The tradition I grew up in is not one in which I was well versed, or even partially versed, in the Solas of the Reformation. Through personal interest and study, I have come to a deeper appreciation of these theological distinctions and especially their significance in our current cultural climate.
As the general editor, Jason K. Allen writes, “The solas are not peripheral matters…they are the essence of the gospel...the solas establish our Christian life, and they chart it forward” (17). There are many peripheral matters we are skilled at debating, but these distinctions are not that. What we believe about Scripture, the road to salvation, and the purpose of salvation matters. That is what the solas describe and that is what this book seeks to recapture and remind the reader of. It really does matter what we believe.
This is ever more important today as we are surrounded by many who don’t believe in the absolute truth of the Word of God, are uncertain about their salvation, push back against the exclusive nature of salvation, and more.
As I often tried to remind the teenagers I engage with each week:
What we believe matters because what we believe changes what we do and why we do it.
If I believe salvation is the result of my goodness, it is going to cause me to work toward being more and more "good" while at the same time feeling guilty and ashamed of the "bad." But, not guilty and ashamed because of the bad; guilty and ashamed because it could cause me to lose my standing before God. However, understanding that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone changes the game, as does my understanding of all the solas.
I would encourage anyone searching, anyone uncertain, anyone looking for clarity on salvation, to pick up this book and start reading. You will be glad you did. Even if you’ve been a Christian for a while, these solas are incredibly poignant reminders about the Good News of the Gospel and how it is practically played out in our lives. This is definitely worth the time and investment.
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