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Case for Traditional Protestantism: The Solas of the Reformation Paperback – Illustrated, June 1, 2004
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- Publisher : Banner of Truth; Illustrated edition (June 1, 2004)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0851518885
- ISBN-13 : 978-0851518886
- Item Weight : 8.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.7 x 0.59 x 8.48 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,438,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book is well written but it does take some concentration to read. However, it is not just for theology buffs or church history nerds who like Latin phrases. The solas of the Reformation are for the whole church and represent nothing more than a clear, concise summary of the essential parts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that are being ignored, forgotten, or denied in the modern church. This book is a call to the church to return to its first love, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is lifted up and magnified when we understand and embrace in our lives the truths summarized in the five solas.
I really enjoyed the study through the book and helped my understanding as I have been teaching on these and writing on these Solas. Mr. Johnson goes into good detail of every Sola: Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide and Soli Deo Gloria. The book isn't able to go into complete study as there have been large volumes written on each one of these Solas, but, never the less, Mr. Johnson does give the reader enough information to really spark serious study on the issues at hand.
What I have found is that most claim these Solas but really either don't know what they really mean, or don't live them out practically. Mr. Johnson makes sure that these are well defined so that any reader will at least understand the definition of each Sola, even if they end up disagreeing with the Sola itself.
The one thing that I believed was lacking a little, was pulling in modern thoughts and movements that go against some of these Solas. Mr. Johnson did a great job historically defining them but it would have been nice to get his take on the movements (Seeker, "moderate"Calvinists, Emergent, Word Faith) that fly in the face of the reformed thought on the Solas and the whole point of the Reformation from the Catholic church.
With that said, I would still very much encourage any who don't know the history and definition of the Five Solas to pick up this book as a resource, or read my posts [...] on the subjects at hand
Top reviews from other countries
Johnson seems less ware of the intrinsic contraction of the term "traditional protestantism" but never mind. More importantly, what he cannot offer is a biblical justification for "sola scriptura" . His views on the role of the church, interpretation, tradition, reason and freedom of conscience of the individual are simplistic. Repeatedly, he mentions, and responds to, colleagues of his from seminary who have converted to Catholicism. But he does not really engage the basic arguments and challenges their position might raise against several of his reformed core principles.
Historically, his views on medieval innovations and on how the reformation itself unfolded are inaccurate and partially deficient, starting with what happened, and what it originally meant when Luther put his 95 theses on the church door of Wittenberg.
The author's views on the reformation, its theological principles, and its historical consequences are quite biased. He does not engage with its limits or problems. I am wondering whether it is his actual conviction, or whether it is his choice for this book, which wants to make "a case for traditional protestantism".
The reason I liked, and recommend, this book it that it presents, to a degree, a view of protestantism as if ecumenism never happened. And we need that. It would have been better yet if the author chose also to engage with what ecumenical movements and theology have achieved over the past decades, and by that I mean: how little, and how problematic things it has achieved.
My guess is, there are two kinds of readers who will benefit from this book: first, readers who belong to a protestant church that is similar to the one where the author is pastor, unfashionable as that has become among protestants themselves; second, readers - like me - who want to get to know such, real, honest protestants but who will remain unconvinced by the doctrinal points rejecting historical Christianity as it appears in the Catholic, Oriental, and Orthodox churches today, and in particular in the Catholic Church in which the Church of Christ subsists forever.