The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Five solas

The Five Solas are a summation of the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation. They are:

Sola scriptura (Scripture Alone)
The Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God. This is in opposition to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that scripture is interpreted through Holy Tradition. It expresses a conviction that scripture is perspicuous and self-interpreting. Catholicism also maintains that other rules of faith than scripture exist, namely the infallible Councils and the Pope.
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Jesus Christ is the exclusive mediator between God and man. Neither Mary, the saints, false gods, nor the sinner himself can bring salvation.
Sola gratia (Grace Alone)
Salvation comes by grace only, not through any merit on the part of the sinner. Thus salvation is an unearned gift. This is a response to the Catholic doctrine of merit.
Sola fide (Faith Alone)
Salvation comes through faith only, not works. This is the means of grace. The doctrine is that salvation comes by grace through faith and that even this faith is not of the sinner's doing, but is itself the result of grace. Saving faith, however, will always be accompanied by good works. This doctrine is in opposition to the Catholic formula that salvation comes by faith plus works.
Soli Deo gloria (Glory to God Only)
All the glory is God's, since he did all the work, not only the atonement on the Cross, but even granting the faith which allows men to be saved by that atonement. Each aspect of salvation is a gift from God, and thus all praise is his, not man's. The reformers believed that human beings (such as the Catholic saints and popes) and their organizations (the Church) were not worthy of the glory that was bestowed on them.

In recent years, the Five Solas have been consciously imitated by Christian Fundamentalists in the "five fundamentals."

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Last updated: 08-10-2005 01:51:46
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13