This book is a good opener for the people who would like to study Sola Scriptura (Scripture only). Basically, this book teaches what SS is and what it isn't, what the early church fathers believed concerning the Bible, and answers some of the basic arguments against SS. This book was written by some of the most prominent Protestant Apologists in the world. After reading this book, you will know what SS is and why Christians should adhere to it. The teaching of Sola Scriptura is not a denial of the authority of the catholic (universal) church, nor the traditions of the church (providing they don't contradict the Scriptures), nor the denial of the authority of the clergy in the church.
The essence of SS is an appeal to scripture. When deciding a doctrine what do you appeal to? The Scrptures. When judging a church to see if what they teach is correct what do you appeal to? The Scritures. When an Apostle teaches you something, what do you appeal to to know wether that Apostle is telling you the truth? The Scriptures. And thats what happened in Acts 17:11 concerning the Apostle Paul.
Sola Scriptura is also the teaching of the sufficieny and clearity of the Scriptures and is clearly taught in 1 Timothy 3:15-4:2 over and over again. What we need to know about Salvation and Life is taught in the Scriptures.
Sola Scriptura is not the cause of church splits but it's due rather to personal issues like what the pastor was teaching. for example, there was a church in the south where a pastor wasn't teaching the Deity of Christ as much as he was teaching the humanity of Jesus, so the members of the church "split" and made they're own church where they teach the Deity of Christ all of the time. Was that split caused by SS? No! It was caused by personal likes and dislikes of the members of the church.
In closing, I would like to say that in these perilous and secularized times, where people claim to receive "revelations" from God (especially the RCC), we should be relying on the Holy Scriptures for the truth and practice. Amen.
This book is written by a compilation of authors who successfully articulate and defend the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura, and also successfully contrast this doctrine with the practical sola ecclesia of Roman Catholicism. Similar to Soli Deo Gloria's Justification by Faith Alone compilation, this book is a solid introduction that clearly and unmistakenly reveals that the theological and doctrinal differences between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism are real and substantive and should not be mindlessly thrown aside in the interests of achieving a unity without foundational meaning.
The reader of this book, once the book is read, is faced with a choice. Roman Catholicism has repeatedly made itself clear that it denies the unequal authority and sufficiency of Scripture over doctrine and salvation, in favor of a doctrine of Scripture plus 'Sacred Tradition' as being sufficient. However, it has long been clear that Roman Catholicism's 'Sacred Scripture plus Sacred Tradition' concept is really based on a more fundamental doctrine of sola ecclesia. This is the view that states that since both Scripture and Tradition have their origins in the church, both are ultimately subject to the authority of the church in terms of interpretation and dogmatics. And herein lies the central disagreement on this issue - is the Bible alone sufficient in providing humanity with the gospel message and the ability to embrace salvation, or is the Bible by itself insufficient and thus needs to be augmented by church tradition and ex cathedra pronouncements from Rome? This is the dividing line, and it's a very clear one. Has God preserved His Word in sufficient detail that people can properly interpret its contents without an official and earthly third party mediator between God and man, or has God destined the Roman Catholic Church to be the preserver of His Word and to be the final authority on correct Biblical interpretation upon which all believers should assent?
This book leaves no doubt that this fundamental difference between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism exists, that it is substantial, and that the answers we arrive at on these questions go a long way towards framing our theological outlook. I happen to strongly believe that the Protestant position is by far the more defendable position. The Roman Catholic arguments that Scripture doesn't teach the view of Scripture alone are very weak arguments that are contextually shallow, in my view. I thought that James White's chapter was the best part of the book, although Sproul's chapter is also very good. I'm aware that White is held in particular revulsion among many Roman Catholics, but his extensive citations of the early church fathers and their views continue to be tough for the modern Roman Catholic to deal with. White, as he has done multiple times before, shows quite convincingly that Roman Catholic doctrine is inconsistent over time, with many contemporary Catholic views on things such as what exactly is 'sacred tradition' not reconciling very well with the views of the early church. To me, this is quite clear that such inconsistency (or even an evolving perspective that is more sympathetic to Rome) casts serious doubt on the viability of the notion that the Roman Catholic Church alone has authority over Scripture and Tradition in such a way that it adequately reflects the unchanging character of God.
In summary, this is an introductory work, so I highly recommend this book for beginners who want to understand one of the central doctrines that separate Protestantism from Roman Catholicism, and why it matters. In an age of increasing ecumenism that has witnessed a number of mainline Protestant denominations jettisoning the doctrinal distinctives of the Reformation in order to achieve a supposed unity with a Church that hasn't moved an inch away from the doctrinal distinctives that created the Reformation in the first place, it would be a good thing for Christians either to familiarize or refamiliarize themselves with who's saying what, who believes what, and why such differences are hugely important in preserving the integrity of the faith.