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Early Church Doctrine

Do early Church writings hold any value in determining truth?

  • No. The Early Church failed doctrinally

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    11
P

Pastor Lyndon

Guest
Hello All,


I am looking for a response for early Church writings and why they taught so much on views today known as Arminianism and against what later became Calvinism; and why Augustine was the first to begin to teach as he did, in which nothing close to Calvinism is found anywhere other than in Gnostic teachings. I want to know what happened to the "truth" as Calvinists claim.
Now I know that Calvinists reject early Chruch writings, because they are not scripture. And I never asked that they be accepted as such But this still does not explain the dilemna for any Historical evidence for Calvinism. If it cannot be found, then it should be considered that the first Church never believed as Calvinist claim the Bible teaches.
I am not looking for a debate on this, but only for Calvinist explanations. I want to know if I may have missed something in the Calvinist view and understanding of history. Should we trust those who came out of Roman Catholicism 1500 years after the first Church; or would we be better to trust the view of the disciple of the Apostles amd all those who lived very close to the first Church, of which history shows absolutely no disagreement on the doctrines of salvation? I know that we must trust only the scriptures! Please do not avoid the questions here! Since Arminians and Calvinist use the same bibles but come to completely different views, this makes the idea of truthing the bible alone difficult and confusing for some. Church history is only a help in determinine what the Apostles were really saying in the Bible. So what about these writings? Must we assume they all fell from truth immediately after the death of the Apostles and wrote the oppostite as the Apostles taught them?
 
S

serapha

Guest
Hi there!

:smt039


didn't Augustine teach calvinism?


~serapha~
 
K

Khristeeanos

Guest
didn't Augustine teach calvinism?

Tee hee hee.

That is funny. Not in a negative way, but in a time way.

I know what you are saying, but Augustine lived like 1,000 years before Calvin. It is like saying that George Washington practiced Reganomics or something like that. lol

I can't answer the question except to say that Augustine was born after what is now known as the Early Church so he would be excluded in this discussion.

God bless you.
 
S

serapha

Guest
Yes, here it is ... Augustine is listed among the Early Church Fathers.


http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/


The Early Church Fathers
All of the files linked here are in the public domain. Copy freely.

Some of these volumes have been carefully proofed and converted to ThML (v3); some remain at version 2 (ANF03-ANF10, NPNF214) and have not yet been proofed. They have a footnote bug. Links to the older version 2 files [v2] are provided.

See also Roger Pearce, More Fathers


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ante-Nicene Fathers
The Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325

Volume I. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (v3) [v2]

Clement of Rome, Mathetes, Polycarp, Ignatius, Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus.

Volume II. Fathers of the Second Century (v3) [v2]

Hermas, Tatian, Theophilus, Athenagoras, Clement of Alexandria

Volume III. Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian [v2]

Three Parts: I. Apologetic; II. Anti-Marcion; III. Ethical

Volume IV. The Fathers of the Third Century [v2]

Tertullian Part IV; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen

Volume V. The Fathers of the Third Century [v2]

Hippolytus; Cyprian; Caius; Novatian; Appendix

Volume VI. The Fathers of the Third Century [v2]

Gregory Thaumaturgus; Dinoysius the Great; Julius Africanus; Anatolius and Minor Writers; Methodius; Arnobius

Volume VII. Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries [v2]

Lactantius, Venantius, Asterius, Victorinus, Dionysius, Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions, Homily, Liturgies

Volume VIII. Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries [v2]

The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementia, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages

Volume X. Recently Discovered Additions to Early Christian Literature; Commentaries of Origen [v2]

The Gospel of Peter, The Diatessaron of Tatian, The Apocalypse of Peter, The Visio Pauli, The Apocalypses of the Virgin and Sedrach, The Testament of Abraham, The Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena, The Narrative of Zosimus, The Apology of Aristides, The Epistles of Clement (Complete Text), Origen's Commentary on John, Books I-X, Origen's Commentary on Mathew, Books I, II, and X-XIV



Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers
St. Augustine Volumes

Volume I. Prolegomena: St. Augustine's Life and Work, Confessions, Letters (v3) [v2]

Volume II. The City of God, Christian Doctrine (v3) [v2]

Volume III. On the Holy Trinity, Doctrinal Treatises, Moral Treatises (v3) [v2]

Volume IV. The Anti-Manichaean Writings, The Anti-Donatist Writings (v3) [v2]

Volume V. Anti-Pelagian Writings (v3) [v2]

Volume VI. Sermon on the Mount, Harmony of the Gospels, Homilies on the Gospels (v3) [v2]

Volume VII. Homilies on the Gospel of John, Homilies on the First Epistle of John, Soliloquies (v3) [v2]

Volume VIII. Expositions on the Psalms (v3) [v2]


St. Chrysostom Volumes
Volume IX. On the Priesthood, Ascetic Treatises, Select Homilies and Letters, Homilies on the Statutes (v3) [v2]

Volume X. Homilies on the Gospel of St. Matthew (v3) [v2]

Volume XI. Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistle to the Romans (v3) [v2]

Volume XII. Homilies on First and Second Corinthians (v3) [v2]

Volume XIII. Homilies on the Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (v3) [v2]

Volume XIV. Homilies on the Gospel of St. John and the Epistle to the Hebrews (v3) [v2]



Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers
Series II

Volume I. Eusebius: Church History from A.D. 1-324, Life of Constantine the Great, Oration in Praise of Constantine (v3) [v2]

Volume II. Socrates: Church History from A.D. 305-438; Sozomenus: Church History from A.D. 323-425 (v3) [v2]

Volume III. Theodoret, Jerome and Gennadius, Rufinus and Jerome (v3) [v2]

Volume IV. Athanasius: Select Writings and Letters (v3) [v2]

Volume V. Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises; Select Writings and Letters (v3) [v2]

Volume VI. Jerome: Letters and Select Works (v3) [v2]

Volume VII. Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory Nazianzen (v3) [v2]

Volume VIII. Basil: Letters and Select Works (v3) [v2]

Volume IX. Hilary of Poitiers, John of Damascus (v3) [v2]

Volume X. Ambrose: Select Works and Letters (v3) [v2]

Volume XI. Sulpitius Severus, Vincent of Lerins, John Cassian (v3) [v2]

Volume XII. Leo the Great, Gregory the Great (v3) [v2]

Volume XIII. Gregory the Great II, Ephriam Syrus, Aphrahat (v3) [v2]

Volume XIV. The Seven Ecumenical Councils [v2]
 
S

Sara929

Guest
Wouldn't it be hard for people to be teaching "Arminian" theology before "Calvinism"..... as the dude was born afterwards?

If you really want to learn alot about church history, I suggest you purchase The Early Church Fathers Published by, I believe, Hendrickson Publisher and wrote by Philip Schaff. Its like an encyclopedia but goes from the earliest churches, the disagreements they had, major events that ocurred, etc.... Huge collection of books, but well worth it.

Theres alot to learn and understand from studying the Early Church, but remember, alot of them were dealing with heretics and gnostics of the day. To often we see people "picking and chooseing" who they side with depending on the argument they're trying to push. Studying is good, listening to the Holy Spirit though.... :angel:
 

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
Calvinism aside, Augustine and many of the ECF taught false teachings for a couple of reasons. Between 100 - 200 the ECF had a simple view of the Gospel, it was a full Gospel but it didn't take into consideration how the doctrines of the faith related and they made statements that lacked in definition. ex. Trinity, it took 300 years to define. The early church had a simple saving Gospel, latter when the need to define doctrine they made statements that didn't line up with Scripture, they didn't have a full canon in many cases when they spoke.

