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Historians and theologians alike have long recognized the rallying cries that rested at the heart of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation-sola scriptura, solus Christus, sola gratia, sola fide, and soli Deo gloria. Though the context and circumstances of life, the specific struggles or events throughout the church's history may shift, the five declarations that distinguished the Protestant Reformation from other expressions of the Christian faith continue to speak to us today, addressing a wide range of contemporary issues and serving as our great inheritance from those believers who have gone before us.God's Word Alone-The Authority of Scripture is the third in The Five Solas Series, a series designed to help readers understand the historical and biblical context of the five solas and how to live out the relevance of Reformation theology today.
In God's Word Alone-The Authority of Scripture, scholar and pastor Matthew Barrett looks at the historical and biblical roots of the doctrine that Scripture alone is the final and decisive authority for God's people. He examines the development of this theme in the Reformation and traces the crisis that followed resulting in a shift away from the authority of Scripture. Drawing upon the Trinitarian, covenantal, and salvation-historical themes of Scripture, Barrett demonstrates the need to recover a robust doctrine of Scripture's authority in the face of today's challenges and why a solid doctrinal foundation built on God's Word is the best hope for the future of the church.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2016
Series: Five Solas
Matthew Barrett (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as executive editor of Credo Magazine. He is the editor of The Five Solas Series and the author of several books, including God's Word Alone, Reformation Theology, Salvation by Grace, and Owen on the Christian Life.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5Good introduction to the issues of biblical authorityFebruary 26, 2017bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This year, 2017, marks the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation. One of the fundamental commitments of the reformers was sola Scriptura, Scripture alone. Some question if that commitment to the ultimate authority of the Bible is relevant today.
Barrett argues for the divine inspiration and ultimate authority of Scripture. He defines sola Scriptura, "...only Scripture, because it is God's inspired Word, is our inerrant, sufficient, and final authority for the church." (25) Scripture is not the only authority but it is the final authority over all others.
Barrett explores the history of the Bible and authority from the Reformation to modern times, including how views of biblical authority have changed over the centuries. He gives a biblical theology of God's Word in the context of covenant. He defends biblical authority, Scripture's clarity, inerrancy, efficiency, and sufficiency, all in light of modern challenges.
Having a science background, I paid particular attention to Barrett's discussion about the Bible's inerrancy and science. He notes that many Christians today tend to rate science as having the same authority as the Bible, or perhaps superior to it. Many view Scripture through the grid of science. He suggests we give "attention to the many ways in which the Bible's authority can be compromised at the expense of adopting evolutionary claims." (364) Science, he says, when done right "will always conform to the truths of Scripture." (366) He writes in his section on the Bible's inerrancy, "So whether it is doctrine, morality, history, or even life sciences, its assertions are truthful and trustworthy." (266) He does, however, suggest eight qualifiers, such as recognizing the literary genre and that the biblical authors did not use the technical language of modern science. While Barrett does well defending the authority of the Bible against philosophical challenges, he comes up short on the issue with science.
This book is a good introduction to the issue of Scripture and its authority. Barrett has included helpful explanations of postmodernism and deconstructionism. He includes a great deal of other information about the Bible, such as the six theories of inspiration. He also has good background information on Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin for the modern reader. It is a good book to draw Christians back to the Bible as our "final authority and sufficient rule..." (371) Just don't expect it to answer all of your questions.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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