Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Reformed Irenicism

The Difference between Christian and Non-Christian Religion (Part 3)

Chytraeus continues to contrast Christian with non-Christian religion. Pagans, he said previously, do indeed have some knowledge of God and his attributes, but their worship is perverse because it is not governed by his Word. Now he adds that they are, crucially (pun intended; sorry), ignorant of the Gospel of God’s free grace in Christ. Their natural knowledge tells them nothing of this–it gives them no knowledge of Christ. But without the knowledge of Christ, there can be no true religion and no assembly of worshipers that is pleasing to God.

Deinde, Ethnici Evangelium de Filio DEI Domino nostro IESU CHRISTO, & de gratuita remissione peccatorum & vita aeterna credentibus gratis propter Filium mediatorem donanda, prorsus ignorant. Nulla est autem vera religio, & Ecclesia Deo placens, ubi non est vera noticia Christi, Ioh. 14. Nemo venit ad Patrem nisi per me, Ioh. 3. Qui non credit Filio, non videbit vitam, sed ira Dei manebit super eum.

Next, Gentiles are entirely ignorant of the Gospel concerning the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and concerning the gracious remission of sins and eternal life for believers, given of pure grace on account of the Son, the mediator. There is, however, no true religion and no church pleasing to God where true knowledge of Christ does not exist. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14). “He who does not believe in the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God will remain upon him” (John 3).

By E.J. Hutchinson

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