Stars in the Margins: D.H. Williams Quotes on Evangelicals and Tradition « Musings of a Hard-Lining Moderate

Stars in the Margins: D.H. Williams Quotes on Evangelicals & Tradition « Musings of a Hard-Lining Moderate.

This is an article (and a book) that every thinking Evangelicals (I am sure there are a few left 🙂 should read. Here are just a few quotes, to wet your appetite:

Evangelicals may not subscribe to the decisions made at Trent, but it is true that once the Bible is detached from the church and its history, the Bible becomes susceptible to anyone who claims to be speaking according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The fathers would not have appreciated the principle of Scripture alone, since the historical and theological issues that gave rise to it were particular to late medieval Christianity. To treat the Bible in isolation from the tradition of the church, as it was located in the ancient rule of faith, baptismal confessions, and conciliar creeds, would have been incomprehensible to the Christian pastors and thinkers of the patristic era. From their perspective, a radically biblicist view might easily be driven by a desire to avoid the truth of the church’s teaching.

Unlike the trivial sort of gospel preaching that one encounters in too many churches today where the goal of “accepting” Christ is so that one will go to heaven, the early fathers believed that God’s salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ meant providing a believer with the means to perceive God and thereby share in his divine life. That is, salvation was supposed to culminate in divine theosis or deification—becoming transformed according to God—a seminal part of the teaching of early fathers such as Irenaeus, Athanasius, and Gregory of Nyssa. The point is that faith is a divine work of salvation “in us” as well as “for us” in order to change us, that we may behold God.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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