A Return to Sola Scriptura

JP: Good read by Pastor Edward J. Vasicek

A Return to Sola Scriptura


One of the big questions Christians must ask is, “What is the final, infallible authority to determine what I believe?” For some, the answer is “what my parents taught me.” For others, it is “what my church teaches.” For most evangelicals, it seems, the answer now is “what my heart tells me is true.” But for those of us who embrace sola scriptura, the answer is “our understanding of what the Scriptures clearly teach, fairly understood.”

When we say that we embrace sola scriptura, we are not saying that the Scriptures are the only authority there is. The Scriptures themselves mention a variety of authorities, both in society and the church. What we are saying is that the Scriptures are the only infallible authority. All other authorities are to be tested and, in the case of the church, corrected by the Scriptures. Every attempt to add an infallible authority in addition to the Scriptures reduces the authority of the Scriptures. In such instances, the Bible always plays second fiddle, never first. We then begin to interpret the Scriptures by the authority rather than evaluate the authority by the Scriptures.

The idea that the Scriptures are infallible and sufficient (no other infallible authority is needed) is clear in the Word itself. Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (NIV, emphasis added).

Note here that God has inspired all Scripture, that all of it is profitable for teaching (doctrine), and that the Scriptures thoroughly equip us. The Bible (and its implementation) offers us everything we need for spiritual maturity.

Find a similar concept in 2 Peter 1:3-4. Note that everything we need for spiritual life has been given us by God’s power through His promises (His Word): “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

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