Talk:Five solae

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Christianity / Theology / Lutheranism / Calvinism (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Christianity, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Christianity on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by theology work group (marked as Mid-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Lutheranism (marked as Mid-importance).
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Calvinism (marked as Top-importance).
 

Consolidating[edit]

Hi Philip, welcome to Wikipedia! Your idea of listing the five "Solas" in a separate article seems logical, but you might consider consolidating here information from other articles that already list some or all of the Solas - such as Protestantism and Calvinism. One way to find these references is to go to the two Sola articles (at least, that I'm aware of), Sola fide and Sola scriptura, and use the "What links here" button to see the numerous existing references. Later, Harris7 17:57, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Latin[edit]

Just a note: the first four mottos are generally stated in the ablative case (hence "fide" rather than "fides") and translated as a prepositional phrase starting with "by" or "through." Thus, "Solus Christus" is usually rendered "Solo Christo."

This seems to be a ubiquitous assertion. But the ablative, being the case of moving away, would translate to "from" or "out of" but not "by" or "through", which would be the domain of the instrumental case.--108.110.172.234 (talk) 07:45, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

History[edit]

A little history would be helpful here. When was each of these first propounded? When did each first appear in print? Which denominations believe each? When were they first grouped together? Who named them the five "solas"? - Nunh-huh 04:19, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Solus Christus[edit]

In the page history, AllanBz deleted Flex's mentioning the doctrines of Mary as co-redemptrix, mediatrix, and advocate with this comment: "Flex, you were the one who wanted neutrality. Mary as co-redemptrix is not Catholic doctrine despite many who wish it so."

Flex's response:

