- Paperback: 130 pages
- Publisher: Icktank (August 8, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0990764265
- ISBN-13: 978-0990764267
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sola!: What are we fighting for? Paperback – August 8, 2017
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Top customer reviews
When you hear that Sola! What are we fighting for? is about the three Solas of the Reformation (grace alone, faith alone, and Scripture alone), you might suspect that this little book is simply going to repeat the same old graying, arthritic language some of us have heard umpteen times. But this is not a parrot book. And Leann Luchinger and Heather Choate Davis are certainly not parroting theologians.
Using the metaphor of boxing (a fitting choice!), the authors discuss why the Solas are worth fighting for today. They give a broad, historical sketch of the history of the church with respect to its creedal and doctrinal growth. They explore the theological foundations of the three Solas in the Reformation. And, most importantly, they don’t shirk the responsibility of asking hard questions about the extent to which simply repeating Reformation formulations is enough to address the contemporary concerns of the church and humanity today.
Their analysis, and suggestions, challenge us not simply to parrot the Solas today, but to mine from them the riches of the past, and to apply those riches today in fresh and creative ways to address the very real concerns—not of the 16th century but—of the 21st century.
In a church fissured by controversies, rocked by things not worth fighting for, the Solas remain a basic resource to focus people today on “mere Christianity,” the basics, the creedal truths of the Faith. Learning about grace alone, faith alone, and Scripture alone gives the members of the baptized, royal priesthood of believers the wisdom and tools they need to take this message with them to their vocations, to their family and friends, and to a world lost in loneliness and anxiety.
Thanks to Leann Luchinger and Heather Choate Davis for providing this brief but rich resource that breathes new life into the Solas, and shows us why they are truly worth fighting for.
History is followed by theology, as the authors render the critical thinking behind Luther’s solas with language and metaphors readers can easily understand. Denomination differences of opinion are dealt with objectively and respectfully – a delightful change of pace for those of us who spend too much time on Twitter.
This book cannot be read passively; it will ask readers to examine their acquired worldviews through the lens of the solas. This is not Chicken Soup for the Postmodern Soul or Theology for Dummies. The authors’ well-researched and artfully-crafted approach to explaining Christianity’s most divisive issues will encourage further investigation. In addition, the “For Further Discussion” sections will help readers fit these issues into the context of their own lives, making space for self-reflection or group study. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
• It’s short—As a pastor, I don’t need another 500 page tome on the tenets of the Reformation. A “magnum opus” may be impressive, but in a world with an endless avalanche of information, no one’s got time to read it. This book is accessible and will bring readers up-to-speed on the key issues fast.
• It’s honest—A book on the “solas” of the Reformation naturally praises Martin Luther, but they’re not afraid to point out some of his weaknesses too. (p. 42)
• It’s balanced—In the spirit of Ecclesiastes 7:18 (“Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes”), they argue convincingly for the authority of Scripture but also against the all-too-common insistence on uniformity on very narrow points of interpretation (p. 57-58).
• It’s challenging—Every “500th anniversary of the Reformation” celebration should ponder these words: “If we’re spending more time guarding walls than helping people find a way in, we need to face the fact that we’ve lost our way.” (p. 83).
• It’s helpful—Lutherans often celebrate the Reformation as if nothing has changed in the last 500 years. Heather and Leann remind us that the “Luther experience” (desperate concern over being good enough to please God) is no longer than the most commonly-traveled pathway to faith. Anxiety over meaning and purpose in this life has far surpassed anxiety over what may happen in any life to come. Wise readers will take this observation to heart and remember it when opportunities arise to speak about matters of faith with those outside the fold.