Peace
 
P

Pastor Lyndon

Guest
Hello all,

Augustine was not an early Church father. He was a post Nicene father, and was the originator of the doctrine of predestination, He did not holt to al the same points as Calvin. Calvins doctrines were new to the Church, except for the one - predestination. even then. it was from a Roman Catholic and was never taught by the Early Church.

Jason,

The early Church was not as basic as you imply; as if they were in need of evovling into the truth. They held the truth in completion, which was lost with the Roman Catholic Church - of which Augustine sprung forth from.
The early Church did not have the disagreements that so many people assume they did. Not until the 3rd century. But the first 150 years or so were in very much agreement. This is something that is confirmed in several writings, which is shown on my site with many quotes. I am still working on a topical list of quotes.
Many also assume thatthe early Church taught a few false doctrines, but they simply do not understand the purpose behind each teaching. If one were to read thru these writings in completion, they would see that the early Church is accused falsely, and that all they taught is 100% scriptural. I speak mainly of the first 150 years. But the Church remained in well agreement for yet another 150 years or so, as disagreements did then begin to arise in the Church. Before this all disagreements were with the Gnostic groups.
Words like "Trinity" came into the Church to clarify truth against false teachings. Before this it was not an issue of the Church being so simple; but rather that the truth was simple, and was not so misunderstood "in the Church". Only by the Gnostic groups. Tertullian taught Trinity without using the word "Trinity". Origen also taught the Trinity, as the end of the 3rd century was a tiime in Which the Noetians and Montanists rose and began to grow in numbers, teaching a "Onesness" doctrine or that Christ did not die in the flesh, but only as a Spirit man.
Calvinism was a gathering of new doctrines which began with Calvin and were sytematized by the Synod of Dort. These were foreign to the Church. Not only the Roman Catholics, but also of anything taught by any Early Church Father. Calvinists turn to Augustine for there Early Church evidence - but cannot go back any furthe because nothing is there ata all. But much is there against their teachings. Although Pelagius is accused of what we know would be heresy; it is also recorded that he was a holy man, and is very possibly that Augustine lied about what Pelagius actually taught. All Pelagius' writings were destroyed. But either way, Pelagius was one who held at least partial truth against the faulty teachings held by Augustine. Even the accusation of Semi-pelagianism as being like Arminianism is incorrect. The point is, anything in history after the Ante-Nicene Church cannot be fully trusted - no matter what their accomplishments might be. Even Luther, in all he accomplished tried to have 5 books of our NT bible removed. I don't think it is any coincidence that 3 of these 5 books contain many of the scriptures that Arminians seem to use the most. Even before Arminius, there had always arose someone to disagree with those who taught predestination/unconditional election or any other point used by Calvinists.
 
S

Sara929

Guest
How could the "early church" be doctrinally pure, when the apostles faught against false-doctrine?
 
P

Pastor Lyndon

Guest
Sara,

How could the "early church" be doctrinally pure, when the apostles faught against false-doctrine?
In reading thru all of the early Church writings several times, I can tell you that there is no evidence of any disagreement "within" the Church for at least the first 150 years, doctrinally speaking. All doctrinal disagreements were with the Gnostics or with Jews. The Apostles fought against heresies that crept into Churches and deceived many. But the deceived ones were pulled away by these wolves, and all others were eventually excommunicated from the Church. The Church never accepted these heresies as part of their own docttrine.
 
S

serapha

Guest
Pastor Lyndon said:
Sara,

How could the "early church" be doctrinally pure, when the apostles faught against false-doctrine?
In reading thru all of the early Church writings several times, doctrinally speaking. All doctrinal disagreements were with the Gnostics or with Jews. The Apostles fought against heresies that crept into Churches and deceived many. But the deceived ones were pulled away by these wolves, and all others were eventually excommunicated from the Church. The Church never accepted these heresies as part of their own docttrine.

Hi there!

:smt039


That's a pretty "fluffy" cloud floating across the forum.

