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The Shape of Sola Scriptura

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  183 ratings  ·  19 reviews
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 the Christian living. In the past two decades, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox apologists have strongly tried to undermine sola Scriptura as unbiblical, unhistorical, and impractical. But ...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Canon Press
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Jacob Aitken
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mathison does a good job in carefully defining his terms and in reading historical movements. The following is not so much an analysis, but a summary of Mathison's main points:

Mathison says any discussion of sola scriptura is meaningless without a corresponding meaning of tradition. This is his strongest argument in the book. Mathison builds his argument from world-renowned medieval scholars and also from the greatest church historian of the past 3 centuries--Jaroslav Pelikan (ironically, an
Douglas Wilson
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Etienne OMNES
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Très très bon livre sur Sola Scriptura, une défense à la fois historique (qui à elle seule vaut le coût du livre), exégétique et philosophique de ce principe, et un souci d'équilibre doctrinal remarquable. A la fin de ce livre, je suis plus que convaincu que nous devons nous éloigner des interprétations solitaires des écritures, et embrasser le modèle d'interprétation qui a toujours prévalu depuis les apôtres: Seule l'Ecriture est l'autorité suprême, mais la Tradition aussi a son autorité sur ...more
Vinnie Santini
Oct 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Great book that seeks to recover what the magisterial Reformers meant by "Sola Scriptura". I would recommend this with the book "Getting the Reformation Wrong: Correcting Some Misunderstandings" by James Payton. I have never heard of the view of Heiko Oberman that breaks the whole thing down to different views of Tradition. Tradition I= Single exegetical tradition of interpreting Scripture (i.e. Early Church view, what the reformers were trying to get back); Tradition II= Two source exegetical ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I didn't re-read this book, but I read this: http://johannulusdesilentio.blogspot.... and essentially I agree and, looking back, see all the historical shiftiness about it. I'd still recommend it above most Protestant explanations, but historical theology needs to be more careful and less willing to see the "right answer" as the original one held by the Church Fathers. Also, that our version develops.
Richard Jones
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
The best presentation and defense of the Reformed doctrine of Sola Scriptura. In the end, I still swam the Tiber.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Mathison outlines the original position on Church authority in areas of Scriptural interpretation, and submits that what he calls Tradition 1 is the Biblical, consistent, continuous, and Protestant view:

Tradition 1: Original interpretation. Irenaeus, founded on a regula fidei. Scripture is to be interpreted by the church within the context of a faithful hermeneutic. Scripture first and only, and the church faithfully interprets it. Luther, Calvin, and all early fathers held this view.

Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great explanation of the difference between Sola Scriptura (taught by the Reformers) and Solo Scriptura (that which is believed today). This book does a wonderful job explaining the historical understanding of Sola Scriptura and the need for it to be tethered to the teachings of the Early Church Fathers. The modern understanding of this teaching is basically every man for himself. That is how we have ended up with the cults such as Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, The Word of Faith Movement and the ...more
Steve Herreid
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
A helpful book with some good insights. Good but not great.
Радостин Марчев
Авторът очевидно е отделил доста време за изследване на въпроса. В резултат в книгата могат да се намерят някои много добри попадения - например разглеждането на ранната църква и на реформаторите Много добри попадения има и в разграничението на SolO Scriptura от SaoA Scriptura т.е. разликата между Писанието като единствен авторитет и Писанието като най-важен авторитет, от който трябва да се изведе всяко учение, но който също така трябва да се чете не индивидуалистично, а в контекста на църквата ...more
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to Melanie by: RUF Internship
Acerbic. I liked the first half of the book, which laid out a very nice examination of how ideas about the relationship between tradition and the church have developed, changed, and branched out over time. But I didn't really like the second half, which became increasingly repetitive and sarcastic. (In the conclusion, "liberal" and "heretic" are used in the same sentence. I nearly snorted coffee out my nose in the coffee shop on campus. Oops.) Not recommended as a general read, but possibly ...more
Paul Kurtz
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love this book and reread it just about every year. It has taught me a lot about what sola scriptura actually means. As one raised in a church that holds to what Mathison terms "solo scriptura" it was equally as helpful learning what it sola scriptura does not mean. I have often been puzzled by how the church has any real authority if we reject Rome's doctrine of tradition. This book was at least a good step in the right direction in defining church authority as a lesser authority, subordinate ...more
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
While a little repetitive, this work does a good job exposing Solo Scriptura as an Anabaptistic novelty and a departure from the reformed idea of Sola Scriptura. It also handles contemporary Romanist and Orthodox criticisms of Tradition 1 (what the Reformers meant by the terminology of Sola Sciptura).

Mathison has a keen analytical mind and a broad knowledge of Church history, both of which make this work strong and convincing.

Loved it.
Peter Jones
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A really good book looking at both the biblical and historical view of the Scriptures. He section on "Solo Scriptura," that is the view that each individual Christian can interpret the Bible however he pleases, is great tonic for much of what ails Protestant hermeneutics.
Michael Jones
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology-history
I found this book to be extremely helpful for understanding the authority of Scripture and how it relates to the authority found in church history. Mathieson shows that there is consensus of interpretation in key doctrines.
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: bible-theology
A great resource and clarification of the meaning of sola scriptura.
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent help in understanding the current state of the Church. Read my summary here:
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Dr. Keith A. Mathison is associate editor of Tabletalk magazine. He is also academic dean and professor of systematic theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Fla., and author of From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology.

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