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8 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2009 - 4:32AM #1
Posts: 1

I think thats what they are called:

Faith alone

Christ alone

Grace alone

Scripture alone

and something else

If they are all "Alone" then why are there 5 of them?


God bless


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8 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2009 - 9:48AM #2
Posts: 4,367

I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but...think of the "solas" as "'alone' together."

They're the Reformers' response to the 16th century RCC's argument that salvation was a function of obedience to the teachings of the Magisterium (which included all the formulae for good-works points, indulgences, etc.). The Reformers, examining these things through the lens of Scripture, concluded, "Unh-unh. You're taking something simple and liberating and turning it into something difficult and oppressive and arbitrary." They're saying, "These things alone are what salvation is all about."

And even though you didn't ask this, I'm going to point it out, because it always comes up in these discussions: Luther's "sola scriptura" is not synonymous with biblical literalism/fundamentalism, nor is it synonymous with the idea -- advanced by advocates of so-called primitive Christianity -- that anything not explicitly commanded in Scripture is bad or forbidden. Luther was an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" guy who held to the historic faith statements of the Church and to the historic praxis of worship. His beef with the Church of his day was in the Magisterium, in his perception, using the Bible as a lens, making stuff up about the nature of our relationship to God and God's salvation, and creating barriers to laypeople's access to the Gospel (not only theologically by creating all sorts of salvific hoops that had to be jumped through, but also through gatekeeping policies like worship in Latin and lack of direct access to Scripture, particularly in the vernacular of the people). Indulgences were one of concepts he put the bull's-eye on, along with the primacy of the Pope and the Pope's presumed ability to introduce new doctrines ex cathedra. (If you Google "Augsburg Confession" you'll find the basic list of things that Lutheran Christians agreed with/disagreed with the RCC of that time.)

I hope that helps.

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