Friday, April 8, 2011

Keeping Historical Theology in perspective

In my studies I have keyed heavily on Church History. I love history and find great encouragement reading authors from every era of the post-Apostolic Church. At the same time, I am careful to keep such writings in their proper perspective. James Buchanan, writing specifically concerning the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, offers great clarity on keeping proper perspective concerning historical theology in the Church:

"The Post-Apostolic history of the doctrine (justification by faith) can only be derived from the writings of uninspired men: and there is a wide difference, therefore, between the Historical Theology of Scripture, and the Historical Theology of the Church. These writings, whether of ancient or modern date, possess no divine authority in matters of Faith, and their teaching on these subjects has no claim on our belief, except in so far as it can be proved to be in conformity with the unerring standard of God's Word."

I love Augustine, but he's not an Apostle. His works have to be scrutinized by Scripture. The same can be said about any of the church fathers, medieval theologians, and reformers. The same can be said about the modern era and her many pontificators...including good ole' Reep.


Woody Woodward said...

Having left a church where the Pastor’s views of inerrancy of Scripture were an appalling disgrace, and he wasn’t ashamed to boast about it. Every time this pastor would preach a sermon filled with heresy, because of many standing firm in truth, the pastor would hold a Sunday night “question and answer” time where he would try and justify his liberal leaning theology. We attended many of these “I am right, I know best” sessions.
After standing firm in truth and trying to be salt and light for over 10 years, we decided we had heard and had enough! So following the Lord’s lead from I Corinthians 1:10 not to cause division, we praise His Name, for the Lord led us to Redeemer. I will never forget when Cheri and I attended Redeemer’s “Meet the Pastor” sessions back in 2005. One of the first questions my dear bride ask Pastor Tony was, “What would happen if you preached a sermon that wasn’t according to Scripture?” Pastor Tony quickly replied, “The Session would be on top of me before I made it home for lunch!” That was beautiful music to our tired but very hungry ears, to know that TRUTH would be preached without a lame “opinion” apology from the pulpit!

Jim said...


I thought "post graduate" studies were the same thing as "graduate" studies. Sort of like inflammable and flammable.

Reepicheep said...'re right Jim. I ain't much of an academic. I was distinguishing between my master's as graduate and doctoral work as post-graduate...meaning after heck...I'll change it. thanks. :)