Biblical Authority After Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity
Vanhoozer, Kevin J.
“Protestantism has been charged with many schisms and with spawning modern secularism and its varied ills. While some have sought solace in other folds, Kevin Vanhoozer responds not by looking elsewhere for another defense but by doubling down through retrieval of basic principles of Protestant theology. Further, he shows that those reformational solas were themselves retrievals of earlier biblical faith and practice. Readers of Vanhoozer have learned to expect to be charitably guided and imaginatively provoked, and this book delivers similar wisdom and provocation.”– Michael Allen, associate professor of systematic and historical theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, OrlandoSee All
W. David Buschart
professor of theology and historical studies, Denver Seminary
“At a time when the terms 'evangelical' and 'catholic' both face bewildering internal and external pressures, Kevin Vanhoozer helps to shine Scripture's light on an authentically Protestant path forward. Amid newfound interest in the Reformation solas, this book's distinctive contribution lies in discerning their hermeneutical import. This approach challenged me to think afresh about the gospel, Scripture, and the church at several points.”See All
Daniel J. Treier
Blanchard Professor of Theology, Wheaton College Graduate School
“The authority of Scripture in the life of the church is a perennial theme of debate. In this book, Kevin Vanhoozer links the subject to the five solas of the Reformation era, explaining the part that each one of them plays in our interpretation and application of the Bible today. Half a millennium later, he shows how there is still life in these classical formulations and why they should be recovered by the church today. Biblical Authority after Babel will be a stimulating discussion starter and will help to shape the evolution of Protestant hermeneutics in the years ahead.”See All
research professor of divinity, Samford University
“Are rumors of Protestantism's demise greatly exaggerated? May it actually be the case that the authority, unity, and mission of the whole church could be served precisely by reengaging with the Reformation solas rather than running from them? While wrestling frankly with the Reformation's unintended consequences, Vanhoozer makes a penetrating argument that must be taken seriously.”See All
J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology, Westminster Seminary California
“Kevin Vanhoozer properly calls for a Protestant ressourcement, encouraging us to rediscover some of the best wisdom from the early Reformers (think solas taken together) even as he challenges us to disentangle ourselves from some of the deeply problematic misunderstandings and outcomes that later arose in Protestant circles. He accomplishes what he sets out to do: look back creatively in order to move forward faithfully. If you are a Protestant and you love Scripture and the church, please read this book!”See All
Kelly M. Kapic
professor of theology, Covenant College
“I've been waiting years for this book! In a theological landscape in which it's all too trendy to dismiss Protestantism, Vanhoozer takes a harder, braver route. He offers the church a compelling 'mere Protestantism' strong enough to give us hope going forward as we continue to seek, together with the tradition, faithfulness to God's good revelation to us in Scripture.”See All
Beth Felker Jones
professor of theology, Wheaton College
“More than a rousing three cheers for the Reformation--though it is that--Kevin Vanhoozer's new book is a sparkling proposal for Protestant unity based on the five solas and also based on a differentiation between central gospel truths that are absolutely required and areas where disagreement should not divide Protestants denominationally. This is a constructive proposal for the next 500 years, rooted in an appreciation of the past 500. Catholic theologians like myself, seeking paths for deeper ecumenical dialogue, need to listen to Vanhoozer's rigorous, gracious, and erudite defense of the truth of Protestant Christianity.”See All
James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary
“The Reformation was about countering what was wrong in Catholicism, but its central principles, the five solas, are not only negations. Reformational Protestantism is also about being for something. The solas are therefore principles for shaping a robust theology. It is this constructive task that Vanhoozer has undertaken in this book, and he has done so with rigor, vigor, and an infectious enthusiasm.”See All
David F. Wells
Distinguished Senior Research Professor, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
“In a season of Reformation remembrances, here comes a fresh appraisal of the core principles of historic Protestant Christianity. Written with conviction, nuance, and wisdom, this is Kevin Vanhoozer at his best--a treasure.”See All
founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture
In recent years, notable scholars have argued that the Protestant Reformation unleashed interpretive anarchy on the church. Is it time to consider the Reformation to be a 500-year experiment gone wrong?
World-renowned evangelical theologian Kevin Vanhoozer thinks not. While he sees recent critiques as legitimate, he argues that retrieving the Reformation's core principles offers an answer to critics of Protestant biblical interpretation. Vanhoozer explores how a proper reappropriation of the five solas--sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola scriptura (Scripture alone), solus Christus (in Christ alone), and sola Deo gloria (for the glory of God alone)--offers the tools to constrain biblical interpretation and establish interpretive authority. He offers a positive assessment of the Reformation, showing how a retrieval of "mere Protestant Christianity" has the potential to reform contemporary Christian belief and practice.
This provocative response and statement from a top theologian is accessibly written for pastors, church leaders, and students.