2024 Conference Theme: Soli Deo Gloria
At the 2024 Coram Deo Conference, we will come to the sum of the solas. It will be a culminating celebration in one of the richest of all biblical themes. More than something given to us, soli Deo gloria celebrates the chief end of God in the gospel. From start to finish, the celebratory chorus of the Reformation is that God is the sole author and finisher of salvation and therefore God alone is to be glorified. Key to this crescendo and crown of the five solas is that unlike the others it is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is the grand end and highest purpose of it. Soli Deo gloria, then, summarizes the chief end of both God and man. So, this conference purposes to encourage, equip, and engage all in the most worthy of all celebrations, making much of Christ to God’s glory and man’s joy!
Mike Riccardi on the 2024 Coram Deo Conference – “Soli Deo Gloria”
The Maximo Ultimo of the Reformation
We come to the sum of the solas. Soli Deo gloria celebrates the chief end of God in the gospel. It is the most compendious end of sacred Scripture and the maximo ultimo of the Reformation. From start to finish, the celebratory chorus of the Reformation is that God is the sole author and finisher of salvation and therefore God alone is to be glorified. God is glorified only when God only is glorified. He will share His glory with no other. In the end, the chief dispute in the Reformation was a battle over glory. Luther identified Rome’s fatal flaw to be her “theology of glory”—that is a seeking of self-glory (John 5:44).
Key to this crescendo and crown of the five solas is that unlike the others it is not a means of salvation. Rather, it is the grand end and highest purpose of it. In this way, soli Deo gloria radiates the gravitational center of the Reformation—indeed, the gospel itself! The gospel is lost when the centrality and majesty of God is lost. The penal substitution of Christ alone, given by grace alone, received by faith alone, renders all glory to God alone. The “alone” of these solas are necessary for the promotion of the chief end of the gospel. If the gospel is to be good news for sinners, then God alone must be the source and end of their salvation.
Soli Deo gloria, then, summarizes man’s chief end. God’s works in creation and redemption are purposed for man to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We may identify our chief end in terms of fear and felicity. The fear of God is the preeminent disposition of a believing heart that apprehends His glory, holiness, and all His infinite perfections. None can render all glory to God who do not stand in awe of Him. And the fruit of godly fear is felicity—a deep and defining soulish joy that marks the redeemed, the recipient of grace, the one who has been loved by God with a prevailing love. To this one, all glory and honor and praise is given to God alone—the author and finisher of their salvation. And these are they that delight themselves in the Lord. Soli Deo gloria, the chief end of God in the gospel inducing the chief end of man, for fear and felicity forever.