As early Christianity transitioned into the state religion of the Roman Empire, simple, personal faith in Jesus Christ devolved into religious legalism administered by an increasingly powerful and autocratic church hierarchy with their ever-expanding catalog of traditions, rules, and rituals.
Through the inspiration of God’s Word and the working of the Holy Spirit the 16th-century Reformers sought to return the church back to the simple faith and practices found in the New Testament. The biblical principles that galvanized them and that were subsequently anathematized at Trent later became known as the Five Solas:
- Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
- Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)
- Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
- Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
- Solus Christus (“through Christ alone”)
Yesterday, I was excited to learn that Zondervan is publishing the following five books on the individual solas in commemoration of the approaching 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017:
- Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification, by Thomas Schreiner (September, 2015)
- God’s Glory Alone: The Majestic Heart of the Christian Faith and Life, by David VanDrunen (December, 2015)
- God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture, by Matthew Barrett (September, 2016)
- Grace Alone: Salvation as a Gift of God, by Carl Trueman (December, 2016)
- Christ Alone: The Uniqueness of Jesus as Savior, by Stephen Wellum (2017)
Today I ordered the first in the series, Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification, from Amazon and I’ll be ordering the rest down the road.
Especially in these days of seeker/emerging/purpose-driven churches where doctrine has been replaced by ecumenical, “We all just love Jesus,” kumbaya hand-holding, these books are necessary and vital. Too many brothers and sisters suffered and died defending these Gospel truths to see them flushed down the toilet by evangelical Judases.