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The Sixth Sola

The mission of the church is proclamation alone.

But of course proclamation is never alone (2 Cor 4:1-6).

To elevate other concerns into the place of proclamation is condone works of the flesh.  Social and political amelioration are the fruit of the Spirit.

To agree to the first five solas means a commitment to this sixth.

Or so I submit...

0 thoughts on “The Sixth Sola

  1. woldeyesus

    MAN'S BROAD CHOICE: Jesus Christ, Moses, Peter (among many others)

    GOD'S ONE CHOICE: "This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased--listen to him!" (Matt. 17: 4-5)

    I submit Jesus Christ personally knowable as "the first and the last born in death" (John 8:28; Rev. 1: 17-18)

  2. theoldadam

    "To agree to the first five solas means a commitment to this sixth."

    Or at least as much as our sinful selves can muster on any given day.

  3. Timothy

    Might the mission of the church be related to the original commission to Adam, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."? If this is the case, the mission of the church is wider than proclamation. The need for proclamation, which I fully accept, comes from Genesis 3 but does Genesis 3 render Genesis 1 null and void?
    Or is Adam and the church to be sharply distinguished?

  4. Glen

    Hi Timothy,

    Christ does not add to Adam's work as though He accepts the old creation and builds some new creation reality on top. But just as Christ recapitulates Adam's work, so He recapitulates his mission. Matthew 28 is the Last Adam's "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth."

    This is not to ignore creation but to see that creation and redemption are all effected in Christ and by the Spirit. To be true to God's creation mandate is to point the world by the Spirit to the Son (Eph 1:10).

    Welcome to the blog by the way - if I haven't already said hi.


  5. Rich Owen

    Hi Timothy

    Good points there.

    I think proclamation is pre fall too. God brings all the animals to Adam for him to name. He speaks their identity to them. And so the word of the first Adam is proclaimed to all the earth.

    In the first instance, the be fruitful stuff I think is connected to well... making babies. As the two are one flesh, a third person proceeding from them would indeed be a wonderful image of the Living God. Their fruit is brought from their love which is kinda what Glen is saying. The fruit of being a loving, God imaging community (which a Christian marriage is) is this filling and blessing.

    As such, I would distinguish Adam from the church by saying the second Adam is Christ and the second Eve is the Church... Union with Christ, be fruitful.

    Sorry. Tired musing don't make the best reading :-0



  6. cath

    To agree to the first five solas means a commitment to this sixth.

    If "means" means "presupposes" then this is spot on!

    For what are the first five, if not specifications of the core content of what the Church is meant to be proclaiming. (Or ?)

  7. Glen

    Hi Cath,

    I want to go further and say both. I'm not just saying that our proclamation should be wholly protestant but that a protestant church mission should be wholly proclamation.

    Of course we will love our neighbour, bear each other's burdens and serve those to whom we proclaim (proclamation is never alone), yet the mission for which the church is sent into the world is a mission of proclamation. And one of the best ways to argue that is to meditate on the five solas.

    They are a wholesale rejection of works of the flesh. Only Christ's gracious work, testified by Scripture, received by faith alone glorifies God. In the realm of mission this means heralding His work not establishing our own. The 5 lead to the 6th.

  8. Dave K

    Seems quite 2 kingdomesque your post Glen... something I'm a bit conflicted about.

    I think it depends what you mean by 'church'.

    Aren't the 5 solas are all questions of vertical relationship? e.g. Faith toward God, works toward the neighbour.

    Perhaps then the mission of the church as those sent to speak on Christ's behalf to people is proclamation alone, but as people to people we serve in social action etc...

    Not sure.

    Thinking out loud.

  9. Glen

    Hi Dave - by "mission of the church" I mean "that for which the church has been sent into the world." I'm very happy for people to be people and love their neighbour etc. That's the individual fruit of the gospel in individual's lives, just as cultural renewal will be a larger scale fruit of the gospel in a culture at large. But none of that changes the mission statement of the church - which is proclamation.

  10. Matthew Weston

    And if the living out of loving our neighbour, cultural renewal etc. is easier to do as an organised, local body of believers (i.e. the local church)...?

    Almost being provocative for the sake of it, but not quite.

  11. Glen

    Hi Matthew - by parallel with the 5 solas, that would be like preaching the fruits of the gospel rather than the gospel. Obviously such fruits *will* accompany the gospel but they must be clearly demarcated from the gospel and never confused. And so it is with the gathered community. We are expressly gathered around word and sacrament, etc, etc. Must go - but you can fill out the rest...

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