Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology: From the Fathers by William J. Abraham

By William J. Abraham

The e-book offers an unique and demanding narrative at the importance of canon within the Christian culture. commonplace money owed of canon lessen canon to scripture and deal with scripture as a criterion of fact. Scripture is then comparable in optimistic or detrimental how you can culture, cause, and event. Such tasks contain a misreading of the that means and content material of canon--they find the canonical history of the church inside epistemology--and Abraham charts the deadly results of this movement, from the Fathers to trendy feminist theology. within the strategy he exhibits that the vital epistemological issues of the Enlightenment have Christian origins and echoes. He additionally exhibits that the an important advancements of theology from the Reformation onwards contain notable efforts to mend the rules of religion. This trajectory is now exhausted theologically and spiritually. accordingly, the door is opened for a restoration of the complete canonical background of the early church and for clean paintings at the epistemology of theology.

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In fact, one reason why creeds were developed was precisely to provide a substantial summary of the substance of the faith which could be grasped and internalized by new believers. There is, then, a clear connection between crucial questions related to canon and the day-to-day life of the Church. 27 This constitutes one more reason for pursuing matters related to the canonical heritage of the Church with care and thoroughness. 27 For a brief but succinct example of this see Geoffrey Wainwright, ‘The New Testament as Canon’, Scottish Journal of Theology, 28 (1975), 551–71.

Bruce puts it: ‘The “canon” of scripture is that “list” of books recognized by the Church as her sacred writings’ (Tradition Old and New (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1970), 129). Compare the fact that the canonization of the saints means that ‘a Christian has been found worthy to have his or her name placed in the canon, or list, of saints remembered by the people of God’ (The Orthodox Church, 30 June 1994, 1; emphasis added). 40 The first undisputed decision of a council on the New Testament was at Carthage in 397.

No one would deny either source—no one, at any rate, who is even slightly familiar with the ordinances of the Church. If we attacked unwritten customs, claiming them to be of little importance, we would fatally mutilate the Gospel, no matter what our intentions—or rather, we would reduce the Gospel teaching to bare words. For instance (to take the first and most common example), where is the written teaching that we should sign with the sign of the Cross those who, trusting in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, are to be enrolled as catechumens?

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