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Solus Spiritus

January 20, 2011

Most of us are familiar with the “Five Solas of the Reformation”:  Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone); Sola Fide (Faith Alone); Sola Gratia (Grace Alone); Solus Christus (Christ Alone); and Soli Deo Gloria (To God the Glory Alone).  These were the fundamental principles that outlined the Reformation, and still provide the foundation for Reformed theology today.  While Reformed theology is more than these, it is not less than these.

Recently I have been reading a good book from the Explorations in Biblical Theology Series.  The book is Anointed with the Spirit and Power by John D. Harvey.  This volume in the series looks at the person and work of the Holy Spirit throughout redemptive history.  It is an interesting, fast-paced, and readable accessment of the Spirit’s empowering presence throughout Scripture.  In the book, Harvey makes an interesting and provocative suggestion.  He states:

Perhaps we should consider adding a sixth “sola” doctrine to those we hold so precious.  Do so would help us take a significant step toward recapturing the doctrine of the Holy Spirit for evangelical theology.  Here is one way of stating a doctrine of solus Spiritus (Spirit alone):  The Holy Spirit alone has been, is today, and always will be the source of empowerment God uses to accomplish his purposes through his people.

Another sola?  Well, I am not one for fixing what ain’t broke.  However, in this case I would be willing to concede the exception.  Solus Spiritus would not detract from the solas but would add what most believe is already there, namely the power and influence of the Spirit.  After all, what are the Scriptures, faith, grace, the work of Christ, and the glory of God to us apart from the person and work of the Holy Spirit?

It may not catch on (Reformed folks are slow to change).  But from now on, in my mind there are six solas to the Reformation and not just five.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Donald Chavis permalink
    January 20, 2011 3:30 pm

    NIce… I’ve never thought about it. But most would say that His work is indeed overlooked! I’m with you sir! Thanks!

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