How Do Catholics and Protestants Disagree over Salvation & Justification?
On October 31, 1517, an unsuspecting monk ventured to challenge the prevailing ecclesial authorities of his day by posting his “Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” on the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg, Germany.
Underlying his disputes with the Indulgence Industrial Complex was a theme that would become one of the single most important rallying points in the Protestant Reformation. John Calvin pointedly named this theme:
The only point in dispute is how we are deemed righteous in the sight of God. (Acts of the Council of Trent)
This point of dispute still sits at the heart of what divides Catholics and Protestants five hundred years later. But how exactly do they differ? And is there no point of agreement when it comes to salvation and justification? Gregg…
Is the Reformation Finished?
“We cannot judge whether it is finished, of course, unless we understand how it began.”
In today’s excerpt taken from The Unfinished Reformation: What Unites and Divides Catholics and Protestants after 500 Years, authors Gregg Allison and Chris Castaldo highlight the importance of understanding the starting point of the Reformation in order to discern whether it is finished.
Looking back five hundred years confronts us with an era of momentous change in which many Christians desired renewed faith. Men and women returned to Scripture and the writings of the early church, igniting what some have described as “another Pentecost” or “light after darkness.” Five centuries later, we call it the Reformation. Not everyone, however, regarded the movement as divine illumination. Some viewed…
5 Reasons to Ask “Is the Reformation Finished?”
Reformation: From the latin reformatio; “the enterprise of repairing an inadequate state of affairs by returning to an earlier expression of faith.” (18)
Next year, on October 31, 2017, many will celebrate the monumental five-hundred-year anniversary of when an unsuspecting monk posted a list of grievances on the door of a nondescript church in Germany—launching what would become known as the Protestant Reformation.
But is such a repairing enterprise finished; is the Reformation over?
Theologian Gregg Allison and pastor Chris Castaldo have set out to answer that question in their new book The Unfinished Reformation. It is a brief, clear guide to the key points of unity and divergence between Protestants and Catholics today. They write to encourage fruitful conversation about the key theological and sociological differences between the two…
7 Things I Learned About the Glue that Holds the ‘Solas’ Together
Perhaps the most important yet overlooked sola is soli Deo gloria. Yet David VanDrunen believes this glory-to-God-alone rallying cry is especially noteworthy, because it is “the glue that holds the other solas in place…” (15)
He explores this cornerstone sola in his new book God’s Glory Alone. It’s one of five books in a groundbreaking new series that helps readers understand what the Reformers taught and why it still matters, in order to recover our theological bearing and find spiritual refreshment.
His chief interest is “to consider how we might build on the Reformers’ insights and gain a deeper and fuller picture of the glory of God and its implications for Christian faith and life.” (25) He accomplishes his task by walking the reader through the glory of God…
Save Over 80% on Grudem’s SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, Allison’s HISTORICAL THEOLOGY
Celebrating Reformation week, we are excited to offer a 2-day flash sale:
You can take advantage of special pricing in two ways:
EBOOK BUNDLE | $11.99
For the first time, we’ve collected together Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem, one of the best-selling systematic theology books of all time, and Historical Theology by Gregg R. Allison, a companion text to Systematic Theology that explores the history of each major Christian doctrine. Save 80% on the bundle!
Systematic Theology and Historical Theology eBooks will also be on sale individually for $7.99 each. You’d save 77% and 74%, respectively.
Using an Outdated Term? – An Excerpt from Faith Alone
“What is the solution to this mess called sin?” This is one of the most important questions the Gospel answers. In Faith Alone — the first book in the “5 Solas Series” — Thomas Schreiner reminds us that salvation is by faith alone, and how fundamental this is to the Gospel. Read the introduction here, then order your copy of Faith Alone today.
One of the five rallying cries of the Reformation was the statement that we are saved by faith alone — sola fide! These words declared that salvation does not come from looking at our own works of righteousness, but from looking outside ourselves to another, to the person and work of Jesus Christ. This statement grew out of a desire to return to the biblical…
Did the Early Church Teach ‘Faith Alone’?
Tom Schreiner addresses these questions and more in his new book Faith Alone, one of five new resources exploring the five sola rallying cries of the Reformation. It offers a historical, biblical and theological tour of the doctrine of justification, and concludes with contemporary challenges to it.
He believes sola fide “should continue to be taught and treasured today because it summarizes biblical teaching…” (15) Schreiner tours how the church has understood this teaching, beginning with the early church. Because as he writes, “By affirming sola fide, we are not saying that we believe the true church only arose in the sixteenth century…we stand in the deepest appreciation of believers…
[Common Places] The Promise and Prospects of Retrieval: Recent Developments in Protestant Scholasticism
Many people who think that they despise the theology of John Calvin change their mind once they actually take time to read his writings. I’ve seen it again and again in the classroom—both as a student, and as a teacher.
When this has happened, however, I’ve often heard a warning: Calvin may be biblical, dynamic, and Christ-centered, but steer clear of those seventeenth century “Calvinists.” Rather than going straight to the Bible, they got distracted by the medieval scholastics; rather than being pastoral and Christ-centered, the Reformed Scholastics were rationalists whose writings don’t edify the church.
Twenty years after hearing these warnings in college, I can say that they reveal more about those giving the warnings than the Protestant Scholastics themselves.
There has been a sea change in scholarship on Protestant Scholasticism, and its…
Quiz: Test Your Church History
How did this famous reformer meet his unfortunate end?
You'll discover that story — plus a few more surprises — when you take this brief quiz on church history, created by Frank A. James III (co-author of Church History, Volume 2) and Emily Varner (AcademicPS.com).
If you can't see it above, view the quiz here.
To compare your answers to those of your peers, click the "See Previous Responses" link at the end of the quiz.
Learn more about church history from Frank A. James III and John Woodbridge in their new book Church History, Volume 2: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day.