The Five Solae of the Reformation

Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517.

Martin Luther nails his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church of Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517.

In honor of Reformation Day, I have provided a brief summary of what is commonly referred to as the five solae of the reformation.

Sola Scriptura

Latin for “Scripture alone.” It was one of the core tenets that distinguished the reformers from the Roman Catholic church. Sola Scriptura means that the Bible is the ultimate authority for matters of faith and Christian living. It also encompasses the belief that any believer is able to read and understand Scripture. These beliefs were in stark contrast with Catholicism which erroneously held that Scripture and church tradition had equal authority on the believer. The Roman Catholic church also held the view that only the clergy within the Catholic church could reliably interpret Scriptures. (more…)

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How Do We Know What Books Should Be in the Bible?

The early church recognized the “stamp of divine inspiration” early on. The main attributes that caused these early church leaders to recognize the writings to be divine and, therefore, necessary for inclusion into the canon were apostolicity, orthodoxy, antiquity, and ecclesiastical usage. (more…)

John N. Oswalt Book Review

The following article is an assignment submission for Intro to the Old Testament for my graduate studies at Liberty University.

Introduction

The author, John N. Oswalt, opens his book with an introduction into the comparative study of the Old Testament and the religions and cultures of other peoples from the Ancient Near East. The Bible Among the Myths begins with the assertion that while the data has remained unchanged since the 1960s, the analysis has shifted. Scholars used to believe that the Old Testament was unique among the other beliefs in the Ancient Near East, but now scholars predominantly hold the view that the Old Testament is virtually identical to the other religions of its day.[1]

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20 Year Anniversary of Luby’s Massacre

Today marks the 20 year anniversary of the infamous Luby’s Massacre. On October 16, 1991, George Hennard drove his pickup through the front window of the Luby’s restaurant in Killeen, Texas. Hennard got out of his truck and shot and killed 23 people and wounded another 20 before taking his own life. (more…)

Independence Day (part 3 of 4)

Declaration of Independence

Header of the Declaration of Independence

 That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

~Declaration of Independence, third sentence

In this third sentence to the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson expressed a key concept of the Enlightenment thinkers–the consent of the governed. Long throughout history, kings governed according to the concept of divine right of kings. The monarchs claimed authority was granted by God alone; they did not answer to the will of the people. Jefferson and the Founding Fathers proposed that the authority of a ruler is legitimate only when it comes by the consent of the governed. (more…)

Independence Day (part 2 of 4)

Declaration of Independence

Header of the Declaration of Independence

 We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

~Declaration of Independence, second sentence

This is, without a doubt, the most recognized sentence in the Declaration of Independence. The depth of such a concise, yet powerful statement cannot be overstated. Notice how Jefferson asserted that all men are created equal. This is the essence of conservatism. Equality is something that everyone ought to start with, but not necessarily end with. It is analogous to wrestling tournament where anyone is allowed entry. Through a series of rounds where wrestlers compete against each other, winners advance until a champion is crowned. This is what our founders wanted for our country–a society where people are free to pursue happiness with limited government interference. Liberals, on the other hand, wish to tinker with the rules in a fruitless attempt to garner equal results. Such attempts should be resisted with full force. (more…)

Independence Day (part 1 of 4)

Declaration of Independence

Header of the Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

~Declaration of Independence, 1st sentence

The Declaration of Independence opens with a synopsis of the intent and justification of the declared separation from Great Britain. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration, noted the established relationship with the British crown, but declared that certain events justified the severing of this relationship. (more…)

Review of “The Ballot or the Bullet”

Malcolm X was a contemporary of Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. A militant leader of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm renounced his association with this movement and adopted many of the beliefs of the King and other prominent civil rights activists. In his speech at Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, Malcolm expressed the importance of the 1964 elections and its impact on the civil rights of African-Americans.

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail

Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote a response to white clergymen from the cell of the Birmingham City Jail in 1963. The clergymen urged King to let the civil rights issues be decided in the courts. King argued that it was imperative for the oppressed minority to assert their rights through acts of non-violent civil disobedience.

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Analysis of the Bolshevik Revolution

Three authors offer explanations for the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Theodore H. Von Laue, a German native and Princeton graduate, argued that the revolution was inevitable.1 George F. Kennan wrote that the perceived futility of the war effort led to the collapse of the Tsarist government, leaving a void that the Bolsheviks would fill.2 Finally, authors Jerry F. Hough and Merle Fainsod, both Ivy League professors, focused on specific reasons why the Bolsheviks were successful–not only during the 1917 revolution, but also during the ensuing civil war.3

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