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Biblical Authority After Babel: Retrieving the Solas in the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity

Category: Book
By (author): Vanhoozer, Kevin J.
Subject:  RELIGION / Biblical Criticism & Interpretation / General
  RELIGION / Christian Theology / General
  RELIGION / General
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Brazos Press
Published: October 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 269
Size: 9.10in x 5.90in x 1.00in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A world-renowned evangelical theologian explores how a proper reappropriation of the five <i>solas </i>can address critics of the Reformation and renew biblical interpretation.
From The Publisher*<b>How the Five </b><b><i>Solas</i></b><b> Can Renew Biblical Interpretation<BR><BR></b>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?<BR><BR>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 <i>solas--sola gratia </i>(grace alone),<i> sola fide </i>(faith alone),<i> sola scriptura </i>(Scripture alone),<i> solus Christus</i> (in Christ alone), and <i>sola Deo gloria </i>(for the glory of God alone)<i>--</i>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.<BR><BR>This provocative response and statement from a top theologian is accessibly written for pastors and church leaders.
Flap Copy"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 <i>solas</i> rather than running from them? While wrestling frankly with the Reformation's unintended consequences, Vanhoozer makes a penetrating argument that must be taken seriously."<BR>--<b>Michael Horton</b>, Westminster Seminary California<BR><BR>"The authority of Scripture in the life of the church is a perennial theme of debate. In this book, Vanhoozer links the subject to the five <i>solas</i> 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. <i>Biblical Authority after Babel </i>will be a stimulating discussion starter and will help to shape the evolution of Protestant hermeneutics in the years ahead."<BR>--<b>Gerald Bray</b>, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University<BR><BR>"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 <i>solas</i>, 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."<BR>--<b>Daniel J. Treier</b>, Wheaton College Graduate School<BR><BR>"Protestants in general, and evangelicals in particular, are often challenged to manifest a robust grasp of the catholicity of the church. The difficulty of such a task can be compounded by (mis)understandings of <i>sola scriptura</i>, as well as of the authority of--and authority in--the church. In <i>Biblical Authority after Babel</i>, Vanhoozer summons evangelical Protestants to squarely face these and related issues in their particular stream of Christianity, and he proposes a way forward by both faithfully and creatively drawing upon the five <i>solas</i> of the Reformation. This is an astute and constructively thought-provoking book."<BR>--<b>W. David Buschart</b>, Denver Seminary<BR><BR>"Protestantism has been charged with many schisms and with spawning modern secularism and its varied ills. While some have sought solace in other folds, 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 <i>solas</i> 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."<BR>--<b>Michael Allen</b>, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando
Biographical Note<b>Kevin J. Vanhoozer</b> (PhD, University of Cambridge), one of the world's top theologians, is research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He previously taught at Wheaton College and the University of Edinburgh. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous books, including <i>The Pastor as Public Theologian</i>, <i>Everyday Theology</i>, <i>The Drama of Doctrine</i>, <i>Is There a Meaning in This Text?</i>, and the award-winning <i>Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible</i>.
Table Of Contents<b>Contents<BR></b>Introduction: Should the Church Repent or Retrieve the Reformation? Secularism, Skepticism, and Schism--Oh My!<BR><i>"By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them": Assessing a Revolution<BR>Narrating the Story of Protestantism<BR>Repenting the (Unintended) Iniquities of Our Reformation Fathers<BR>Fine-Tuning the Problem; Deepening the Dilemma<BR>Always Retrieving? "Ressourcing" the Debate about Interpretive Authority<BR>Why Mere Protestant Christianity Matters<BR></i>1. Grace Alone: The Mere Protestant Ontology, Economy, and Teleology of the Gospel<BR>Sola Gratia<i>: What the Reformers Meant<BR>Nature and/or Grace: Other Views<BR>Triune Ontology and the Economy of Salvation<BR></i>Sola Gratia<i> for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority<BR></i>2. Faith Alone: The Mere Protestant Principle of Authority<BR>Sola Fide<i>: What the Reformers Meant<BR>Faith and/or Criticism: Other Views<BR>The Principle of Authority<BR></i>Sola Fide<i> for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority<BR></i>3. Scripture Alone: The Mere Protestant Pattern of Interpretive Authority<BR>Sola Scriptura<i>: What the Reformers Meant<BR>Scripture and/or Tradition: Other Views<BR>The Pattern of Authority<BR></i>Sola Scriptura<i> for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority<BR></i>4. In Christ Alone: The Royal Priesthood of All Believers<BR>Solus Christus<i>: What the Reformers Meant<BR>Christology and Ecclesiology: Other Views<BR>The Royal Priesthood<BR></i>Solus Christus<i> for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority<BR></i>5. For the Glory of God Alone: The Wealth of Holy Nations<BR>Soli Deo Gloria<i>: The Lord's Supper as a Test of Christian Unity<BR>Church Unity: Other Views<BR>Communion in the Church (and between Churches)<BR></i>Soli Deo Gloria<i> for Bible, Church, and Interpretive Authority<BR></i>Conclusion: From Catholic Protestantism to Protestant Evangelicalism<BR><i>"And in the Morning, It Was Leah!"<BR>Protestant Evangelicalism: A Marriage Made in Heaven?<BR>After Babel, Pentecost: The Households of God and the Spirit of Mere Protestant Christianity<BR>The Gospel Alone: The </i>Solas<i> in the Pattern of Protestant Evangelical Interpretive Authority<BR></i>Indexes
Back Cover Copy"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."<BR>--<b>Timothy George</b>, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture<BR><BR>"The Reformation was about countering what was wrong in Catholicism, but its central principles, the five <i>solas</i>,<i> </i>are not only negations. Reformational Protestantism is also about being <i>for </i>something. The <i>solas </i>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."<BR>--<b>David F. Wells</b>, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary<BR><BR>"More than a rousing three cheers for the Reformation--though it is that--Vanhoozer's new book is a sparkling proposal for Protestant unity based on the five <i>solas</i> 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."<BR>--<b>Matthew Levering</b>, Mundelein Seminary<BR><BR>"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."<BR>--<b>Beth Felker Jones</b>, Wheaton College<BR><BR>"Vanhoozer properly calls for a Protestant <i>ressourcement</i>, encouraging us to rediscover some of the best wisdom from the early Reformers (think <i>solas </i>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: <i>look back creatively in order to move forward faithfully</i>. If you are a Protestant and you love Scripture and the church, please read this book!"<BR>--<b>Kelly M. Kapic</b>, Covenant College