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Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Eighth Quote from The Truth War

We sometimes tend to think of the early church as pristine, pure, and untroubled by serious error. The truth is, it wasn't that way at all.
The good doctor ain't kiddin'.

I recently engaged in a fairly lengthy discussion with a fellow who repeatedly tried to prove his point from the practice of the early church. My response to that, in part, was that I didn't think the practice of the early church was authoritative. The church, after all, hadn't even seen the canon close before falling into serious error. You can see that just from 1 Corinthians and Revelation. Why on earth anyone would think their practice authoritative for our faith and practice quite escapes me. The one reliable guide is Holy Writ.

I mean, one of the early church authorities he cited had actually castrated himself, thinking that he was following the injunction to cut your hand off if it causes you to sin. That kind of thinking is your guide to faith and practice?

The reality is that the early church rapidly fell into error. The church is always prone to error. But God isn't, and neither is what He has said. It is our task to understand and apply what He has said, not to canonize the practice of fallible, albeit earlier, human beings.

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