Categories
Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

On the Spirit Proper to Theological Inquiry

Augustine, that is, on the  spirit proper to theological inquiry, from Book 1 of De Trinitate: Accordingly I have undertaken the task, by the bidding and help of the Lord my God, not so much of discoursing with authority respecting things I know already, as of learning those things by piously discoursing on them. (On […]

Categories
Archive Early Church Fathers Ecclesiastical Polity Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

The Defeat of Orthodoxy? An Examination of the Rise of Homoean Theology and the Council of Constantinople in AD 360

My post entitled “The Myth of the Ecumenical Early Church” was actually taken from a paraphrase of a paper I wrote while in seminary in 2007. As a part of the assignment, my paper had to present a “problem” in church history and leave the resolution open-ended. This was not intended to question the resolution […]

Categories
Archive Early Church Fathers Jordan Ballor Nota Bene

Augustine on Temporal and Eternal Goods

In a previous post I made reference to medieval and older formulations that “have some significant implications for the relationship between general and special grace.” To wit, here’s this bit from Augustine’s City of God (19.13): God, therefore, is the most wise Creator and just Ordainer of all natures, Who has established the mortal human race […]

Categories
Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Natural Law

Natural Law in Romans 2:14–15: Pelagius

Our next example comes from Pelagius’s commentary on Romans. Like that of the commentaries of Ambrosiaster, the textual tradition of Pelagius’s commentaries is a mess. A revised version of Pelagius’s commentaries circulated for a long time under the name of Jerome, “with no essential modification of the doctrinal standpoint,” a phenomenon that is perhaps unintentionally […]

Categories
Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

“A Monument of Victory over Death”

Athanasius on the crucifixion and resurrection: And besides, the Saviour came to accomplish not His own death, but the death of men; whence He did not lay aside His body by a death of His own – for He was Life and had none – but received that death which came from men, in order […]

Categories
Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Natural Law

Natural Law in Romans 2:14–15: Ambrosiaster

Romans 2:14–15 is one of the most important of biblical texts that bear on the idea of “natural law.” I’d like over time to compile a sort of catena of Western exegesis of this passage (admittedly, the surrounding verses are important too, but I’m trying to keep it manageable). I will try to go in chronological […]

Categories
Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

Augustine on the Hardening of Pharaoh’s Heart

The following passage comes from Augustine’s Questions on Exodus, which forms Book 2 of his Questions on the Heptateuch. The Quaestiones in Heptateuchum was written in AD 419; Allan Fitzgerald comments that Augustine, “rather than being focused primarily on immediate pastoral questions, … seeks to provide an interpretation of those biblical texts that he did […]

Categories
Andrew Fulford Archive Authors Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Sacred Doctrine

Irenaeus and Images

A brief addendum to Steven’s previous note: Irenaeus mentions the use the Carpocratian gnostics put to images in his day: Others of them employ outward marks, branding their disciples inside the lobe of the right ear. From among these also arose Marcellina, who came to Rome under [the episcopate of] Anicetus, and holding these doctrines, […]

Categories
Archive Early Church Fathers Ecclesiastical Polity Sacred Doctrine Steven Wedgeworth

The Myth of the Ecumenical Early Church

One of the most enduring misconceptions of the pre-Nicene and Nicene church (what sometimes goes by the nomenclature “the early church”) is that it was more or less united, both doctrinally and politically. One can see this assumption at work in the use of the definitive article as well as the title of “ecumenical councils.” […]

Categories
Archive Early Church Fathers Peter Escalante

Augustine the Protestant Scholastic

Dr Laurence O’Donnell offers an enlightening comparison here.