The Formal Cause of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura

The following sermon is the first half of a two-part series on the Protestant Reformation, in celebration and memorial of its 500th year anniversary.

The series covered the formal cause of the Reformation (sola scriptura, “scripture alone”), as well as its material cause (sola fide, “faith alone”). I preached on the former topic, as found below.


The Formal Cause of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura
South City Church
10/15/2017

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Rome’s Implicit Rejection of Scripture’s Absolute Authority

The Roman Catholic Church holds itself up as the official interpreter of scripture.

But to claim such is for the Roman Catholic Church to assert itself into a position of standing over scripture. No longer would God and his Word serve as a supreme authority. Final appeal would not be made to the scripture itself, but to Rome and it’s interpretation of it.

In such a model, the Roman Catholic Church would, in essence, serve as the highest authority. But to make something other than God the highest authority is functionally to say that something has more authority than God himself, which is blasphemy Continue reading

No Higher Authority Than God Himself: The Case for Sola Scriptura from Hebrews 6:13

In Hebrews 6, the author of Hebrews recounts God swearing an oath to confirm his promises to Abraham.

Now when people swear, they do so by appealing to some sort of authority higher than themselves in order to validate their promise. But what happens when God swears to confirm his promise?

For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself (Heb 6:13).

When God swears, he swears by his own authority, because there is no possible higher authority. There is no authority higher or equal to God himself to which he can appeal. He is the highest.

And so, by extension, God’s Word is the highest authority. No authority can possibly usurp it. The scriptures stand alone as our supreme authority.

#SolaScriptura #500Reformation

 

Augustine on Sola Scriptura

I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it. As to all other writings, in reading them, however great the superiority of the authors to myself in sanctity and learning, I do not accept their teaching as true on the mere ground of the opinion being held by them; but only because they have succeeded in convincing my judgment of its truth either by means of these canonical writings themselves, or by arguments addressed to my reason. … [Others are] not … to be read like those of prophets or of apostles, concerning which it would be wrong to doubt that they are free from error.

~ Augustine of Hippo

#SolaScriptura
#500Reformation