Biblical Authority after Babel
Kevin J. Vanhoozer
In recent years, notable scholars have argued that the Protestant Reformation unleashed interpretive anarchy on the church. Is it time to consider the Reformation to be a 500-year experiment gone wrong?
World-renowned evangelical theologian Kevin Vanhoozer thinks not. While he sees recent critiques as legitimate, he argues that retrieving the Reformation's core principles offers an answer to critics of Protestant biblical interpretation. Vanhoozer explores how a proper reappropriation of the five solas--sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola scriptura (Scripture alone), solus Christus (in Christ alone), and sola Deo gloria (for the glory of God alone)--offers the tools to constrain biblical interpretation and establish interpretive authority. He offers a positive assessment of the Reformation, showing how a retrieval of "mere Protestant Christianity" has the potential to reform contemporary Christian belief and practice.
This provocative response and statement from a top theologian is accessibly written for pastors, church leaders, and students.
Introduction: Should the Church Repent or Retrieve the Reformation? Secularism, Skepticism, and Schism--Oh My!
"By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them": Assessing a Revolution
Narrating the Story of Protestantism
Repenting the (Unintended) Iniquities of Our Reformation Fathers
Fine-Tuning the Problem; Deepening the Dilemma
Always Retrieving? "Ressourcing" the Debate about Interpretive Authority
Why Mere Protestant Christianity Matters
1. Grace Alone: The Mere Protestant Ontology, Economy, and Teleology of the Gospel
Sola Gratia: What the Reformers Meant
Nature and/or Grace: Other Views
Triune Ontology and the Economy of Salvation
Sola Gratia for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority
2. Faith Alone: The Mere Protestant Principle of Authority
Sola Fide: What the Reformers Meant
Faith and/or Criticism: Other Views
The Principle of Authority
Sola Fide for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority
3. Scripture Alone: The Mere Protestant Pattern of Interpretive Authority
Sola Scriptura: What the Reformers Meant
Scripture and/or Tradition: Other Views
The Pattern of Authority
Sola Scriptura for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority
4. In Christ Alone: The Royal Priesthood of All Believers
Solus Christus: What the Reformers Meant
Christology and Ecclesiology: Other Views
The Royal Priesthood
Solus Christus for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority
5. For the Glory of God Alone: The Wealth of Holy Nations
Soli Deo Gloria: The Lord's Supper as a Test of Christian Unity
Church Unity: Other Views
Communion in the Church (and between Churches)
Soli Deo Gloria for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority
Conclusion: From Catholic Protestantism to Protestant Evangelicalism
"And in the Morning, It Was Leah!"
Protestant Evangelicalism: A Marriage Made in Heaven?
After Babel, Pentecost: The Households of God and the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity
The Gospel Alone: The Solas in the Pattern of Protestant Evangelical Interpretive Authority