Individual sin or systemic sin…

Sometimes the individual sin is less what needs to be dealt with and the over-riding or systemic sin problem needs to be dealt with just as much if not more. I was raised in Capitalism, I’ve been a fan of capitalism all my life. Even today capitalism sounds like a good thing to me… but there is a growing concern in my spirit that maybe something about our system causes a systemic greed problem. Maybe there is something we need to rethink about capitalism… what do you think? Please direct your comments toward Facebook as comments are no longer allowed on this site.

By the five alone…

Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)
Sola fide (“by faith alone”)
Sola gratia (“by grace alone”)
Solus Christus or Solo Christo (“Christ alone” or “through Christ alone”)
Soli Deo gloria (“glory to God alone”)

A few days ago I asked four questions about the five soli… today I answer.
– Which of the five solas are the most important to you?
Solus Christus – through Christ alone is by far the most important to me. Each of the others are less important to me that this one thing… through Christ alone. It is through Christ that I live, it is through Christ that I interpret scripture, and it is through Christ alone that all of my theology comes.
– Which is least?
Sola Scriptura is by far the least important to me because I find it to be a mistaken theological principal.
– Would you add a sola?
I would add something about the Spirit of God, because it is His Spirit that we live through now. It may be synonymous with Sola Christus because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, but the Spirit should be mentioned. The Spirit is the Spirit of both Christ and the Father because Christ and the Father are one.
– Would you remove one?
Absolutely, I’d remove Sola Scriptura. I’m thankful for my bible. I love it and read it often. But I think we should be careful not to set the bible up as an idol that prevents us from actually following the Spirit of God. The Bible can be twisted…

Five Solae

A chat with a friend yesterday caused me to want to think a bit more about the five solae, where they came from, why they originated and what that means to me or us. I’d love some feedback to this subject on social media… it has been so long since I blogged that I’m not sure where this post will go… Maybe twitter and facebook.

From Wikipedia:
The Five solae or five solas are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the early Reformers’ basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means “alone” or “only” in English. The five solae articulated five fundamental beliefs of the Protestant Reformation, pillars which the early Reformers believed to be essentials of the Christian life and practice. All five implicitly rejected or countered the teachings of the then-dominant Catholic Church, which the Reformers claimed had usurped divine attributes or qualities for the Church and its hierarchy, especially its head, the Pope.

The five solas were not systematically articulated together until the 20th century. But “sola gratia” and “sola fide” were used in conjunction by the Reformers themselves. For example, in 1554 Melanchthon wrote, “sola gratia justificamus et sola fide justificamur”[1] (“only by grace do you justify and only by faith are we justified”). All of the five “solas” show up in various writings by the Protestant Reformers, but they are not catalogued together by any.[2]

In 1916, Lutheran scholar Theodore Engelder published an article titled “The Three Principles of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fides.”[3] In 1934, Theologian Emil Brunner substituted “Soli Deo gloriam” for “Sola Scriptura.”[4] In 1958 Geoffrey Elton, summarizing the work of John Calvin, wrote that Calvin had “joined together” the “great watchwords.” Elton listed “sola fide” with “sola gratia” as one term, followed by “sola scriptura” and “soli Deo gloria.”[5] Later, in commenting on Karl Barth’s theological system, Brunner added “Christus solus” to the litany of solas[6] while leaving out “sola scriptura.” The first time the five are mentioned together is in a 1965 Catholic publication, The Church and the World.[7]

I’ll be back soon… time is limited so for today I’ll just ask –
– Which of the five solas are the most important to you?
– Which is least?
– Would you add a sola?
– Would you remove one?

Just thinking out loud and would love to hear the thoughts of others.

My next blog will be my answers to the above questions.