Hi, AllanBz. I do want a neutral article, so let's work to that end. I know those doctrines are not official dogma, but they are nonetheless taught and advocated by many Catholics (e.g., MARY: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate). One Catholic website (which was blocked but which I got through the google cache) says, "By the titles of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate, the Roman Catholic Church means that salvation for everyone would be obtained through Mary, and not directly from Jesus Christ. While this is in fact already taught by the Catholic Church, and has been for many years, it is not yet formally defined as binding dogma, though some Catholics feel it has already achieved that status" (emphasis theirs).
Furthermore, another Catholic website explicitly contrasts the doctrine of co-redemptrix with Solus Christus: "If Mary’s coredemptive role raises objections inside the Church, I believe it is because that there has often been an unconscious tendency on the part of Catholics in recent times to accept the fundamental Lutheran dogma of Christus solus without recognizing that Catholic doctrine has always maintained the absolute centrality and primacy of Christ but without denying the necessity of man’s collaborating with him in the work of salvation."
For this reason, I think the doctrines should be contrasted in this article. We can certainly qualify it with something like "which are taught by many in the Catholic Church though they are not official dogmas as of 2005." What do you think? --Flex 12:52, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I like Flex's compromise. I don't believe that Mary is officially co-redemptix in Roman Catholicism, but there are probably some who believe that to be standard doctrine. KHM03 13:10, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
KHM03, "some who believe" does not make Catholic doctrine. While "some" may believe this, the Catholic Church is, unlike the many Protestant faiths, a single entity with a single teaching Magisterium. A few websites—or even a great many websites—that overstate their cases for a particular cause do not necessarily make a significant current within mainline Catholic thought, and certainly do not define doctrine. If it were so, Catholic doctrine would be hip-deep in women priests, condoms, and murdered fetal children. Some of these causes have a larger base of support than the matter at hand and are not doctrinal, nor will ever be. —AllanBz 18:04, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
AllanBz, I know that it is not RC doctrine, and it may never be so. BUT...Scriptural inerrancy (for example) is not official Methodist doctrine, but there are still many Methodists who believe in it...and may actually incorrectly believe it to be the official position of the denomination. By the same token, is it possible that some Roman Catholics believe Mary to be co-redemptrix, regardless of the official position of that denomination? I think it's not only possible...it probably exists. It's an error, sure, but that doesn't make it any less real. Methodists, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians...pick a denomination...all have folks who believe in things contrary to official teaching. Isn't that a fair assessment? KHM03 18:32, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Afternoon, Flex. FAQ 6 in the voxpopuli site explicitly states that it is not doctrine, though they spin it as if it were forthcoming. I accept the contrast, but would rather leave the Marian bits out, as I last edited the article; the original Marian phrase overstates the case and, as it is not doctrinal, undermines the veracity of the article. The phrase beginning "...which are taught by many..." is also misleading, because if it is taught outside the Magisterium, it wouldn't be a Catholic teaching, but a personal one, a "tradition of men." (ahem) If the doctrine is ever defined ex cathedra, pop it back in. —AllanBz 18:04, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for your response, AllanBz. I agree that Catholic dogma is not created by counting noses, but widespread support can certainly have an effect on the development of Catholic doctrine (cf. the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, which was much disputed but also quite popular and eventually dogmatized). Also compare the response of Vox Populi to your objection (Objection 5). Can you make an educated guess at how popular the notion is in the church? Are the advocates of Mary as Co-redemptrix quite common, unexceptional, or rare? --Flex 18:25, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Hello all; KHM03 asked me to wade in here and offer some "expert testimony." First, I feel it necessary to say that I am not a specialist in Mariology (mariologist?); I am a scholar of Roman Catholicism. That said, it is incredibly difficult to study the RCC and not run across Mary.
As I understand the current official position of the Church, Mary ''is and is not co-redemptrix. By this I mean, there is no official proclamation that states: "Mary is the co-redemptrix." However, there are many recorded occasions where John Paul II (a Marian devotee if there ever was one) publicly referred to Mary with the phrase "co-redemptrix."
I believe the central problem is that the term co-redemptrix is misunderstood. My understanding is that when JPII used the phrase "co-redemptrix" what he meant was this: Mary was at the Crucifixion, and by an act of faith, she offered up Jesus to be crucified in submission to God's will, and she offers herself up spiritually to be crucified with Jesus. In this way, she "participates" in redemption. No, she did not redeem man; only Jesus redeemed man. "Co-redemption" does not mean she was equally responsible for redemption, that she redeemed man, that she in any way "took away" anything Jesus did. Rather, she is "co-redemptrix" because she performed an "additional" act.
It is a very complex issue, one compounded by each reader's faith background. Each denomination understands the mystery of salvation differently, and each person brings that understanding to the table. Thus, a term like "co-redemptrix" that makes sense to Catholics, based on their background, is foreign to a non-Catholic. (It's often also foreign to Catholics, as all Catholics do not have an extensive history of doctrinal education.) I have developed an illustration that I think makes the point, but I believe it may be offensive to some. I present it here, and I offer my profuse apologies to anyone who is offended.
Replace the crucifixion with an assasination (let's say Jesus assasinates "Death"), and replace the term "co-redemptrix" with "co-conspiritor." Jesus is the main assasin, He actually shoots Death. He doesn't come up with the plan, God does (so He's a co-conspirator too, as mastermind). However, Jesus is the One who buys the gun, loads it, and pulls the trigger. Mary's role is this: She stands at Jesus' side, hands Him stuff, and cheers Him on. She doesn't have to; Jesus can kill death all by Himself, without any help, but Mary voluntarily choses to be an accessory. She's a co-conspirator, not because she actually killed Death, but because she was there and she took part in the overall activity.
Hence, Mary is co-redemptrix not because she actually redeemed man, but because she was there when Jesus redeemed man, she consented to it in an act of submission to the Will of God, and she voluntarily offered herself up (spiritually) to be crucified with Him. Her participation is her submission.
I hope this helps clear up the confusion. Within the context of this article, I think it is advisable to leave "co-redemptrix" out of the mix for two reasons: 1) Co-redemptrix has not been promulgated as an official doctrine, by which I mean that the Pope has never put on the pointy hat and said "Attention all Catholics! This is an ex cathedra pronouncement: Mary is the co-redemptrix." nor has there been an official publication (with a nice Latin name that nobody can pronounce) on the subject of Mary's co-redemptrix-ness; and 2) the term "co-redemptrix" is inherrently confusing and will not be understood by the vast majority of readers of any faith. If included in this article, the term will be misunderstood, and the reader will be misinformed. (We want to inform the reader, not misinform them!) However, I think an article titled "co-redemptrix" is in order; perhaps the contributors here could collaborate on such an article, and then the reference could be added to this article with a bluelink to "Co-redemptrix" so readers will not be misinformed.
I cannot speak to the popularity of the notion in the Church; I'm not Catholic, I just study Catholicism. (I know, all this Catholicism stuffed in my head, and I'm not even one of 'em!) Essjay (talk) 00:39, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)
  • Sorry, one other issue I needed to address: AllanBz is right about the issue of doctrine. RCC doctrine is often influenced by what the people believe (as was the case with the doctrine of the Assumption) but it is never actually doctrine until the Church says it is. There is actually a special phrase to cover such a "grassroots" doctrine: Sensus fidelium or “consensus of the faithful.” However, even if every Catholic signs off that he/she believes a sensus fidelium belief, it's still not Catholic doctrine. (Although, you might argue such event would count as an ecumenical council, which would make it doctrine.) As I noted above, doctrine is made by the Pope speaking ex cathedra, or by the promulgation of an official document (encyclical, constitution, bull, etc.) that effectively says "This is official doctrine." Honestly, it really is a fine distinction; doctrine is doctrine when the people in power say "this is doctrine." Until that time, anyone from the Pope on down can speak of it (as in the case of JPII using "co-redemptrix") without it actually being doctrine, as long as he (the pope) doesn't say "this is doctrine." Certainly, individuals may privately believe what they wish, however, if they publicly dissent from Church teaching, they become heretics. On this particular issue, it isn't so much that believing Mary is co-redemptrix is against the official Church teaching, but rather, there just isn't an official Church teaching on the matter. It would be incorrect to state the matter as though the Church accepts the belief. A statement to the effect of "While the Church has never officially stated that Mary is co-redemptrix, many Catholics mantain this belief" would be factual. Essjay (talk) 00:48, Jun 11, 2005 (UTC)

