Five Books on the Five Solas of Protestantism

Books that consider all five of the Solas together:
Books that consider Sola Scriptura:
  • William Whitaker, Disputations on Holy Scripture. This is not easy reading, but it is worthwhile reading. It will reward the time and effort put into it. 
  • Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 1. Francis Turretin’s work is a masterpiece of theological reflection, and his chapters on the doctrine of Scripture in volume 1 address the main points of contention between the Reformers and the Roman Catholics. 
  • Peter Lillback and Richard Gaffin, eds. Thy Word is Still Truth. This rather large work (1392 pages) is subtitled Essential Writings on the Doctrine of Scripture from the Reformation to Today. And that is what it is. The four selections found in part one are significant contributions by Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger, and John Calvin on the doctrine of sola Scriptura. These provide much-needed historical context. 
  • Keith A. Mathison, The Shape of Sola Scriptura. A book which traces the history of the doctrine and defend it against critics on both the Roman Catholic and evangelical sides.
  • Richard A. Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2: Holy Scripture. This work, while probably the most demanding of the five listed here, is very helpful for those willing to expend the effort. In this work, Muller looks at every aspect of the doctrine of sola Scriptura, from its context in the late fifteenth century to the detailed explanations of it found in the writings of the post-Reformation theologians.
Books that consider Sola Fide:
  • Francis Turretin, Justification. Turretin is arguably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of the post-Reformation Reformed orthodox theologians. The section of his Institutes of Elenctic Theology on justification has been published in a separate paperback version and is required reading on this subject. 
  • John Owen, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith. Owen is the greatest English theologian of his or any other century. His treatise on justification is, like all of his other works, deep and dense. But it is also well worth the effort expended. 
  • James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification. Buchanan was a minister in the Church of Scotland in the nineteenth century. His book on justification is a Reformed classic. 
  • R. C. Sproul, Faith Alone: The Evangelical Doctrine of Justification. Dr. Sproul wrote Faith Alone in the aftermath of the controversy about the document Evangelicals and Catholics Together. This book is the most helpful introduction to the importance of this doctrine for the life and health of the church. 
  • J. V. Fesko, Justification. Fesko’s work on justification is one of the most recent full-length works on the doctrine by a confessional Reformed theologian. His book is a nice supplement to Buchanan’s because it deals with more recent controversies that have arisen in connection with the doctrine of justification (for example, the New Perspective on Paul, the teaching of Norman Shepherd, the Federal Vision, and more).
Books that consider Sola Gratia: 
  • Augustine, Selected Writings on Grace and Pelagianism. This book contains Augustine’s most important writings related to the Pelagian controversy. These writings were mined heavily by the sixteenth-century Reformers.
  • Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will. This work was Luther’s response to Erasmus’s book On Free Will. In it, Luther argues that fallen man is unable to come to God because the fallen will is in bondage to sin.
  • R.C. Sproul, Chosen by God. In this work, Dr. Sproul presents a clear and succinct case for the biblical doctrine of gracious election. This book has helped many come to an understanding of the biblical doctrine of election.
  • John Murray, Redemption: Accomplished and Applied. Murray’s work looks at Christ’s work of atonement and the application of its benefits to the believer by the Holy Spirit. He shows how the work of redemption is all of grace from beginning to end.
  • Sean Michael Lucas, What is Grace? The word “grace” is one of those words Christians use a lot, but do not always understand. In this booklet, Dr. Lucas provides a clear explanation of its meaning.
Books that consider Sola Christus
  • Martin Luther, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. The Babylonian Captivity of the Church is the second of three great treatises Luther wrote in 1520 as part of his attack on the abuses of the Roman Catholic Church (the others were To the Christian Nobility and The Freedom of a Christian). The Babylonian Captivity is Luther’s scathing criticism of the Roman Catholic sacramental system. It is the place to begin in any attempt to understand the importance of solus Christus.
  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion. John Calvin was a second generation Reformer who emphasized solus Christus as emphatically as Luther. In one sense, the entirety of his Institutescould be seen as an exposition of the idea of solus Christus, but his section on the Roman Church and sacraments in Book IV is must reading on the subject.
  • The Canons of Dort. The Canons of the Synod of Dort are part of the Three Forms of Unity, the confessional standards for millions of Reformed Christians. They set forth a biblically grounded understanding of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
  • Rod Rosenbladt, Christ Alone. This little booklet provides a concise introduction to the doctrine of solus Christus, explaining why it is crucial to the Christian faith.
  • Ronald H. Nash, Is Jesus the Only Savior? In our own day, another issue has arisen that is directly related to the idea of solus Christus, namely the exclusivity of Christ as the only way of salvation. In our pluralistic world, this article of Christian faith has come under constant attack. This book by Ron Nash is a defense of the exclusivity of Christ as the only way of salvation. In it he deals with the pluralistic and inclusivistic views of men such as John Hick, for whom Jesus is merely one way of salvation among many.
Books that consider Soli Deo Gloria
  • John Hannah, How Do We Glorify God? In this brief booklet, John Hannah explores the answer to the first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.” 
  • R.C. Sproul, How Then Shall We Worship? In this book, Dr. Sproul outlines the principles of God-centered, God-glorifying worship. 
  • Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Worship. Burroughs was a Puritan whose writings remain edifying and encouraging to this day. This book was enormously influential on Dr. Sproul. 
  • Michael Horton, A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of Christ-Centered Worship. Horton’s book is a contemporary defense of God-glorifying worship as opposed to the “worship as entertainment” views so common today. 
  • Philip Graham Ryken, Derek W. H. Thomas, and J. Ligon Duncan III, eds. Give Praise to God. This is a helpful collection of short essays by different writers on various aspects of worship.