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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism

“What Is the Christian Religion?”

As it turns out, I was wrong about Chytraeus’ Catechism in English–it has been translated, by Richard Dinda (Repristination Press). I haven’t seen a copy yet, but he appears to have translated an earlier, shorter version of the catechism, so I’m going to press on for the time being with a later, more expansive version.

Quid est RELIGIO Christiana?

RELIGIO Christiana, est in Christum credere, & DEUM colere iuxta ipsius verbum: Vel RELIGIO CHRISTIANA, est praxis Theologiae, videlicet unum verum Deum Patrem, Filium, & Spiritum sanctum, iuxta doctrinam ab ipso patefactam agnoscere, & vere timere iram ipsius adversus peccata, & credere propter CHRISTUM mediatorem sibi peccata remitti, & DEUM propicium esse, & hanc fidem Sacramentis a Christo institutis obsignare, & praelucente hac fide, eum invocare & colere bonis operibus, quibus se in suo verbo coli praecepit, propter hunc finem, ut Deus honore afficiatur. Ignatius: οὐ μόνον καλεῖσθαι δεῖ χριστιανοὺς, ἀλλὰ καὶ εῖναι. οὐ γὰρ τὸ λέγειν, ἀλλὰ τὸ εἶναι, μακάριον ποιεῖ.

What is the Christian religion?

The Christian religion is to believe in Christ and to worship God according to his word; or, the Christian religion is the practice of theology, namely, to recognize the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, according to the doctrine revealed by him, and truly to fear his wrath against sins, and to believe that one’s sins are forgiven on account of Christ the mediator, and that God is gracious and seals this faith with the sacraments instituted by Christ,1 and, with this faith shining forth, to call upon him and to worship him with good works, by which he commands in his own word that he be worshiped, for this end: so that God may receive honor. Ignatius: One must not only be called a Christian, but also be one. For it is not saying [that one is a Christian], but being [one], that makes one blessed. 2

  1. I’ve taken obsignare as dependent on credere; but it could be taken as another predicate infinitive with est as well (as timere, credere, etc.), thus: “[the Christian religion] is…to seal this faith…”
  2. From Ignatius’ Epistle to the Magnesians 4.1 (longer version).

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.