well done[edit]

"Faith yields justification and good works" and is contrasted with the Catholic formula "Faith and good works yield justification."

A very tidy summation, which I think will stand scrutiny. Mkmcconn (Talk) 14:43, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Historical context[edit]

I added a "section" with an attempt at providing a little historical context. It seemed to me like a little something like this was needed in addition to just listing the Five Solas. But I consider this up for discussion or improvements. Regards, Jim Ellis 15:56, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

Isn't this whole passage conjectural? → ( AllanBz  ) 22:03, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Allan, in retrospect, I think you are right. Except for the first paragraph it is conjectural. Therefore I am going to delete it for now as I try to do a little more research. I just haven't been able to find much. Regards, Jim Ellis 16:19, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)
I keep checking back on this article, fantasizing that someone has done this research :) There's no doubt this a common summation of Reformation thinking, but I'm clueless as to who first articulated it this way.```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by Superninjaspy (talkcontribs) 19:20, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Need for imput from Calvinist and other Protestant traditions[edit]

I would welcome interested editors from the Calvinist, Reformed, and other Protestant traditions to weigh in with their own interpretation of these five solas. The Lutheran position should not be presented as the only POV although I have striven to make statements on the Lutheran position NPOV. We may find that we have more unanimity than we may have thought. It may be helpful for Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox editors to correct any misrepresentation of their doctrine. Classical Thomist Roman Catholic doctrine holds to the sola gratia.--Drboisclair 20:41, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

