There’s a lot of protesting going on in our culture today. Seems like everyone is upset about something. And they are quite willing to let the world know about it. Indeed, even in the evangelical Christian world, it seems like protesting has become the thing to do.
The key question, however, will always be, “Against what things should Christians offer a protest?”
I suppose there are many answers to that question. But, as we near the 500th anniversary of Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses to the Wittenberg door (Oct 31st), we should at least consider what the Reformers were busy protesting.
After all, that is what the Reformers were. The term “Protestant,” of course, comes from the Latin protestari, which simply means to “declare publicly, testify, protest.” And if you are a Protestant today, then you still are, effectively, a protestor.
Unfortunately, most modern day Protestants have forgotten what the protest was (originally) all about. And now they have moved on to protesting other things that perhaps seem more important. And, indeed, many modern issues are important and deserve protest (e.g., we should protest the practice of abortion).
But, we cannot forget our original protestor heritage.
That original protest was best captured in the five “solas” that came out of the Reformation:
Sola Scriptura: We protest against any authority that sets itself up as higher than the word of God revealed in the Bible.
Sola Fide: We protest against the idea that there is any other instrument apart from faith by which we are declared righteous before God.
Sola Gratia: We protest against the idea that our own good works are the meritorious basis for God bestowing his favor upon us.
Solus Christus: We protest against any other “god” who sets itself up as a more sufficient redeemer/savior than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria: We protest against any idea that prevents God from receiving all glory for our salvation (or for any other thing).
Needless to say, protesting these five things won’t get local news coverage or an article in the New York Times. But, regardless of whatever else we might protest, we cannot fail to protest these five things lest we lose the heart and soul of the Christian faith.
The five plenary sessions of this conference are on the five solas mentioned above and are taught by Kevin DeYoung (Sola Fide), James Anderson (Sola Gratia), Blair Smith (Solus Christus), Derek Thomas (Soli Deo Gloria), and myself (Sola Scriptura).
I might add that all these speakers (except myself!) are ST profs at Reformed Theological Seminary.
And Keith and Kristyn Getty will cap off the weekend with a concert that Sunday night.
For details about the conference and how to register, see here. Hope to see you there!