands what Christ was teaching on the Mount of Olives. They understand the Golden thread of redemption that runs throughout all of scripture. The doctrine of God, His being and character are understood from the scriptures. Man and his creation, depravity and need for redemption is clearly taught from Genesis through the last book of the canon which is the book of Revelation. Jesus’ being and work as Messiah and Redeemer is central to all of the Scripture and they testify of Him. The leadership and authority of the Church, the second coming of Christ, the final judgment and renewal of all things are also taught in the scriptures and are understood by the Church. Minor denomination differences in any of these areas come from differences and difficulties in some of the hermeneutical principals and their applications. But once again in all of this the essential basics are understood by the Church. For example Baptist, and Presbyterian and Bible churches as well as others, are in agreement in all of the essentials.

So then how can it be simply answered that that the Church holds to and contends for “the faith” in the doctrinal essentials? The simple over arching answer is this – The scriptures alone, sola scriptura, gives clear instruction and support to the Church and Her people the essentials of the faith.


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