This line "This doctrine asserts divine monergism in salvation: God acts alone to save the sinner. The responsibility for salvation does not rest on the sinner to any degree as in "synergism" or Arminianism ". Strikes me as biased. Arminians claim the 5 solas. jbolden1517Talk 03:03, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Sola ecclesia and Sola caritas[edit]

Certain Anglican scholars have suggested that there should be two additional solas on the list : Sola ecclesia and Sola caritas. It might be a good idea if appropriate information were added about these two other proposed solas. [1][2][3] ADM (talk) 05:01, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

-----------------------------------
Not sure if this gets too much into the substance of the debate re: whether to include them, but ...
  • Re: sola ecclesia, assuming that's a reference to extra ecclesia nulla salus ("no safety outside the Church"), as a paraphrase it isn't all that accurate: Even if membership in the [universal Christian] Church is the only temporal guarantee of salvation and hence the only earthly guarantee of the "safety" of one's soul, that doesn't mean that salvation is denied to everyone else or that salvation is available only through the Church -- even the RC Catechism states that God in His infinite mercy is capable of "saving" non-Christians and admitting their souls to heaven.
  • Re: sola caritas, although "the greatest of these [three virtues of faith, hope, and love] is love", that doesn't mean it's the only virtue. Likewise, although (according to Jesus) the greatest commandment is "You shall love the LORD your God with..." and the second[-greatest] is "You shall love your neighbor...", that doesn't mean that they're the only two commandments.
165.176.7.3 (talk) 00:53, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
-----------------------------------

Grammar re: "Soli Deo gloria"?[edit]

Would someone mind explaining the Latin grammar behind "Soli Deo gloria"? I've seen it cast that way a significant majority of the time, but the genitive/(dative/ablative)/(nominative/ablative) construction doesn't make very much sense.

It seems as if one of the following would be more appropriate:

  • "Solae Dei gloriae" (dative/genitive/dative: "to only the glory of God")
  • "Soli Dei gloriae" (genitive/genitive/dative: "to the glory of only God")
  • "Solo Deo gloria" (dative/dative/nominative: "to only God glory", i.e., "to God alone [be the] glory" or "glory [be] to God alone")

Does anyone know 1) which case "Deo" is in (dative or ablative), 2) which case "gloria" is in (nominative or ablative), and/or 3) what phrasing makes these noun endings make sense?

Thanks! 72.218.206.109 (talk) 16:30, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Soli (DAT) Deo (DAT) gloria (NOM) — ‘glory only to God’. Apart from gods not existing, it makes perfect sense! — Chameleon 06:28, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. As you correctly point out, "soli Deo" is the dative object. Thus, the translation ought to be "to the only God" or "to the sole God". The current translation in the article, using "alone" as a focusing adverb, "Glory to God alone" is not based on the Latin grammar. Whether it is interpreted in that sense is another matter and depends a lot on what "glory" means. The literal translation of the Latin text can only be "Glory to the only God." The phrase "glory to God alone", using "alone" as an adverb, would be "solum Deo gloria." -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 11:53, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Soli Deo Gloria is meant to mean "glory to God alone", not "glory to the only God" which is a very different meaning. This would fit perfectly with Luther's other solas: "scripture alone", "faith alone", "grace alone" and "Christ alone". Another way of expressing it is "Only to God be the glory" (and "only from scripture", "only by faith", "only by grace" and "only through Christ"). "Glory to the only God" would have been no change for the Reformers - even the Israelites believed that! Perhaps they got the grammar wrong - the important thing is to get the meaning right, not necessarily the most literal translation. HTH. --Bermicourt (talk) 16:24, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Luther's Three Solas[edit]

The idea of Luther having Three (Faith, Grace, Scripture) instead of Five Solas is a pretty common one. Why is there no mention of this, or pointing it out as a common misconception if it is a misconception (I personally don't know as some sources I see say 3, others 5, I came to this article to find out and there's nothing on this)?Flygongengar (talk) 06:17, 20 December 2010 (UTC)


