Tag Archives: Church

The Principles of Protestantism, Part 4 – Grace Alone

II – Grace Alone

Starting with Scripture as the first principle of Protestantism, we now proceed to grace as the second. The division between the two is comprehended by the designation of the formal and the material causes of salvation. Scripture alone is the formal principle as it is the authority by which salvation is revealed and understood. That is a marked departure from the Roman Pope and Magisterium. Grace alone is the material principle as it is the cause of salvation apart from any other thing such as sacraments or human effort. Actually, the material principle in salvation is comprehended by three things which are Christ alone, given by Grace alone, and received through faith alone. A review of many writers reveals a diversity of thought regarding the order of these principles. Some place faith before grace, while others put the glory of God as the first principle. Lutherans tend to view the principles of Protestantism as primarily three in number, grace, faith, and Scripture. Any order seems appropriate as long as it is constructed properly in terms of a logical explanation of each. So with this in mind, we have chosen grace as the next principle. Continue reading

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The Holy Scriptures, Part 2 – Introduction

Introduction

What is the Bible? To some this might seem to be a silly question. But considering the fact that few people in modern civilized society today ever read it or know much about it, it shouldn’t be too silly a question to ask. Here is a book that has been around for thousands of years, a book virtually everyone knows exists, but it is also one in which few people have the vaguest notion of what is in it or what it actually says. Today in public schools the study of comparative religion is taught, sometimes even at the elementary school level. So everyone knows that the Bible is a religious book, but most would rate it alongside other religious books such as the Bhagavad Gita of the Hindus, or the Tibetan Book of the Dead, or the Muslim Koran, or for that matter the Book of Mormon. Continue reading

The Holy Scriptures, Part 1 – Preface

Preface

An interest in writing on the subject of the Holy Scriptures, is one that has been with me a long time. I’ve had a strong desire for the study of God’s word since the first day that I knew my sins were forgiven in Christ. This love that I have is not just for a few favorite topics contained in the Scripture such as the gospel, law, history and prophecy. I have a deep love for the study of Scripture itself in every area, for it is the revelation of God to mankind. Early on in my spiritual pilgrimage I became aware of the fact that there was an abundant supply of Bible translations to choose from, and so, like everyone else I was forced to make a choice of which one of these I should use for my own study. I believe that the direction I took toward the selection of one of these versions was just like everything else that had just occurred in the circumstance of my conversion. It was the result of the Lord’s will. That is to say, the choice I eventually made in which translation to use was providential will. Continue reading

The Principles of Protestantism, Part 3 – Scripture Alone

I – Scripture Alone

The first point of protest against the Roman Catholic Pope concerned the place of the Bible in the Christian church. The Bible then as now is regarded by the Roman Catholic church as the Holy Scripture of God. That was never in dispute. However, the issue in dispute between the Reformers and the Pope was the place the Bible occupied in the church’s dogma and practice. Continue reading

Reflections Upon the Protestant Reformation

Preface

This time each year marks the anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. Its beginning is attributed to that now famous, yet once obscure circumstance which took place five hundred years ago, when Martin Luther nailed ninety five-theological theses to the Wittenberg castle door. As I ponder the alignment of the two anniversaries, one annual the other bi millennial, I’m immediately drawn back to my own introduction to the history some thirty-two years ago. When I say “introduction” I don’t mean to say that I had never heard of the event called the Protestant Reformation, for indeed I had. What I mean to say is it had no personal significance to me before that time. Continue reading