5 Reformation Guardrails for Preaching

Lucas O'Neill | September 14, 2017

Ever since the Reformation of the 16th century, Protestants have been accused of rampant schism. We weren’t even out of the 1500s before Protestantism in Europe was divided into four religious camps. Churches splintered over issues such as the nature of worship, the sacraments, the relationship between church and state, the details of Christ’s return, and much more.

This “scandal of division” has produced 9,000 Protestant denominations today (if “denomination” is defined broadly enough). Catholics have their varying rites and “denominations” as well, though not nearly as many. But they would say their unifying factor is Rome. And they would say that unifying factor is what Protestants lack. 

Yet for evangelicals, the unifying factor is the gospel. The reformers designated themselves as “evangelical” before terms like “Lutheran,” “Calvinist,” or “Zwinglian” arose.

The five solas of the Reformation are, in many ways, the bedrock on which evangelicalism is founded. They act like guardrails to keep us on the road.

Evangelical preaching, then, should bear the marks of the five solas: according to Scripture alone, we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.

Sola Scriptura in Our Preaching

Evangelical preaching must demonstrate that interpretation is not done…

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