Criticism[edit]

I several times tried to add a criticism section based on the book "Rome, sweet home". It was not completed, I recognize. But instead of being improved in its style, it has been systematically eliminated (cf. 17 and 22 July). I am worried about the way Wikipedia is censored. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.250.122.172 (talk) 07:29, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

You need to provide reliable sources for your assertions. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 08:16, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Rome, sweet home is not a scholarly source. Even though it is written by a well respected scholar, it is a popular level biographical account... There are plenty of Catholic scholarly works that can be quoted for your critique ReformedArsenal (talk) 00:23, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
I believe if used sparingly, it could qualify as a reliable source because of the pre-eminence of Scott Hahn in modern Catholic biblical theology. It's kind of like getting the edited journal of Raymond Brown; it's not notable at first sight, but, as long as the claims are not extraordinary (I forget the WP:LINK to "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"), the tall stature of the authors and their reputations for solidly scholarly works is enough to "reliable-ize" the sources as long as they deal with the field in which the author is eminent (i.e. Teilhard on paleontology = kind of reliable, Teilhard on theology = not reliable except in the context of Teilhardism, or St Augustine on the nature of time = use with caution; St Augustine on the nature of grace = use freely; Catechism of the Catholic Church = reliable for Catholic doctrine; CCC = not reliable for evolutionary theory; Linus Pauling = reliable for chemistry, not for medicine, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum et alii).

Many people will not, or are not equipped to, read scholarly and dry writing (although I love it): the "doctrinal sections" of a book such as "Rome Sweet Home" (I have not read it) are likely popularizations, written in a more-accessible manner, of his scholarly work; the doctrinal statements he makes, as long as they are par for the course ("not extraordinary") are going to be reliable, and, if WP:ATT, can be checked to ensure such. Of course, there are levels of reliability; "Rome Sweet Home" could be over-ruled by Calvin's Institutes, the Catholic Catechism, or other of Scott Hahn's works. But, face it: there are very few direct and lucid comparisons of Catholic to Protestant doctrine that would pass muster as a scholarly RS: that won't stop me from using "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" if nothing else is available. Take your cue here from some articles on basic physics, were popular science books are cited, or, on articles on evolution, where Scientific American is cited: there are undoubtedly better sources that are readily available (which there may not be for this issue), but the sources provided are good enough, because not everything can be Aristotle East and West, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, or Orthodox Readings of Aquinas. I urge a reinstatement of the deleted section after it has been checked for accuracy and edited to conform to Wikipedia's MOS, using Wiki-voice where appropriate, etc. St John Chrysostom Δόξατω Θεώ 10:37, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Attention from an Expert[edit]

I'm an expert in the history of dogma as an historical theologian (at least by Wikipedia's standards, no slight intended - I am a Wikipedian, after all - as I'm not a professor or doctor, but I'm published and have an STB, but regardless of WP:CRED, I have a library of references and vast knowledge here), and, although the Reformation is not my strongest area (the high middle ages and scholasticism is), I will give attention to a rewrite of this article. Since the article has been tagged for months, it seems no greater expert - and there are undoubtedly many, and probably many Wikipedians counted amongst them - will come along.

Before beginning, I would like to solicit suggestions about what is wrong, and what should be done about it, while adding that, at the present time, in addition to what the article is tagged for, there is a strong and explicit Protestant, and a more mild Calvinist (yes, one can be biased in favor of Protestantism in general and against Lutheran and other magisterial reformation understanding) perspective and bias to this article, which I will rectify. The article is small and manageable enough a full rewrite is doable, and is likely in order: I do not desire to merely add Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Thomist, and Molinist responses, but to discuss the entire thing in the light of NPOV.

