Bach (1685-1750) was certainly the zenith of the composers coming out of the Reformation. His music was a direct result of the Reformation culture and the biblical Christianity of the time, which was so much a part of Bach himself. There would have been no Bach had there been no Luther. Bach wrote on his score initials representing such phrases as : “With the help of Jesus” - “To God alone be the glory” - “In the name of Jesus.” It was appropriate that the last thing Bach the Christian wrote was “Before Thy Throne I Now Appear.” Bach consciously related both the form and the words of his music to Biblical truth. - Francis A. Schaeffer
Many of the doctrines that we Protestants take for granted find their crystallized expression in the thought of the Reformers. Theologians speak of the Solas, from the Latin word sola, meaning “alone.” Usually we list five Solas:
1. Sola Scriptura, meaning “Scripture alone”: The Bible is the sole and final authority in all matters of life and godliness. The church looks to the Bible as its ultimate authority.
2. and 3. Sola Gratia, meaning “grace alone,” and Sola Fide, meaning “faith alone”: Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. It is not by works; we come to Christ empty-handed. This is the great doctrine of justification by faith alone, the cornerstone of the Reformation.
4. Sola Christus, meaning “Christ Alone”: There is no other mediator between God and sinful humanity than Christ. He alone, based on His work on the cross, grants access to the Father.
5. Soli Deo Gloria, meaning “the glory of God alone”: All of life can be lived for the glory of God; everything we do can and should be done for His glory. The Reformers called this the doctrine of vocation, viewing our work and all the roles we play in life as a calling.
These doctrines form the bedrock of all that we believe, and the Reformers gave these doctrines their finest expression.
- Stephen J. Nichols