Posted by Pastoral Musings on 8th May 2011
With regard to the writers and writings of the primitive church in the Ante- Nicene and the Post-Nicene era, it may be said, broadly speaking, that the atonement is presented by them as a fact, with its saving and regenerative effects. The consciousness of the primitive church did not seem to be alive to the necessity of the formation of any particular theory of the atonement. It follows the Apostle’s Creed, which makes no reference whatever to the miraculous words or marvellous works of Jesus, but significantly passes by them all to focus the confession of the Church upon the great purpose and achievement of the Incarnation; His suffering as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. As regards the writers of the post-apostolic age, Clement of Rome, Origen, and Athanasius, may be referred to as outstanding exponents of the Church’s thought in the first four centuries. Of the first and third it may be said that they simply amplified the language of the New Testament. There is no trace of the attitude of the modernist, with its brilliant attempts to explain away the obvious. Their doctrine of the atonement is entirely free, as has been said, from the incrusting difficulties of spurious explanation. There were no attempts at philosophy or sophistry, though, as was to be expected, there was more or less of the embroidery of the oriental imagination, and a plethora of metaphor. (Justin Martyr, Chrysostom, and Augustine, may be mentioned also here).
Tags: Atonement in Christianity, Bible, Christianity, Early Christianity, fundamentalists, John Chrysostom, Justin martyr, New Testament, Origen, patristics
Posted in Bible, doctrinal issues, doctrine, extreme fundamentalism, Fundamentals, history, liberalism, New Testament, Old Testament, theology, Uncategorized | Comments Off