In what shape do we find the doctrine of sola Scriptura today? Many modern Evangelicals see it as a license to ignore history and the creeds in favor of a more splintered approach to Christian living. In the past two decades, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox apologists have strongly sought to undermine sola Scriptura as unbiblical, unhistorical, and impractical. But these groups rest their cases on a recent, false take on sola Scriptura.
The ancient, medieval, and classical Protestant view of sola Scriptura actually has a quite different shape than most opponents and defenders maintain. Therein lies the goal of this book—an intriguing defense of the ancient (and classical Protestant) doctrine of sola Scriptura against the claims of Rome, the East, and modern Evangelicalism.
Dr. Mathison clearly investigates the development of this doctrine from the days of the early church to the fourth-century assault on it, from its recovery during the Reformation to the relativism and individualism that permeates it in today's teaching. In addition, Mathison demonstrates that the widespread misunderstanding of the doctrine of sola Scriptura is eroding the church from within, fueling conversions from Protestantism to other religions, and undermining the relationship among Scripture, church tradition, and individual believers as set forth by the early church and restated by the Reformers.
"The issue of sola scriptura is not an abstract problem relevant only to the sixteenth-century Reformation, but one that poses increasingly more serious consequences for contemporary Christianity. This work by Keith Mathison is the finest and most comprehensive treatment of the matter I've seen. I highly recommend it to all who embrace the authority of sacred Scriptura.
—R.C. Sproul, Ligonier Ministries
"Too often Evangelicals have allowed a Scripture Alone principle to become a Scripture Only principle that disparages the church's creeds and confessions. Therein lies the invaluable contribution of The Shape of Sola Scriptura."
—Charles P. Arand, Concordia Seminary
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