Of course there were more problems than the Gnostics and the Jews... that's why we have the epistles of Paul and Peter in addition to the Gospels...And the book of James speaking about the wickedness of the tongue. If there weren't problems in the first-century church, then there would be no need for the inclusion of the epistles into the canonization of the Bible.... the Gospels would say it all.

Well, the Gospels do say it all... for the plan of salvation, but the epistles help to show us how to translate the Gospel into our lives and that of the churches. But certainly,

I can tell you that there is no evidence of any disagreement "within" the Church for at least the first 150 years,

that is an opinion.

~serapha~
 
S

serapha

Guest
Hi there!

:smt039

And for example, would this be a point of agreement by the ECF's?


http://www.pbministries.org/History/Joh ... ory_02.htm

One of the very earliest voices lifted against the abuses was that of the Shepherd of Hermas. The Shepherd says:

Customs have become worldly; discipline is relaxed; the Church is a sickly old woman, incapable of standing on her feet; rulers and ruled are all languishing, and many among them are corrupt, covetous, greedy, hypocritical, contentious, slanderers, blasphemers, libertines, spies, renegades, schismatics. Worthy teachers are not wanting, but there are also many false prophets, vain, eager after the first sees, for whom the greatest thing in life is not the practice of piety and justice, but the strife for the post of command. Now the day of wrath is at hand; the punishment will be dreadful; the Lord will give unto every one according to his works.

One of the earliest and most hurtful errors was the dogma of baptismal regeneration. This error in one form or another has marred the life and colored the history of all of the Christian ages. It began early and the virus may be traced to this day not only among ritualists, but likewise in the standards of evangelical Christians. Tertullian was influenced by it to oppose infant baptism, and under other conditions it became the frightful origin of that heresy.


~serapha~
 
E

evanman

Guest
What happened with the disciples of the Apostles?

What of the disciples of Thomas, Matthew, Andrew, Bartholomew etc.?

Do we know anything about them?
 

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
No, the ECF held to a basic doctrine, a saving Gospel. They were given a Bible which held and still holds all the truth of the the Christian faith. They needed time to read and understand and make clear doctrines they were given by apostles, this came about because of false teachings...when they were forced to apply the Gospel.

The number one problem with the works of the ECF's is simple, selective quoting. Some quote false teachers others quote those who held to a more Biblical view. When it's all said and done, they hold no force. The Bible is the word of God, the works of the early church fathers are works of men.

jason
 

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
Calvinism was a gathering of new doctrines which began with Calvin and were sytematized by the Synod of Dort.

This is something you've been taught but its not true, Luther, Zwingli, the Anabaptists and Calvin, arrived at the supralapsarian view of election and reprobation are deeds of God's sovereignty, logically preceding God's decree concerning the fall. The main thrust for this doctrine was the Bible and what it had to say. Calvin differed slightly by following the infralapsarian reasoning.
 
A

Adams son

Guest
Jason said:
Calvinism was a gathering of new doctrines which began with Calvin and were sytematized by the Synod of Dort.

This is something you've been taught but its not true, Luther, Zwingli, the Anabaptists and Calvin, arrived at the supralapsarian view of election and reprobation are deeds of God's sovereignty, logically preceding God's decree concerning the fall. The main thrust for this doctrine was the Bible and what it had to say. Calvin differed slightly by following the infralapsarian reasoning.

I wonder if Jesus was an infralapsarian or a supralapsarian.
 

JM

Member
From
Canada
Messages
2,818
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
DIME Ministries said:
[quote="Adams son":6d421]I wonder if Jesus was an infralapsarian or a supralapsarian.
lol

That is funny. :)[/quote:6d421]

I don't see how that's funny at all. It's the cold, hard logic of Biblical theology vs. the emotional theology of fallen man.

The words of Jesus Himself: "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you."

"I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me."

- Jeremiah 32 40

"Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."

- John 6:35-40

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

John 10:27-30
 
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