Augustine’s Retractations, Perfectionism, And Fakespectations (2)

Secular institutions and even extra-ecclesiastical Christian institutions have always been, in their essence, law. The civil magistrate may exercise mercy—Calvin’s first published work was a commentary on Seneca’s De Clementia (On Clemency), Seneca’s defense of the virtue of mercy to Nero. When . . . Continue reading →

Tertullian On The Apologetic Power Of Sola Scriptura

Take away, indeed, from the heretics the wisdom which they share with the heathen, and let them support their inquiries from the Scriptures alone: they will then be unable to keep their ground. Tertullian, De res. 3. On the Resurrection of the . . . Continue reading →

The Greatest Creed You Have Never Read

The Symbolum Quicunque [Athanasian Creed] is a remarkably clear and precise summary of the doctrinal decisions of the first four œcumenical Councils (from A.D. 325 to A.D. 451), and the Augustinian speculations on the Trinity and the Incarnation. Its brief sentences are . . . Continue reading →

Does The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed Require Baptismal Regeneration?

HB reader Mike asks whether this language requires Reformed believers to confess that baptism necessarily regenerates, i.e., is new life necessarily conferred at the moment of administration. It is widely claimed that “the ancient church taught baptismal regeneration.” In this context “regeneration” . . . Continue reading →

Hippolytus: The Heretics Make Images Of Christ

(Now these heretics) have themselves been sent forth by Satan, for the purpose of slandering before the Gentiles the divine name of the Church. (And the devil’s object is,) that men hearing, now after one fashion and now after another, the doctrines . . . Continue reading →

Polycarp Versus The Progressives

In 1973, Charles Merritt Nielsen imagined what might have happened had Polycarp (69–155 AD), the senior pastor of the Christian congregation in Smyrna (today Izmir, Turkey), adopted the rhetoric of the theological progressives, who look for approval from the broader, unbelieving world: . . . Continue reading →

Gregory I Against An Earthly Universal Bishop

Consider, I pray thee, that in this rash presumption the peace of the whole Church is disturbed, and that it is in contradiction to the grace that is poured out on all in common; in which grace doubtless thou thyself wilt have . . . Continue reading →

Chrysostom On Two Kingdoms

[11.] But what is this, “When He shall deliver up the kingdom?” The Scripture acknowledges two kingdoms of God, the one by appropriation (oikeiwsin), the other by creation. Thus, He is King over all, both Greeks and Jews and devils and His . . . Continue reading →