18 February 2007

Patristic Quote for the Day

And therefore the action of God must not be canvassed by human faculties; the Creator must not be judged by those who are the work of His hands. We must clothe ourselves in foolishness that we may gain wisdom; not in the foolishness of hazardous conclusions, but in the foolishness of a modest sense of our own infirmity, that so the evidence of God's power may teach us truths to which the arguments of earthly philosophy cannot attain. For when we are fully conscious of our own foolishness, and have felt the helplessness and destitution of our reason, then through the counsels of Divine Wisdom we shall be initiated into the wisdom of God; setting no bounds to boundless majesty and power, nor tying the Lord of nature down to nature's laws; sure that for us the one true faith concerning God is that of which He is at once the Author and the Witness. - St. Hilary of Poitiers *On the Trinity* Book III par. 26


L P Cruz said...

Dear Pastor Weedon,

I have been reviewing some programs of Issues Etc. One of them was your treatment of the Reformation and the Church Fathers. In the second hour, I heard you say that the definition of faith between RCC and the Lutheran is different. You said that in the RC faith can exists with mortal sin, while in the Lutheran view faith can not exist with mortal sin. What did you mean by that sine we are both saints and sinners at the same time?

From what I recall, indeed the RC view of faith is like mental assent, but what I am confused about is your statement about the Lutheran view. From my study, faith in our terms is trust in Christ.



William Weedon said...

Dear Lito,

It is true that we are and remain sinners until the grave. But the Lutheran Confessions teach that mortal sin (which in Lutheranism is not a class of sins, but ANY sin which is persisted in contrary to conscience) drives out the Holy Spirit and faith. Pertinent passages to look up on this in the Lutheran Confessions are:

Ap. IV:115, V:22-23
SA III, Article III, 43-45

Hope that is of some help in clarifying.


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

This is a wonderful quote, provided one doesn't interpret it in such a way as to give comfort to those who would have us accept "Christian teachings" that contradict each other.

The way to tell a genuine contradiction in Christian teaching from an only apparent one is this: that people among us who are sufficiently holy (=intimate with the Holy Spirit) have the clear-sightedness from Him to be able to explain the issue to us in a way that quite easily and entirely removes the apparent contradiction. (And all this without anything that remotely resembles straining after a gnat.) Such a person can just, as it were, shrug his shoulders and say something like, “Oh, sure. We suppose it is a contradiction because we tend to think….. but once we recall..... then of course, as you see, it all fits together.” And the whole thing is so clear his hearers practically kick themselves for having been so blind, for not having seen it long since.

If nobody has ever been able to resolve this (without resorting to sophistry), then what you have is a *real* contradiction.

Even if one should insist that it is not a real one, acceptance of it will function exactly the same way as if it were, namely, to completely undo Scripture as a way to rule out error.