This post was edited September 26, 2014. Edits appear in red italics.
We have barely scratched the surface of the history and theology surrounding the solae and the various issues associated with each. Scores of books have been written on these subjects; it is an impossible thing indeed to do them justice on a blog.
So, how to conclude? I quote Jonathan Edwards:
He that has doctrinal knowledge and speculation only, without affection, never is engaged in the business of religion.
As there is one theology but many who examine it, there are bound to be disagreements. There are bound to be differences in view and opinion. Does this mean that we Christians cannot live in love? Must I breathe hate toward my Calvinist brother or sister? Must sweeping and ignorant judgments be passed by Protestants upon the Catholic Church? I say no.
I also say that we must not sugar-coat truth in order to make it more palatable. Extra-Biblical doctrines have no place in the life of a Christian. We must cling to that which is found in Scripture, that which is spelled out clearly for us. In this clinging, we must pursue unity. Not uniformity, but unity.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave me, that they may be one as We are one — I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.
“Father, I want those you have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.
“Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent Me. I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I Myself may be in them.” – John 17:20-25 (NKJV)
For all posts in the Sola What? series, go here.