In a recent post, I suggested that nobody believes in Sola Scriptura.
In a comment, Tim Nichols from Full Contact Christianity challenged my definition of Sola Scriptura, as not being the same definition that was used by the classical Reformers when they talked about Sola Scriptura.
I was intrigued, and so asked where I could read more about what he was saying. He recommended a book by Keith Mathison called The Shape of Sola Scriptura. So I obtained the book and read it last week.
It turns out Tim was right. And so was I.
Let me rephrase that. I stated that Reformers like Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli “tried to reject tradition and return to the Sola Scriptura,’the Bible alone.'” This was the statement Tim Nichols objected to, and after reading the book by Mathison, I stand corrected.
Mathison argues fairly persuasively that when most people today talk about Sola Scriptura, what they really have in mind is Solo Scriptura. “Solo” Scriptura is the idea that we can learn all matters about faith and practice using the Bible alone, plus nothing else. If a group or person studies the Bible, and they think they have found some truth, doctrine, or practice in Scripture, then they should believe or practice this idea, whether or not it was ever believed or practiced previously in the history of the church. This is “Solo” Scriptura.