An example of this is the statement in the lead that "the five solas militate against Catholicism", where Catholics agree, without condition, on sola gratia (salvation is through grace alone) and solus Christus (only Christ can save), and, with a change in emphasis, sola fide ("faith without works is dead", but, equally, one without faith can not be saved, and faith is the found of all good works, and good works done by those not in a state of grace are sinful, cf. Augustine), and soli Deo gloria (latria to God alone, but dulia or veneration to the Mother of God foremost, and saints secondarily; neither is given to any living man, but the hierarchy is respected) - the only one that militates against Catholic teaching is sola Scriptura, where Scripture is seen as independent of Tradition. For example, the Catholic views are mainly three: that Scripture is a part of Tradition, that Scripture and Tradition are equal, or that Scripture is superior to Tradition: the latter of which is nearly identical to most Protestant understandings, as Calvinism, Arminianism, the Hypostatic Union, Trinitarianism, the Hymnal, Orders of Worship, types of hermeneutics, etc. are all examples of tradition (the "norma normata", or "the norm that is normed"), but which, in Protestantism, are subservient to Scripture (the "norma normans", the "norming norm")

This is already becoming "tl;dr", so I will not here put how I believe historical background and a more balanced and well-sourced explication of the solae will improve the article immensely. St John Chrysostom Δόξατω Θεώ 16:09, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for your attention! Personnally I'm trying to find where from these preposterous and ridiculous "solae" have originated. There's no source for such an absurd and ninny-headed formulation such as:
Sola scriptura is the teaching that the Bible is the only inspired and authoritative word of God, is the only source for Christian doctrine, and is accessible to all—that is, it is perspicuous and self-interpreting. [my understrike, how the h*ck does a text interpret itself?!!]
It's certainly not a main stream Lutheran opinion, and examining the sources for this article, I get some suspicion that some fundamentalist have invented them to put a heavy burden on the back for ordinary Lutherans (and Catholics, and other Christians). Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 06:11, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
@Rursus: That's a fairly severe charge against what I would regard as a fairly conservative article on a mainstream topic! You say examining the sources for this article... There are currently [4] eight citations and five references, but at the time you wrote the above there were only one and five, [5] respectively.
Have the edits since you last wrote answered your concerns? If so, can we remove the expert-subject tag?
Happy to discuss personal opinions with you on this topic, offline (email me perhaps), but here of course we just follow and cite our sources, which don't (with rare and precious exceptions) include ourselves. (;-> Andrewa (talk) 19:07, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
@Andrewa: 1. pardon for my pungent language, I've not learnt the proper ecumenical tone yet, but I'm currently (06:11, 20 May 2014 (UTC)) doing my best, realizing my sharp corners unnecessarily hurts peoples' feelings, 2. the five solae don't occur in the small cathecism, which can be regarded as a normative work of the larger lutheran movement, so therefore I still doubt the generality of the five solae among lutherans, 3. therefore i vindicate keep the expert attention label, 4. I didn't place it in this article, which implies I'm not the first to doubt, only the most flagwavingly verbose.
I'm going to make some survey about the occurrence, which mayhap contribute to resolve the question (but I'm no expert). Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 06:11, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Some early notes: lutheran sources mentions three solae, not five, and not as a quintuple. The sources support the occurence of notions termed "solae", but not those of the article, which I esteem to be an editor interpretation (WP:SYNTH an illicit Synthesis of published material that advances a position), not a factual statement. L8R.... Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 06:24, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure how you reach the conclusion that this is WP:SYNTH, but happy for you to explain it. The solae are well-attested in the literature as being the five principles that characterised Reformation theology, although I would agree that some of the detail might need working (along with their separate articles). For example, there was a difference in the application of sola scriptura between the mainline, or magisterial, reformers, who accepted the idea of a traditional interpretation of Scripture, provided it could be justified, and some of the radical reformers who rejected e.g. the Trinity and divinity of Christ. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:21, 28 July 2014 (UTC)