Solus Christus is Not Popular

Solus Christus – Our salvation is accomplished by the mediatorial work of the historical Christ alone.

It’s one of the “Five Solas” that are core to what makes Protestants… protestant. These are what the Reformation was protesting.

But I have to point this out: Solus Christus sure isn’t popular today. 

Not in American Protestant churches, anyway.

Listen to podcasts of sermons from around the country or go to events or listen carefully and you’ll hear a not-so-subtle variant that teaches Jesus + _____ = A Faithful Christian.

That blank can be:

  • Attending worship services
  • Baptism
  • Giving
  • Youth group
  • Small group
  • Extra worship gatherings
  • Leadership
  • Volunteering
  • Membership
  • On and on and on.

My point isn’t that those things are bad. None of those things in my list above are bad. In fact, most are actually good! You could even say they are important things, maybe even signs that a person is actively walking with Jesus?

But when you compare how much emphasis is placed on the things in that bullet pointed list compared to the Five Solas‘ foundational to the Reformation itself?

It’s confusing (at best) and misleading (at worst) to the people on the other side trying to figure it out.

  • You talk about making church attendance a priority in your life, but what about Jesus?
  • You talk about identifying with Jesus in baptism, but are you identifying with Jesus or the church?
  • You talk about giving to the church, but I thought I was supposed to give my life to Jesus?
  • Youth group is a great place to grow, but without Jesus at the center of your youth group it’s just a social club.
  • Coming to more worship services is great, but at what point am I no longer worshipping Jesus and instead am just a fan of the band?
  • Christian leadership is needed in our society, but I’m not sure a lot of the leadership stuff being taught is even Christian?

You get the point.

Jesus is enough.

Don’t get bored with Jesus.

It’s all about Jesus.

If you want a great youth ministry point students to Jesus and not _____. That might not be “hot” or land you on the seminar team for a bunch of conferences… but I’d rather do a good, boring job than be popular, anyway.






2 responses to “Solus Christus is Not Popular”

  1. Jeff Avatar

    Best blog post. EVER.

  2. Tony Vasinda Avatar

    That we might empty ourselves and be filled only with Jesus.

    Great post. I whole heartedly agree in the need to place Christ at the center of our messages and ministry.

    My problem with this solae and many others is that taken to there seemingly logical conclusions is that they create false segmentation and separation. Granted that I’m Catholic and my theological bent is certainly not that of the reformers. When I hear this solae explained by my protestant brothers it seems to limit the work that Christ does through His Body (meaning us the members) and through the ineffable work of the Holy Spirit (meaning, in part, the goodness that people experience in their daily life that properly orients them toward God).

    If effect we put Jesus in box rather than embracing the mystery of His eternal and saving love.

    That said, maybe the guys I know who have tried to explain the Solus to me have just done so poorly.

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