How the Authority of the Scriptures Collapses
“The Protestantism of those days* was not a negative protest against Roman errors. Rather, it was a positive witness to the authority of Holy Scripture as the only source and rule of all doctrines of the Church. To these Protestants Holy Scripture was the Word of God. We must recognize that the Sola Scriptura of the Reformation depends on the firm belief that the Bible is the Word of God. Where this belief is shaken or even abandoned, the authority of Scripture collapses. This is the tragedy of modern Protestantism. We can not deal here with the process of this collapse. We only note that first the theologians and then one after another of the churches severed Scripture from the Word in their official statements of faith. They were satisfied with the assumption that this Word is only contained somewhere in the Scriptures, or that the Scriptures are only a record of a past revelation in the mighty acts of God which were the true Word of God. Or we hear that under certain circumstances the Bible can become the Word of God.”
*Sasse is referring to the time of the Reformation and the period of theological orthodoxy which followed in the 17th century.
From The Inspiration of Holy Scripture, an article published in the American Evangelical magazine Christianity Today, March 16, 1962.