Main Menu

Responding to Objections to Sola Scriptura

Printer Friendly Version Email Link to a Friend
Image for Article
Protestants accept the New Testament books as canon because it can be verified that Jesus' apostles and their associates produced them with his authorization.

The authority of Scripture holds supreme importance in a Christian worldview, especially for Protestant evangelicals who believe that their faith and the way they live depend upon Scripture. Other branches of Christendom and skeptics, such as the convert to Roman Catholicism Peter Kreeft, sometimes raise objections to this crucial distinction. (1) They suggest that this principle is incoherent or unworkable. Responses to seven common objections explain how sola scriptura impacts Christian theology.

If you have a current subscription or current on-line account please log-in here to read the rest of this article.

1 [ Back ] For a summary of Roman Catholic criticisms of sola scriptura, see Peter Kreeft, Fundamentals of the Faith: Essays in Christian Apologetics (San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988), 274-75.
2 [ Back ] This quote is taken from Robert M. Bowman, Jr.'s unpublished study outline entitled: "Sola Scriptura: The Protestant Doctrine of the Authority of Scripture," n.d. (available by request from
3 [ Back ] J. I. Packer, "Fundamentalism" and the Word of God: Some Evangelical Principles (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1958), 55.
4 [ Back ] See F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991), 96.
5 [ Back ] Bowman, "Sola Scriptura."
6 [ Back ] Richard A. Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms, s.v. "Sola Scriptura" (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006).
7 [ Back ] Reinhold Seeberg, Text-book of the History of Doctrines, vol. 1, History of Doctrines in the Ancient Church (Grand Rapids: Baker,1964), 358; J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrine (San Francisco: Harper, 1978), 42-43.
8 [ Back ] Augustine, Letters 82.3, in Philip Schaff, ed., A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 9th ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1956 reprint).
9 [ Back ] Augustine, City of God 11.3.
10 [ Back ] Augustine, Reply to Faustus 11.5.
11 [ Back ] Thomas Aquinas, De veritate 14.10, ad 11.
12 [ Back ] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae 1a.1.8.
13 [ Back ] J. I. Packer, "'Sola Scriptura' in History and Today," in God's Inerrant Word, ed. John Warwick Montgomery (Canadian Institute for Law, Theology & Public Policy, 1974), 55.
14 [ Back ] Packer, 55-56.
15 [ Back ] For a defense of the Roman Catholic view of the papacy, see Scott Butler et al., Jesus, Peter and the Keys: A Scriptural Handbook on the Papacy (Santa Barbara, CA: Queenship, 1997). For a Protestant critique of the papacy, see Norman Geisler and Ralph Mackenzie, Roman Catholics & Evangelicals (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), and James R. White, Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority, and Authenticity (Minneapolis: Bethany, 2004). For audiotapes of a Protestant-Catholic dialogue between Kenneth Samples and Father Mitchell Pacwa (S.J.) on the question of religious authority, contact: St. Joseph Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 720, W. Covina, CA 91793 (1-818-331-3549).
16 [ Back ] For a discussion of the broad diversity that exists within the Roman Catholic Church, see Kenneth Richard Samples, "What Think Ye of Rome? An Evangelical Appraisal of Contemporary Catholicism," Part I, Christian Research Journal (Winter 1993), 32-42.

No bio information available for this author.

Issue: "Sola Scriptura" Nov./Dec. 2010 Vol. 19 No. 6 Page number(s): 37-41

    You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you do not make more than 500 physical copies. We do not allow reposting an article in its entirety on the Internet.  We request that you link to this article from your website.  Any exceptions to the above must be explicitly approved by Modern Reformation (

    Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: This article originally appeared in the [insert current issue date] edition of Modern Reformation and is reprinted with permission. For more information about Modern Reformation, visit or call (800) 890-7556. All rights reserved.