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Reaffirming Sola Scriptura

by Tom Nettles

Sola Scriptura as Philip Schaff indicated, confessions and creeds hold no absolute authority for Protestants. Their authority is only an ad hoc, ecclesial, and localized standard for the sake of unity in fellowship and consistency of witness either in a denomination or a local assembly of believers. They can be amended or expanded in light of evidence from more mature biblical exegesis or in light of doctrinal and cultural challenges to biblical truth. For this reason, confessions arising from within Protestantism usually contain an article that affirms the sole authority, inspiration and infallible authority of Scripture. For example, the Second London Confession of the Baptists stated in its first sentence, “The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, Faith, and Obedience.” In paragraph 6 of the same article on Scripture, reflecting the words and concepts of both the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Savoy Declaration with one slight variation [italicized], the confession added: “The whole Councel of God concerning all things necessary for his own Glory, Man’s Salvation, Faith and Life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture; unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new Revelation of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” Thus, one of the most influential confessions in Protestantism begins with a ten paragraph article affirming the sole and certain authority of Scripture closing with these words: “The supreme judge by which all controversies of Religion are to be determined, and all Decrees of Councils, opinions of ancient Writers, Doctrines of men, and private Spirits, are to be examined, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture” [WCF]. Again, the Second London Confession varied the language slightly, insisting even more clearly on the sole authority of Scripture, closing with the phrase after the words “can be no other,” with these words, “but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit, into which Scripture so delivered, our faith is finally resolved.”

For Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, however, the view of the creedal tradition is quite different. The Orthodox churches consider the first seven ecumenical councils as guided by the Holy Spirit resulting…

 

 

 

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Happy Reformation Day 2016!

October 31, 2016 2 comments

Reformed on the Web would like to wish everyone a Happy and blessed Reformation Day!

Here is a four volume history on Luther and the Protestant Reformation:

James MacKinnon [1860-1945], Luther and the Reformation, 4 Vols. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1925-1930

Volume 1- Early Life and Religious Development to 1517 (Pdf)

Volume 2- The Breach with Rome (1517-21) (Pdf)

Volume 3- Progress of the Movement (1521-29) (Pdf)

Volume 4- Vindication of the Movement (1530-46) (Pdf)

What Is Reformation Day All About?

“On Friday, (this past Friday) much of the culture will be focused on candy and things that go bump in the night. Protestants, however, have something far more significant to celebrate on October 31. Friday is Reformation day, which commemorates what was perhaps the greatest move of God’s Spirit since the days of the Apostles. But what is the significance of Reformation Day, and how should we consider the events it commemorates?”

 

 
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Happy Reformation Day 2013

October 31, 2013 5 comments

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Happy Reformation Day!

Reformedontheweb wants to wish everyone a happy 2013 Reformation Day.

FOXE’S BOOK OF MARTYRS-Intro

Foxe's_Book_of_Martyrs_-_Frontispiece_(1761)A History Of The Lives, Sufferings And Triumphant Deaths Of The Early Christian And The Protestant Martyrs

This is a book that will never die — one of the great English classics. Interesting as fiction, because it is written with both passion and tenderness, it tells the dramatic story of some of the most thrilling periods in Christian history.

Reprinted here in its most complete form, it brings to life the days when “a noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid,” “climbed the steep ascent of heaven, ‘mid peril, toil, and pain.”

“After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our time it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification.” — JAMES MILLER DODDS, English Prose.

“When one recollects that until the appearance of the Pilgrim’s Progress the common people had almost no other reading matter except the Bible and Fox’s Book of Martyrs, we can understand the deep impression that this book produced; and how it served to mold the national character. Those who could read for themselves learned the full details of all the atrocities performed on the Protestant reformers; the illiterate could see the rude illustrations of the various instruments of torture, the rack, the gridiron, the boiling oil, and then the holy ones breathing out their souls amid the flames. Take a people just awakening to a new intellectual and religious life; let several generations of them, from childhood to old age, pore over such a book, and its stories become traditions as individual and almost as potent as songs and customs on a nation’s life.”— DOUGLAS CAMPBELL, The Puritan in Holland, England, and America.

“If we divest the book of its accidental character of feud between churches, it yet stands, in the first years of Elizabeth’s reign, a monument that marks the growing strength of a desire for spiritual freedom, defiance of those forms that seek to stifle conscience and fetter thought.” — HENRY MORLEY, English Writers

“After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our own time it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification.” — JAMES MILLER DODDS, “English Prose

FOXE’S BOOK OF MARTYRS by John Foxe

Click here for your free PDF copy.