Tag Archives: Reformation

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

Advertisements

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