The phrase “sola scriptura” is tossed around a lot these days. I hear it in conversations with believers who are defending their beliefs and see it frequently on church home pages. It’s a well known Latin phrase that simply means “scripture alone” and it does have a nice ring to it. Many Christians like to boast that “the Bible is my only authority!” We wish that were true, but sometimes we wonder. How about you? Do you believe in sola scriptura…. really?
Is the Trinity Sola Scriptura?
Let’s take a look at what is arguably the single most important doctrine in modern Christendom and see if it passes the “sola scriptura” test or not. It’s a teaching from our creeds about the nature of God and it’s widely used as a litmus test for orthodoxy. If you question or object to its dogma you’ll likely be written off as a heretic, a wing nut, or at the very least, someone way out on the fringe. Yes, you guessed it! I’m talking about the trinity, our beloved and venerable Holy Trinity. In this article we ask if the trinity is really consistent with the principle of sola scriptura… or is it simply a Christian sacred cow with no basis in scripture at all?
Find These Words in Scripture!
If the trinity is scriptural you should be able to find it in the Bible pretty easily by finding the words “three persons”, “triune” or “trinity” in the scriptures. The trinity is built on words and ideas like co-equal, co-eternal, persons, substance, essence, hypostasis, and homoousious. A good concordance could help you find these words in scripture without much effort and prove the trinity is consistent with sola scriptura. All you have to do is find these words in scripture! If the words and ideas that men have used to build the trinity are really consistent with sola scriptura they must be in God’s Word somewhere! But they are not. None of them. None at all. Not even one. Why not? Could it be because the trinity has a lot do to with our creeds but doesn’t have anything to do with scripture?
Choose Sola Scriptura or Choose the Trinity
The lack of scriptural references to support the trinity creates a problem doesn’t it? Some try to minimize the problem and say, “So what! What’s the big deal?” Well, it is a big deal and here’s the issue. Do you believe in the creeds or do you believe in scripture alone? The dilemma you face is that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t have your doctrinal cake and eat it too. Choose sola scriptura or choose the trinity of the creeds but you can’t honestly have both. Either throw out the archaic creeds that gave us the trinity or throw out the whole idea of sola scriptura.
Choose You This Day Whom You Will Serve
I’m reminded of the time when Joshua confronted Israel with these words: “Choose you this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15) The man chosen to lead Israel didn’t leave them much room for waffling around. The edges of the decision were sharp and the choice before them was stark. Choose your old and familiar religion or serve YHWH in sincerity. Perhaps God has brought all of us to the kingdom for such a time as this and now insists that we too make a choice. Choose scripture or choose an old and familiar man-breathed creed. As for me and a growing number of believers, I think we’ll go with sola scriptura. Why not join us? You’ll be glad you did.
Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes