S h e p h e r d T h e W e s t k i r k P r e s b y t e r i a n C h u r c h V o l u m e 2 1 N o . 1 1 N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 6
The Five Solas
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for
correction, and for training in righteousness, good work.
17 that the man of God1 may be competent, equipped for every
I’ve told this story before, but I remember my first year at Westkirk when I was told about ‘Reformation Sunday,’ and the tartan squares. I thought to myself, ‘that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!’ Well, I’ve been converted. Again. Reformation Sunday is one of the most wonderful Sundays of the year at Westkirk. I hope you don’t miss it! It’s a great day to not only celebrate our church and her history, it’s also a great day to reflect on the Reformed heritage we hold so dear. My Reformed roots are of the Dutch variety, but the Scot-Irish Presbyterian version is equally rich in history. And while October is the month of Reformation Sunday, that heritage will be on display here at Westkirk for the next several months as we kick off our new, once a month, non-traditional, Sunday evening service called, “Sunday Night at the Kirk,” on November 12.
Along with the doctrines of grace (or, the five points of Calvinism), the five ‘solas’ of the Reformation are hallmarks of a Reformed understanding of Scripture. These five ‘solas’(meaning, ‘alone’) were the rallying cries of Luther, Calvin and the other early generations of protestant Christian thinkers and clergy. Listen to these beauties: Sola Fide (Faith alone!), Sola Gratia (Grace alone!), Solus Christus (Christ alone!), and Soli Deo Gloria (to the Glory of God alone!). On November 12, the theme for the sermon and music at “Sunday Night at the Kirk” (SN@K), will be the first of these five solas – Sola Scriptura!, or Scripture alone! Understanding that God’s Word is our final and complete source and authority of God’s revelation to us, has been a great comfort and confidence for true Christians through the centuries.
It’s also an exceedingly important doctrine. Sola Scriptura teaches us, from the Bible, that God’s Word is complete, sufficient, inspired, and inerrant. Any religious tradition that adheres to another authority (such as the Koran, the Book of Mormon, etc.) violates this Biblical truth! As we explore what the Bible says about itself, come to SN@K at 6:30 on Sunday evening, November 12. It promises to be a wonderful evening of worship for the whole family. And while you are at it, bring a friend!