Back to the Fountains
A phrase became famous during the Protestant Reformation: ad fontes! Literally, ‘to the fountains.’ What?! The phrase meant “Go to the source.” The Reformers realized that for the church to be renewed, we all needed to go back to the deep source of truth, the Scriptures. When faith gets dry, go back to the fountain of truth, that is God’s Word. As one writer noted, ‘When life gets confusing, go back to basic practice of prayer. When you feel far from Christ, go play in the fountain of baptism by remembering how you belong to Christ. Go drink from the endless cup of his life-giving blood in the Supper. Ad fontes.’ Go to the source to renew life and faith. The Reformers changed the world doing just that. That was the sixteenth-century.
This is the twenty-first century. On this 500th anniversary of the Reformation we need to go back to the source of that Reformation and remember just what is our heritage as protestants. That original protest, wrote Michael Kruger, was best captured in the five “solas” that came out of the Reformation:
- “Sola Scriptura: We protest against any authority that sets itself up as higher than the word of God revealed in the Bible.
- Sola Fide: We protest against the idea that there is any other instrument apart from faith by which we are declared righteous before God.
- Sola Gratia: We protest against the idea that our own good works are the meritorious basis for God bestowing his favor upon us.
- Solus Christus: We protest against any other “god” who sets itself up as a more sufficient redeemer/savior than the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Soli Deo Gloria: We protest against any idea that prevents God from receiving all glory for our salvation (or for any other thing).”
Happy Reformation Day,