I never go to answer Thinking Stuff on a thread that just closed. He said, in part: I do not think essentials are beyond the text. Essentials of the faith are based purely on the text: virgin birth, deity of Christ, the Trinity, the atonement sufficient and completed to pay the penalty for sins, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the ascension of Christ, the 2nd coming of Christ. Faith alone for salvation is clearly spelled out all over the NT. If salvation is not by grace through faith alone, then it is of works and this view is explicitly denounced in the text. Scriptures alone is based on the text. That is, if the Bible is God's word, then is it our authority for faith and practice or is it not? If one does not accept it as God's word, or one wants to use some authority they consider equal to the text or superior to it, then they certainly have gone beyond the biblical text. If the Bible is God's word, and one believes that and has trusted Christ, then God's word is God's word, our source of authority and special revelation. It comes down to whether you believe the Bible to be God's word or not. If you do not think it is, then you might as well be an atheist, New Ager, Mormon, Wiccan, or whatever, because you accept other sources as equally or more authoritative. I don't argue with people who don't take the Bible as God's word. I give them links on the canon, the evidence for the reliability of the New Testament, and other such links, and tell them they can read that if interested. I won't waste my time with people who want to argue whether the Bible is God's word or not.