This year commemorates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, marked by Martin Luther’s 1517 publication of his “95 Theses.” In honor of this historic milestone, the College of Theology hosting an evening of celebration and reflection on the significance of the Reformation and what it means to us today. On Monday, Oct. 30, five faculty members will cover the “Five Solas” of the Reformation from 5 – 6 pm in Howerton Hall (Building 19) on GCU’s main campus in Phoenix. Come and share in a new understanding and appreciation of the lives dedicated to reforming the church at a critical historical and theological moment. Free pizza will be provided!
What is the Reformation?
Over 500 years ago, the church looked starkly different than what it looks like today. There was a great deal of unrest and political upheaval as the Catholic Church’s authority to define Christian practice was challenged. The Reformation triggered wars, persecutions and the so-called “Counter-Reformation,” which was the Catholic Church’s delayed response to these new Protestant ideals. With so many lives lost and countries transformed during this period of Reformation, it is important to have a clear understanding of what was being fought for.
In short, the ideas of the Reformation were a call to purify the Church. This movement claimed that holding a belief in the Bible, rather than a tradition or religious practice, should be the sole source of spiritual authority. Over the course of this Reformation, five Latin phrases or “solas,” meaning alone or only, emerged to summarize the Protestant Reformation’s purpose.
Sola Fide, by faith alone.
Sola Scriptura, by scripture alone.
Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
In these powerful phrases, we can see the truth of the Bible prevail. Jesus says in his ministry on earth, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
While it has been 500 years since this theological battle took place, there is still an evident impact of its wake. To learn more about this time period, come and listen as some of GCU’s faculty dissect each sola of the Reformation and explain how it applies to us today.
Grand Canyon University proudly holds to its Christian heritage and encourages its students and staff to find their purpose in Christ. To learn more about the College of Theology, visit our website or use the Request More Information button on this page.
Written by Breanna Alverson, a senior earning a business administration degree at GCU.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.