Salvation by Allegiance Alone probably makes a few people a bit wiggly when they see the title because we’re used to the Five Solas (grace alone, faith alone, Scripture alone, etc.) and none of those Solas mention the word “allegiance”. But actually… one does. Sola Fide, or “faith alone”, links us to Matthew Bates’ topic. He argues that how we define “faith” results in either an authentic Christian life or one riddled by uncertainty and lack of fruit. If “faith” is just a vague mental assent (“I asked Jesus into my heart” or “I believe in Jesus”), nominal “Christians” should not surprise us. But what if faith – as Jesus and Paul and Peter describe it – isn’t just “belief”? What if it’s more than that?
Francis Schaeffer is credited with saying, “Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” There is something monstrous about a gospel obscured with condescension. There is a bitter aftertaste to cancel-culture Christianity. And yet… how do we know when something should genuinely be rejected as heretical or heterodox? There are guiding principles to Christianity, truths defended and held for thousands of years. These are not to be lightly taken. Can we hold to biblical orthodoxy without losing our hearts?