The five pillars of the reformation


Which Protestant groups don’t adhere to the five pillars of the reformation and why not? How do they differ?

I was informed on a different thread that not all Protestants follow this list:

Sola Scriptura

Sola Gratia

Sola Fida

Sola Christo

and To God the Glory Alone(Sorry, I can’t remember the latin phrase)

I always thought that all Protestants follow some form of the above list.


It’s sola fide, solo Christo, and soli Deo gloria.

But anyway, these are such vague slogans that I don’t think they are useful. Especially sola gratia, solo Christo, and soli Deo gloria. I understand that some Protestants, particularly the Reformed, define these in a way incompatible with Catholicism, but as slogans they are pretty uncontroversial. The reverse is true of sola fide and sola scriptura–on the face of it Catholics would reject them, but even they could be defined in a way compatible with Catholicism. Note that four of these phrases are ablatives (except for soli Deo gloria–and I guess solo Christo could be a dative)–in Latin, that means that something is being done by each of them. So you have to ask: what is being alleged to be done by Scripture, faith, and grace alone? What is being done by Christ alone (or, if it’s a dative, what is to be given or ascribed to Christ alone)?

In other words, like most slogans, these don’t say as much as they appear to! I find this approach to Protestantism extremely unhelpful. As far as I’m concerned the “five solas” are just a bit of Reformed (and sometimes Lutheran) saber-rattling. Sort of like the Catholic Eucharistic slogan “Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.”

In Christ,



Well, I would say that Friends as a rule do not accept “Sola Scriptura”…the Light still guides us into Truth…which is greater? The Inspirer or the inspired? “Thee tells me what the apostles say…thee tells me what the prophets say…but what can thee say?” “Christ is present among us to teach his people himself.” “We live in that power and virtue of life that the apostles lived in.”

“Sola Gratia/Sola Fida” go hand in hand…any work of salvation comes to us by the hand of God, and it is by faith in the Light that we find our Home and Rest. While Grace is extended to all, those who would live in faith must…“live” in faith.

All salvation comes by the work of the Light in our lives…recongizing the Light Within…Inner Light…Light of Christ…Presence in the Midst…the Seed of God… to grow withing us. One can find union with God and never hear of the Anglicized/Latinize Hebrew name of the Carpenter.


Duh–I made a silly mistake there, even though I typed “soli Deo gloria” in the same post!

Solus is an irregular adjective and the dative and ablative are different. So “solo Christo” is definitly an ablative. “Soli Deo gloria” is the only phrase that is not in the ablative case.



Its really impossible to follow sola scriptura…simple because there are so many interperatations of the bible…

For instance… read the book of Daniel and see how far sola scriptura gets you…

Then read the book of Daniel with a catholic commentary like the Haydock commentary or the Navarre Bible and see how much more you understand scripture in a whole different knew level… You’ll be really amazed at the difference…

Like the above poster said. The solas are more of a sword wielding technique… But in reality and theologically it can’t be realistically appled…


Thank you for the correction. My knowledge of Latin is nonexistent, so I copied these from somewhere else.:slight_smile:


This is probably why there are moments on these forums when it seems that the argument is not about what we disagree about, but how we are expressing what we believe.


I do not see how Soli Deo gloria could be considered only a Protestant belief. I do not see how this conflicts with Catholic belief.


That was my point–on the face of it, it doesn’t. But what the Reformed mean by “soli Deo gloria” is that, for instance, the honor Catholics pay the saints is honor that should go only to God.



thank you for explaining that. I always wondered why the Reformers had soli Deo gloria. Now I understand.


Offhand, I suspect that that slogan was intended to ascribe the glory of salvation to God alone; that is, to express the Calvinist belief in predestination. But that’s just a guess.


Soteriology is part of it too. Good point.


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