The substance of Protestantism is summarized in the five Solas: Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria. These were the distinct burdens of those who broke from Roman Catholicism in the Protestant Reformation. In my brief experience with these doctrines, Sola Scriptura is most commonly misunderstood.

Granted, that might be because I myself misunderstood Sola Scriptura for awhile. Shout-out to Alpha and Omega Ministries for the help.

Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) states that Scripture is the sole infallible rule for the faith and practice of the church. Sometimes people reference this doctrine as the conviction that Scripture alone is valuable, or helpful, or informative. But that misunderstands the proposition of Sola Scriptura at a most fundamental level. We are here concerned with the authority of various sources of information. The Reformers were not condemning science or philosophy; they were concerned with what voice takes first place in the life of a Christan. “The voice of Almighty God,” we confess with them, and that voice only speaks today through a preserved Word (which just so happens to be in Greek and Hebrew, not 17th century English).

Sola Scriptura says that I should look for advice from the sources I come in contact with, but judge them all according to Scripture, because Scripture alone is infallible. Sola Scriptura does not say that I should forsake all scientific and philosophical fields, in favor of my Bible.

So fill your bookshelves, sister. Watch those WWI documentaries, ask your parents for advice, consider alien philosophies. But submit all voices to the voice of their Creator.

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