10 October 2011

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The divine promise is that the Church will endure forever.  However, this promise belongs properly not to this or that particular and visible church but to the catholic church of the elect, which has been founded on the rock, which is Christ, and will remain unmoved against all the gates of hell. -- Blessed Johann Gerhard, On the Church, p. 324.


Matt Carver (Matthaeus Glyptes) said...

wow sure this is not a patristic quote? so classic.

Chris said...

It's not a patristic quote. The holy fathers did not make needless categorical distinctions of the visible church and invisible church.

William Weedon said...

But, of course, his distinction was not between visible and invisible in this instance, but between particular and visible on the one hand and the catholic church of the elect (which is not quite the same as invisible). He learned the distinction from the fathers - such as Prosper on Psalm 106: "The catholic church is in the elect whom God has foreknown, the sons of promise, the members of the Body of Christ." Or St. Augustine: "The church is Christ's sheepfold and His sheep are those that no one will snatch, for they have their names written in the book of life." (Tractate 45 on John) Or Jerome on Job 26: "The Church herself is the gathering of all the saints." FWIW.