Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Them Ther Fathers 'R' Fundies

In answer to the idea that the doctrine of inerrancy is just a recent innovation of Christian fundamentalism, one can read John Woodbridge's Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1982), but I would also like to show a few quotes from our fellow fundies that are in accord with my recent post arguing that most, if not all, Christian orthodox teachers throughout history would have been considered fundamentalists in the sense that liberals/errantists use it.

And Trypho said, 'Being shaken by so many Scriptures, I know not what to say about the Scripture which Isaiah writes, in which God says that He gives not His glory to another, speaking thus 'I am the Lord God; this is my name; my glory will I not give to another, nor my virtues.'And I answered, 'If you spoke these words, Trypho, and then kept silence in simplicity and with no ill intent, neither repeating what goes before nor adding what comes after, you must be forgiven; but if[you have done so] because you imagined that you could throw doubt on the passage, in order that I might say the Scriptures contradicted each other, you have erred. But I shall not venture to suppose or to say such a thing; and if a Scripture which appears to be of such a kind be brought forward, and if there be a pretext[for saying] that it is contrary[to some other], since I am entirely convinced that no Scripture contradicts another, I shall admit rather that I do not understand what is recorded, and shall strive to persuade those who imagine that the Scriptures are contradictory, to be rather of the same opinion as myself." Justin Martyr

"Therefore they[the followers of Artemon's heresy] have laid their hands boldly upon the Divine Scriptures, alleging that they have corrected them...But how daring this offense is, it is not likely that they themselves are ignorant. For either they do not believe that the Divine Scriptures were spoken by the Holy Spirit, and thus are unbelievers, or else they think themselves wiser than the Holy Spirit, and in that case what else are they than demoniacs?" Hippolytus

"And he who has believed the Word knows the matter to be true; for the Word is truth. But he who has disbelieved Him that speaks, has disbelieved God."

It will naturally fall after these, after a cursory view of theology, to discuss the opinions handed down respecting prophecy; so that, having demonstrated that the Scriptures which we believe are valid from their omnipotent authority, we shall be able to go over them consecutively, and to show thence to all the heresies one God and Omnipotent Lord to be truly preached by the law and the prophets, and besides by the blessed Gospel. Many contradictions against the heterodox await us while we attempt, in writing, to do away with the force of the allegations made by them, and to persuade them against their will, proving by the Scriptures themselves."
Clement of Alexandria

"What sort of truth is that which they patronize, when they commend it to us with a lie? Well, but they actually treat of the Scriptures and recommend (their opinions) out of the Scriptures! To be sure they do. From what other source could they derive arguments concerning the things of the faith, except from the records of the faith?" Tertullian

"I am not, I repeat, so ignorant as to suppose that any of the Lord's words is either in need of correction or is not divinely inspired."

"The error, neither of parents nor ancestors, is to be followed; but the authority of the Scriptures, and the government of God as our teacher." Jerome

"For it cannot be remotely possible that the authority of the Scriptures should be fallacious at any point."

"I have thought it my duty to quote all these passages from the writings of both Latin and Greek authors who, being in the orthodox Christian Church before our time, have written commentaries on the divine oracles, in order that our brother, if he hold any different opinion from theirs, may know that it becomes him, laying aside all bitterness of controversy, and preserving or reviving fully the gentleness of brotherly love, to investigate with diligent and calm consideration either what he must learn from others, or what others must learn from him. For the reasonings of any men whatsoever, even though they be orthodox Christians, and of high reputation, are not to be treated by us in the same way as the canonical Scriptures are treated. We are at liberty, without doing any violence to the respect which these men deserve, to condemn and reject anything in their writings, if perchance we shall find that they have entertained opinions differing from that which others or we ourselves have, by the divine help, discovered to be the truth. I deal thus with the writings of others, and I wish my intelligent readers to deal thus with mine."

"For we walk by faith, not by sight; but faith will start tottering if the authority of Scripture is undermined; then with faith tottering, charity itself also begins to sicken."

"Your design clearly is to deprive Scripture of all authority, and to make every man’s mind the judge what passage of Scripture he is to approve of, and what to disapprove of. This is not to be subject to Scripture in matters of faith, but to make Scripture subject to you. Instead of making the high authority of Scripture the reason of approval, every man makes his approval the reason for thinking a passage correct."

"What sort of a man this Nathanael was, we prove by the words which follow. Hear what sort of a man he was; the Lord Himself bears testimony. Great is the Lord, known by the testimony of John; blessed Nathanael, known by the testimony of the truth. Because the Lord, although He had not been commended by the testimony of John, Himself to Himself bore testimony, because the truth is sufficient for its own testimony."

"Let us treat scripture like scripture, like God speaking; don’t let us look there for man going wrong. It is not for nothing, you see, that the canon has been established for the Church. This is the function of the Holy Spirit. So if anybody reads my book, let him pass judgment on me. If I have said something reasonable, let him follow, not me, but reason itself; if I’ve proved it by the clearest divine testimony, let him follow, not me, but the divine scripture."

"[There would be the] most disastrous consequences must follow upon our believing that anything false is found in the sacred books. That is to say that the men by whom the Scripture has been given to us and committed to writing put down in these books anything false. If you once admit into such a high sanctuary of authority one false statement, there will not be left a single sentence of those books, which, if appearing to anyone difficult in practice or hard to believe, may not by the same fatal rule be explained away as a statement, in which intentionally, the author declared what was not true." Augustine

"Nothing false can underlie the literal sense of Scripture." Thomas Aquinas

"'The Scriptures have never erred." Martin Luther

"Nay, if there be any mistakes in the Bible there may well be a thousand. If there is one falsehood in that Book it did not come from the God of truth." John Wesley (I guess this means that the three legs and fourfold principle was originally meant to function off the idea that there was an inerrant source of authority the others could play off of).

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