Historians and theologians alike have long recognized that at the heart of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation were five declarations (or “solas”) that distinguished the movement from other expressions of the Christian faith.
Five hundred years later, we live in a different time with fresh challenges to our faith. Yet these rallying cries of the Reformation continue to speak to us, addressing a wide range of contemporary issues. The Five Solas series will help you understand the historical and biblical context of the five solas and how to live out the relevance of Reformation theology today.
In Christ Alone, Stephen Wellum considers Christ’s singular uniqueness and significance biblically, historically, and today, in our pluralistic and postmodern age. He examines the historical roots of the doctrine, especially in the Reformation era, and then shows how the uniqueness of Christ has come under specific attack today. Then, he walks us through the storyline of Scripture, from Christ’s unique identity and work as prophet, priest, and king, to the application of his work to believers and our covenantal union with him to show that apart from Christ there is no salvation. Wellum shows that we must recover a robust biblical and theological doctrine of Christ’s person and work in the face of today’s challenges and explains why a fresh appraisal of the Reformation understanding of Christ alone is needed today.
There have been many attempts over the centuries to expound on Peter’s answer to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Stephen Wellum’s book unpacks both parts of Peter’s answer by giving a fuller biblical account of the uniqueness of his person (as Son) and the sufficiency of his work (as Christ). This biblical-theological material serves as the backdrop for appreciating the significance of the Reformation’s recovery of “Christ alone.” Wellum’s retrieval of this central Reformation sola is a wonderful encouragement to the church today, in a new relativistic and pluralistic context, to go and do likewise – to testify with lips and lives that the meaning of creation and the message of salvation is found in Christ alone. – Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Christ alone is the glue and centerpiece of the five great solas of the reformation according to this magnificent work by Steve Wellum. We see the centrality of Christ in both his person and his work, for the work of Christ is effective because of who he is. Wellum makes his case from both biblical and systematic theology, and he shows he is well-versed in philosophy as well. I believe this book is going to be read and quoted for many years to come. – Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
In Christ Alone—The Uniqueness of Jesus as Savior, Stephen Wellum reminds us that “Christ alone” is not only the center of the five Reformation solas, but that it stands as the central doctrine of systematic theology. Without it we cannot fully understand the doctrines of the Trinity, humanity, or salvation. “Christ alone,” argues Wellum, “must connect all the doctrines of our theology because Christ alone stands as the cornerstone of all the purposes and plans of God himself.” Consequently, if we get “Christ alone” wrong, Wellum reminds us, “all other doctrines will likely suffer.” So take up this book, read it, and think on the person and work of Christ in order that you may know, worship, and proclaim the same Christ as the Reformers, who is none other than the Christ of Scripture. – Juan R. Sanchez, Senior Pastor of High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, Texas
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