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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Gregory of Nazianzus on the Development of Doctrine

Earlier this summer I posted and discussed a passage on progressive revelation from Gregory of Nazianzus’ fifth Theological Oration (= Oration 31). I’d like to return to that passage today, but in order to discuss it from a different vantage point. In 31.26-27, Gregory gives a three-stage view of revelation, in which the deity of the Father is […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Monarchy Does Not Mean Rule by One Person

In the third Theological Oration (= Oration 29), Gregory of Nazianzus argues that divine monarchy does not necessitate rule by only one person. Gregory claims in 29.2 that there are three ancient opinions about the divine rule of the world: anarchy, polycarchy, and monarchy. He criticizes anarchy and polyarchy as both tending toward dissolution (λύσις). Polyarchy, he says, is […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Inspiration and Application

In his second Oration, Gregory of Nazianzus contrasts the continuing relevance of the ancient histories of the Bible with the legends of the Greeks. The reason for this continuing relevance seems in his view to be the Spirit’s exhaustive inspiration of every element of the text, down to “the merest stroke and tittle.” This inspiration means […]

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Archive Civic Polity E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene The Two Kingdoms

Whose Augustine? Which Augustinianism?

In the comments to a recent post about arguments from silence, some important issues were raised, and I’d like to deal with some of them because they deserve consideration. “Augustinianism” and the City of God The first has to do with the legacy of “Augustinianism” in relation to disestablishmentarianism and the like. There is a […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Gregory against the Internet (2)

I previously posted some quotations from Gregory of Nazianzus’ first Theological Oration that remind us of the importance of Christian character, and that we should not substitute factionalist loyalty for a proper evaluation of such character. Consider this post an addendum to that one. In his second Oration, a massive work on pastoral care, Gregory […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Ground and Pillar, Again

I’ve noted in previous posts the way in which Irenaeus connects “Scripture” and “tradition” by means of the Gospel, the content of the plan of salvation. This allows him to say that the Gospel is the ground and pillar of the truth without violating what Paul means when he calls the Church the ground and […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

“The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith”

Let us return to Irenaeus again, for a brief addendum to last week’s post. In Against Heresies 3.1, Irenaeus writes this: We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed […]

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Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Tradition Is Scripture

On the One Hand… Let’s take a statement out of context, shall we? Irenaeus, in Against Heresies 3.2, writes: But, again, when we refer [the heretics] to that tradition which originates from the apostles, [and] which is preserved by means of the succession of presbyters in the Churches, they object to tradition, saying that they themselves are wiser not merely than the presbyters, but […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism Sacred Doctrine

Augustine on the Analogy of Scripture

In two passages of Book 2 of De doctrina christiana (“On Christian Teaching”), Augustine gives clear expression to the basic principle of the analogy of Scripture, summarized, for example, in Westminster Confession of Faith 1.9: “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full […]

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Archive E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

Gregory against the Internet

In the first Theological Oration, Gregory of Nazianzus remarks that we often have our priorities misplaced. We consider “rivalry of speech and endless talking” to be more important than all else. Where we should have a definite and decided concern for Christian character, we instead grant a pass for all kinds of vice as long […]