Scripture Alone by James R. White had me hooked at the Dedication page. The heart for Christ that is briefly exposed there is more full expressed in the subsequent pages. White states in his Introduction that he is passionate about theology and faith, and that passion is clear throughout the book. The Introduction also contains a helpful clarification of sola scriptura (and sola fide), which is laid out in more detail in Chapter 2; there are several useful historical references as well. Chapter 2 concludes with an assessment of the evangelical church’s view of Scripture and preaching, in theory and in practice.
This is a book that is written for the layman, but I confess to getting a bit bogged down in Chapter 5, a discussion of the canon of Scripture. I am confident that this is a problem that can be easily overcome by a slower, more careful reading on my part. Throughout the book, White employs a dialogue technique that proves helpful in most places, but occasionally gets tedious. Chapter 6 provides a good preview of material that most Christians have not read firsthand in their entirety, but may have had to deal with recently because of the popularity of The Da Vinci Code. Though not primarily a rebuttal to that book, it is helpful. Chapter 7 has an excellent imaginary debate between a Christian and a Mormon about text corruption, as well as a transcript of an actual debate between White and a Muslim that was wonderful. White also addressed one of my pet peeves in “The Lord Spoke to Me, Saying . . .”However, the ending he portrays with George happily agreeing to consider Joshua’s points has been a rarity in my experience.
In his conclusion, White reiterates his goal, to stir up a passion in the believer for the Word of God and it’s sufficiency. He exhorts the reader to continued study, and to a renewed zeal for meditation on the Scriptures. It would be impossible to read this book and not be so moved. -- Pam Glass, Christian Book Previews.com
"If God’s Word is to be heard, we who love it must stand in its defense,” says James R. White in his introduction to Scripture Alone. With clear teaching in an engaging, accessible style, this book lays a foundation for all Christians who desire a deeper understanding of biblical sufficiency. White presents Scripture as God-breathed in nature, as unparalleled and absolute in authority, and as the church’s infallible rule of faith in straightforward language to help believers apply these doctrines to their lives. In addition he addresses the timely issues of the canon, including textual and historical evidence.
The captivating dialogues used throughout the book help bring into focus the great truths of faith against the backdrop of error. Based on the author’s experience in public debates against leading apologists of varying ideology, they assist readers in discovering how to engage in conversation with those of differing beliefs.
“The Word comes first, and with the Word the Spirit breathes upon my heart so that I believe.”—Martin Luther