Monday, May 24, 2010

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past are Condemned to Repeat It

A quote from Lutheran theologian Martin Chemnitz's Loci Theologici, written in the 16th century:

However, it can profitably be said here that the most ancient writers of the church neither explained adequately the doctrine of original sin and free will, nor spoke with sufficient exactness and fullness according to the command of the Holy Spirit concerning these articles. The reason was that their dealings were chiefly with pagans who ridiculed, rejected, and persecuted the doctrines of the church as absurdities, when they measured them by the judgment of reason. Justin, Clement, and others therefore thought that the pagans would be less unfriendly if those things which seemed most abhorrent in Scripture were toned down. Thus they accommodated Scripture to the reasoned opinions of the philosophers, thinking that the resulting doctrine of the church would be more plausible to the pagans, so that more of them could be won for the church. But the confusion which followed from this in the doctrine of the church showed itself clearly even in the time of Augustine.

Martin Chemnitz and Johann Gerhard, The Doctrine of Man in the Writings of Martin Chemnitz and Johann Gerhard, ed. Herman A. Preus and Edmund Smits, (St. Louis: CPH, 2005) 158.

1 comment:

Fallhiker said...

Last Night I watch "Becket" I had recorded off of AMC. I really enjoyed the part where King Henry's (Peter O'Toole) Barons had summons then Archbishop Becket (Richard Burton) and he stopped them with the subtle threat of excommunication. In complete fear of God's wrath, they backed down and let him walk out untouched. If only our politicians remembered the past so well and had that fear of God in them....