“Sola Scriptura,” “Prima Scriptura,” or “Scriptura et Doctrina”?

Crux Sola

I am working on lectures for my spring course called “Teaching Doctrine in the Church.” One of the first issues I will have to engage in is explaining why we teach doctrine at all. Isn’t doctrine for theologians? Isn’t doctrine an imposition on the text? Isn’t doctrine the work of mortals, while Scripture is the work of God?

I think most evangelical Christians (especially in independent churches) believe that Christian growth and vitality should be nurtured by Scripture and spiritual disciples (prayer, fellowship, maybe service). But doctrine? That is just sort of heady-stuff for curious intellectuals.

In many ways, this is a misunderstanding of Sola Scriptura, which is why I agree with Clayton Croy that it is better termed “Prima Scriptura” – not only Scripture, but Scripture as of central or primary concern in the discernment of truth and the will of God.

So, how do you explain the need…

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