Biblical Authority after Babel (Paperback)

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Biblical Authority after Babel

Author: Kevin J. Vanhoozer

In recent years, notable scholars have argued that the Protestant Reformation unleashed interpretive anarchy on the church. Is it time to consider the Reformation to be a 500-year experiment gone wrong?

World-renowned evangelical theologian Kevin Vanhoozer thinks not. While he sees recent critiques as legitimate, he argues that retrieving the Reformation's core principles offers an answer to critics of Protestant biblical interpretation. Vanhoozer explores how a proper reappropriation of the five solas--sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola scriptura (Scripture alone), solus Christus (in Christ alone), and sola Deo gloria (for the glory of God alone)--offers the tools to constrain biblical interpretation and establish interpretive authority. He offers a positive assessment of the Reformation, showing how a retrieval of "mere Protestant Christianity" has the potential to reform contemporary Christian belief and practice.

This provocative response and statement from a top theologian is accessibly written for pastors and church leaders.

–––––––––– Table of Contents ––––––––––

Introduction: Should the Church Repent or Retrieve the Reformation? Secularism, Skepticism, and Schism—Oh My!

               - “By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them”: Assessing a Revolution

               - Narrating the Story of Protestantism

               - Repenting the (Unintended) Iniquities of Our Reformation Fathers

               - Fine-Tuning the Problem; Deepening the Dilemma

               - Always Retrieving? “Ressourcing” the Debate about Interpretive Authority

               - Why Mere Protestant Christianity Matters

  1. Grace Alone: The Mere Protestant Ontology, Economy, and Teleology of the Gospel

               - Sola Gratia: What the Reformers Meant

               - Nature and/or Grace Other Views

               - Triune Ontology and the Economy of Salvation

               - Sola Gratia for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority

  1. Faith Alone: The Mere Protestant Principle of Authority

               - Sola Fide: What the Reformers Meant

               - Faith and/or Criticism: Other Views

               - The Principle of Authority

               - Sola Fide for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority

  1. Scripture Alone: The Mere Protestant Pattern of Interpretive Authority

               - Sola Scriptura: What the Reformers Meant

               - Scripture and/or Tradition: Other Views

               - The Pattern of Authority

               - Sola Scriptura for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority

  1. In Christ Alone: The Royal Priesthood of All Believers

               - Solus Christus: What the Reformers Meant

               - Christology and Ecclesiology: Other Views

               - The Royal Priesthood

               - Solus Christus for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority

  1. For the Glory of God Alone: The Wealth of Holy Nations

               - Soli Deo Gloria: The Lord’s Supper as a Test of Christian Unity

               - Church Unity: Other Views

               - Communion in the Church (and between Churches)

               - Soli Deo Gloria for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority

Conclusion: From Catholic Protestantism to Protestant Evangelicalism

               - “And in the Morning, It Was Leah!”

               - Protestant Evangelicalism: A Marriage Made in Heaven?

               - After Babel, Pentecost: The Households of God and the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity

               - The Gospel Alone: The Solas in the Pattern of Protestant Evangelical Interpretive Authority

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