About The Church Episode 50 Show Notes


Protestantism refers to the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Protestant doctrine, also known in continental European traditions as Evangelical doctrine, in contradistinction to that of Roman Catholicism, rejects papal authority and many elements of Roman Catholic doctrine. It typically holds that Scripture (rather than tradition or ecclesiastic interpretation of Scripture)[1] is the only source of revealed truth, and also that salvation is the result of God's grace alone. The key tenets of Protestantism are outlined in the Five Solas.

The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the Protestant Reformation and summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. The Latin word sola means "alone," "only," or "single" in English. The five solas were what the Reformers believed to be the only things needed in their respective opinions for Christian salvation. The Bible was taught as the only norm. Listing them as such was also done with a view to excluding other things that in the Reformers' respective views hindered or were unnecessary for salvation. This formulation was intended to distinguish between what were viewed as deviations in the Christian church and the essentials of Christian life and practice. In these opinions they differed from the universal consensus of Christians in historical Christianity.

The Protestants characterize the dogma concerning the Pope as Christ's representative head of the Church on earth, the concept of meritorious works, and the Catholic idea of a treasury of the merits of saints, as a denial that Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Catholics, on the other hand, maintained the traditions of Judaism on these questions, and appealed to the universal consensus of Christian tradition, that Peter and his successors were mandated by Jesus Christ as his vicars on earth after his ascension, to keep his followers united.(Matt. 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:11, Eph. 2:20, 1 Pet. 2:5–6, Rev. 21:14).
Protestants believe that the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church obscure the teachings of the Bible by conflating it with church tradition and Popish doctrine. Protestants therefore see Scripture as the sole authority in matters of faith and practice. Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit (according to Scripture) guides the Church into the fullness of truth and therefore led the Catholic Church into a more sophisticated understanding of revelation in history, (Matthew 10:19; Mark 13:11; Luke 12:11, 21:14). This however, places the Roman Catholic magisterium over Scripture.
Protestants believe that faith in Christ alone is enough for eternal salvation as described in Ephesians 2:8-9, whereas Catholics believe that the phrases "faith without works is dead," (as stated in James 2:20) and "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only" (James 2:24); points to the justified person needing to persevere in charity. Protestants, pointing to the same scripture, believe that practicing good works merely attest to one's faith in Christ and his teachings.
Protestants perceived Roman Catholic salvation to be dependent upon the grace of God and the merits of one's own works. The Reformers posited that salvation is a gift of God (i.e., God's act of free grace), dispensed by the Holy Spirit owing to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ alone. Consequently, they argued that a sinner is not accepted by God on account of the change wrought in the believer by God's grace, and that the believer is accepted without regard for the merit of his works — for no one deserves salvation. Catholics believed that faith was not just a belief, but a way of life, and in both lay salvation, not faith alone. (Matt.7:21)
All glory is due to God alone, since salvation is accomplished solely through his will and action—not only the gift of the all-sufficient atonement of Jesus on the cross but also the gift of faith in that atonement, created in the heart of the believer by the Holy Spirit. The reformers believed that human beings—even saints canonized by the Roman Catholic Church, the popes, and the ecclesiastical hierarchy—are not worthy of the glory that was accorded them. On these bases they considered themselves justified in forming new denominations at war with the Catholic Church, rather than sharing its mission.


The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to:

In Christianity, the first seven Ecumenical Councils, from the First Council of Nicaea (325) to the Second Council of Nicaea (787), represent an attempt to reach an orthodox consensus. The East-West Schism, formally dated to 1054, was still almost three centuries off. Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican churches all trace their clergy by apostolic succession back to this period and earlier. However, breaks of unity that still persist today had occurred even during this period. The Assyrian Church of the East rejected the Council of Ephesus (431). The Oriental Orthodox churches recognise the first three and consider the Second Council of Ephesus (449) to be the Fourth Ecumenical Council. The Catholic Church rejects the Quinisext Council.