My personal opinion is that the solas of the Reformation have to be seen in light of their time, against the indulgences and other extravagances of the Roman Catholic Church.
As Thomas A Kempis once wrote:
“Some only have their piety in their books, some in their statues or images, and others in outward signs and figures. Some have Me on their lips when there is little of Me in their hearts.”
– Thomas A Kempis, The Imitation of Christ,
Book III: Internal Consolation, Chapter IV: We Must Walk Before God in Humility and Truth
Source: mixed translation of “De Navolging van Christus“, translated to Dutch by Dr. J.W. Schulte Nordholt (Amsterdam, De Arbeiderspers, 1954) and “Imitation of Christ” on Christian Classics Ethereal Library.
In the same way as Erasmus wrote concerning his book “The Manual of A Christian Knight”:
“The Enchiridion was not composed for any display of
genius or eloquence, but only for the purpose of correcting the common error of those who make religion consist of ceremonies and an almost more than Jewish observance of corporeal matters, while they are singularly careless of things that belong to piety. I have endeavoured nevertheless to lay down a sort of Art of Piety, after the manner of those who have composed systems of instruction in various branches of knowledge.”
– Desiderius Erasmus, Epistle 181 (letter to John Colet)
Therefore I created a distinction between:
Permanent Solas: Solas that are good for the Christian, for his whole Christian walk, during his lifetime.
and Starter Solas: Solas which are good to look back unto, during the Christian lifewalk, to keep the importance of God’s grace and the believer’s faith in God in mind. And to remind ourselves that by repentance and faith in God’s grace, we can always return to that grace, so that we do not fall away. (Therefore the separation between “Starter Solas” and “Permanent Solas” is not that strict.)
Before proceeding, it is important to keep the cross in mind (that is why I put a cross in the centre of the header, as that is the core of the Gospel).
You can pray this prayer with me: “Jesus Christ, paint your sacrifice on the cross in my mind and show me the full truth. Guard me from all deceptions of my own mind or the evil one. In your Name Jesus Christ, Amen.”
‘”For we deem that a person is justified through faith without the works of the law.” [Romans 3:28] …
Some misuse this verse to do away with works of righteousness, asserting that faith by itself can suffice, although the same apostle says elsewhere: “And if I have complete faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, it profits me nothing” … Now if these verses seem to contradict the sense of the other verses, what works should one suppose the apostle meant when he said that a person is justified through faith without the works [of the law]? Clearly, the works of circumcision or the Sabbath and others of this sort, and not without the works of righteousness, about which the blessed James says: “Faith without works is dead”. But in the verse we are treating he is speaking about that person who in coming to Christ is saved, when he first believes, by faith alone.’
– Pelagius, Commentary on Romans, p. 83 (On Romans 3:28, partial quote, added reference between brackets)
This Christian boxer summarized it well:
Picture source Thomas A Kempis: Thomasakempiszwolle
Picture source Desiderius Erasmus:
Picture source Pelagius: