Biblical Authority After Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity
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Biblical Authority After Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity

Brazos Press / 2016 / Hardcover

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Critics claim that by eliminating a sole figure of authority---the Pope---the Protestant Reformation unleashed interpretive anarchy on Christianity. World-renowned theologian Vanhoozer disagrees, asserting in Biblical Authority After Babel: Retrieving the Solas of Mere Protestant Christianity that a retrieval of historical Protestantism's five core principles---sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura, solus Christus, and soli Deo gloria---offers the answer to any "hermeneutical havoc."

In response to the critique that the Protestant Reformation loosed interpretive anarchy upon the world, Vanhoozer offers a compelling, accessible, and constructive assessment of the Reformation, demonstrating how a retrieval of "mere Protestant Christianity" has the potential to reform and unify contemporary Christian belief and practice. Biblical Authority After Babel provides pastors, church leaders, and scholars with an integrated, organic understanding of the biblical truth, worked out in and through the triune economy of the gospel, that best represents the spirit of mere Protestant Christianity and the hope of holy nations.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Brazos Press
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1587433931
ISBN-13: 9781587433931

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Author Bio

Kevin J. Vanhoozer (PhD, University of Cambridge), one of the world's top theologians, is research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He previously taught at Wheaton College and the University of Edinburgh. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including The Pastor as Public Theologian, Everyday Theology, The Drama of Doctrine, Is There a Meaning in This Text?, and the award-winning Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible.

Editorial Reviews

"The Reformation was about countering what was wrong in Catholicism, but its central principles, the five solas, are not only negations. Reformational Protestantism is also about being for something. The solas are therefore principles for shaping a robust theology. It is this constructive task that Vanhoozer has undertaken in this book, and he has done so with rigor, vigor, and an infectious enthusiasm."

David F. Wells, Distinguished Senior Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"In a season of Reformation remembrances, here comes a fresh appraisal of the core principles of historic Protestant Christianity. Written with conviction, nuance, and wisdom, this is Kevin Vanhoozer at his best--a treasure."

Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

"Kevin Vanhoozer properly calls for a Protestant ressourcement, encouraging us to rediscover some of the best wisdom from the early Reformers (think solas taken together) even as he challenges us to disentangle ourselves from some of the deeply problematic misunderstandings and outcomes that later arose in Protestant circles. He accomplishes what he sets out to do: look back creatively in order to move forward faithfully. If you are a Protestant and you love Scripture and the church, please read this book!"

Kelly M. Kapic, professor of theology, Covenant College

"At a time when the terms 'evangelical' and 'catholic' both face bewildering internal and external pressures, Kevin Vanhoozer helps to shine Scripture's light on an authentically Protestant path forward. Amid newfound interest in the Reformation solas, this book's distinctive contribution lies in discerning their hermeneutical import. This approach challenged me to think afresh about the gospel, Scripture, and the church at several points."

Daniel J. Treier, Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College Graduate School

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  1. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Retrieving the solas for biblical interpretation
    October 30, 2016
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Some say the Reformation loosed interpretive anarchy upon the world. The priesthood of every believer means lay individuals interpret Scripture just as theologians do. Is that a good idea? How do Christians judge when interpretations differ?

    Vanhoozer contends that retrieving the five Reformation solas will help address the issue of interpretive pluralism. They provide a pattern for reading Scripture theologically that enables Protestant unanimity on theological essentials...

    He begins with grace. To misunderstand grace means we'll go wrong everywhere else. In exploring faith, he investigates the Spirit's work in the believer and the principle of authority. He continues by looking at Scripture along in the context of the other solas and tradition. He explores the meaning of Christ alone and ends with the concept of all to God's glory alone.

    Vanhoozer concludes that the answer to the variety of biblical interpretations is not found in a supreme church authority. Rather, he has given a framework within which Protestant churches can negotiate interpretive disagreements and even benefit from them. This can lead to a peaceful unity-in-diversity experience.

    I really like his positive attitude about denominations. Just like there are four gospels to give a fuller picture of Christ on earth, perhaps there are various Protestant traditions to witness to Jesus in a variety of ways. No one Protestant church exhausts the richness of the gospel.

    I recommend this book to those interested in ecumenism or promoting community among Protestant churches. It would be a good book for city pastor groups to read and discuss. It's also a good book for anyone wanting to review their practices of biblical interpretation.

    I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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