October 2017 marked the 500th year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. One of the main principles of that movement was Sola Scriptura which means by Scripture alone. The recognized leaders of that movement, Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and other Reformers separated from the Roman Catholic Church primarily based on that one fundamental conviction. The Westminster Confession sums up Sola Scriptura:
“The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” — Westminster Confession of Faith
Catholics vs Reformers
The Catholic Church claimed sole authority for the interpretation of the Bible often interjecting its “traditions” on par with the Bible itself. But the Reformers believed that the Bible should, and could be, interpreted by even the “lay person.” Both the Catholic Church and the Reformers believed that the Bible was God-breathed. The issue was whether the Scripture should be placed on par with Catholic Church traditions that clearly had no foundation in the Bible. The Reformers objected to the abuses of the Catholic Church that resulted from Church traditions and its persecutions that followed.
Reviving the Reformation
The problem that eventually resulted was that, as the years and centuries ensued past the time of the Reformers in the 16th century, there came about many divisions and denominations among Protestants who interpreted the Bible differently. Thus, there was increasingly no unity among Protestants, and the Catholic Church has spared no effort to point this out. Honestly, it has a point. And today, the landscape of Protestant churches paints an increasingly disunified front. It is not uncommon now to find many of these churches and denominations, along with the Catholic Church, supporting Marxist culture, globalism, tolerance and diversity, knowingly or not.
Like the Catholic Church, Protestants have engaged in elitism, believing that only the educated clergy can correctly interpret the Bible. Only the seminary or Bible school-trained person is equipped to handle rightly the Word of truth. In effect, the Protestants have abandoned the principle of Sola Scriptura.
The Covenant Heritage Series of books and the Bible Mastery Boot Camp seek to revive the Reformation tradition by giving folks tools to engage in finding out what the Bible says and means for themselves. Knowledge of these tools, which include the two basic principles of interpretation and practice in using them, equips almost anyone to understand what the Bible says and means in order to achieve more certainty and clarity about what they believe. They begin to own their faith instead of having someone else tell them what to believe. Moreover, our teaching and training materials offer a blueprint and approach to the Scriptures that will logically guide folks along a path of learning. Our people just need a bit of help to know where to start.
Do you know family or friends who are looking for that kind of help? Forward this message as you wish.
Lawrence Blanchard, ND, M.Div
PS Watch next week for the announcement of the release of our latest book, The Manifestation of the Kingdom of God, (Book Seven).