Carnival of the Reformation II

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Jollyblogger presents us with the second Carnival of the Reformation. The first five Carnivals of the Reformation will be covering what are often called the five solas of the Reformation, and this one is on Solus Christus. My Romans 10, Inclusivism, and Universalism is part of the festivities. The first one overwhelmed me with lots of stuff, and this one seems much smaller in comparison, but the overall sense of quality is perhaps a little higher as a result. I'm selecting two posts to highlight, only because these two stood out as saying things I would emphasize myself. This is more of a reflection of my own pet issues than it is of the value and quality of the other posts, so please go read the Carnival itself to see what else is there. Much of it is very good, and Jollyblogger gives more detailed and helpful comments on most of the entries than most carnivals ever do.

Wittenberg Gate explains why Solus Christus is more fundamental than Sola Fides. Without Solus Christus. Sola Fides turns out to emphasize our work of faith, which is what the reformers were trying to move away from. We are fundamentally saved by the work of Christ and not by any work or ours, including our faith. That's why, even though Paul sometimes says we're saved or justified by faith, he sometimes more carefully puts it that we're saved by grace and only through faith. Ultimately we're saved by Christ and what he has done. I've seen people of the Reformed persuasion so emphasize Sola Fides that they leave this out and thus themselves fall victim to de-emphasizing Solus Christus, which is where the New Testament places far more emphasis.

Diane at Crossroads points out that much of evangelicalism is in danger of rejecting Solus Christus in a very different way. This rejection is not in word but in deed, particularly in the seeker-sensitive churches. She gives examples of people who think they're preaching the gospel but give no content, which means people listening to them don't even know what they're responding to. What does "accept Christ" (not a biblical formulation to begin with) even mean to someone who doesn't know what it is about Christ that they're supposed to accept, and why should we think a response to such an empty call has anything to do with genuine faith?

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