Thursday, October 13, 2022

Justification Apart From Baptism Among Pre-Reformation Lollards

I've written a lot over the years in response to the false claim that nobody believed in justification through faith alone prior to the Reformation or between the time of the apostles and the Reformation. See here, for example. The claim often focuses on the relationship between baptism and justification. We'll be told that all of the church fathers believed in baptismal regeneration or that none of the patristic or medieval sources believed in justification apart from baptism, for example. In recent months, I've written some posts about support for justification through faith alone, including justification apart from baptism in particular, in the first two centuries of church history. See here, here, and here. What I want to do in this post is discuss some examples at the other end of the spectrum, from the closing years of the medieval era.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

More Patristic References To Mary As A Sinner

I've posted collections of examples of scripture and extrabiblical sources prior to the Reformation referring to Mary as a sinner. See here, here, and here. Other examples:

"A woman from the multitude cries out, that blessed was the womb that had borne him, and the breasts which had given him suck. And the Lord answers, 'Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it' [Luke 11:28]: because even before this he had rejected his mother and his brethren, because he prefers those who hear God and obey him. For not even on the present occasion was his mother in attendance on him. It follows that neither on the previous occasion did he deny having been born. So now, when he hears this once more, once more he transfers the blessedness away from his mother's womb and breasts and assigns it to the disciples: he could not have transferred it away from his mother if he had had no mother." (Tertullian, Against Marcion, 4:27)

"But He on the Cross, committeth His mother to the disciple, teaching us even to our last breath to show every care for our parents. When indeed she unseasonably troubled Him, He said, 'Woman, what have I to do with thee?' [John 2:4] And, 'Who is My mother?' [Matthew 12:48] But here He showeth much loving affection, and committeth her to the disciple whom He loved." (John Chrysostom, Homilies On John, 85:2, v. 24)

"Having signified how great mischiefs are bred from not believing the resurrection, he takes up the discourse again, and says, 'But now hath Christ been raised from the dead;' [1 Corinthians 15:20] continually adding, 'from the dead,' so as to stop the mouths of the heretics. 'The first-fruits of them that slept.' But if their first-fruits, then themselves also, must needs rise again. Whereas if he were speaking of the resurrection from sins, and none is without sin;—for even Paul saith, 'I know nothing against myself, yet am I not hereby justified;'—how shall there be any who rise again, according to you?" (John Chrysostom, Homilies On First Corinthians, 39:5)

"So too Christ our Lord Himself teaches us, at one time calling Himself Son of God and at another Son of man: at one time He gives honour to His Mother as to her that gave Him birth; at another He rebukes her as her Lord." (Theodoret, Dialogues, 2)

Sunday, October 09, 2022

We want a king!

We should keep in mind that one of the reasons people can have for being Roman Catholic or finding Catholicism appealing is the sort of interest in a king that the ancient Israelites had, an interest that can be sinful. People can have sinful reasons for desiring some other belief system, including Protestantism, but my focus here is on Catholicism and the connection between the papacy and a monarchy. We should keep in mind that a desire for a monarchical form of church government can be, and I think often is, part of why people are Catholic or are attracted to Catholicism. And the motives for wanting that sort of authority structure don't have to be entirely sinful in order to be partly sinful or to be inadequate to justify accepting the papacy.

"your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord by asking for yourselves a king" (1 Samuel 12:17)