Paulicians: Early Baptists, Other Denomination, or...?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by CarpentersApprentice, Mar 10, 2007.

  1. CarpentersApprentice

    CarpentersApprentice
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    Can you help me understand the Baptist fondnesss for the Paulicians?

    The Paulicians (ca. 600-1200AD) have been described on this board as biblical enough, and as a remnant who hold to the Word of God. 19th century Baptist historians William Jones, G.H. Orchard, Samuel H. Ford, and John T. Christian cite them approvingly as early Christians.

    Considering what the Paulicians said about themselves in The Key of Truth, however, how can this be? The Paulicians were adoptionist. They believed in baptismal regeneration and transubstantiation; and that a person can't be saved without receiving the Lord's Supper. Also, they did not believe in original sin.

    According to the Schaff-Herzog article on this group, "In seeking to reach a just conclusion respecting the doctrines and practices of the Paulicians considerable weight should be accorded to The Key of Truth... http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc08/Page_418.html ."

    The great benefit of The Key of Truth is that, unlike the "hostile witness" testimony of Photius and Petrus Siculus, The Key was written by the Paulicians. Thus, it is the ultimate primary source. It tells us about the Paulicians in their own words.

    On what basis can it be maintained that the Paulicians should be considered a positive chapter in Baptist history?

    Below I posted A Summary of Paulician Tenants. It is an extract from the Introduction (pages xxxiii to xl) to The Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia by Fred C. Conybeare (Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1898).

    Thanks for your insight.

    CA
     
  2. CarpentersApprentice

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    Pardon the long post, but there was no web link available.

    Part 1 of 2 parts.

    Extract from the Introduction (pages xxxiii to xl) to The Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia by Fred C. Conybeare (Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1898). A Summary of Paulician Tenants.

    (1) The writer and reader of the Key did not call themselves Paulicians, still less Thonraketzi. They were the ‘holy, universal, and apostolic Church,’ founded by Jesus Christ and his apostles. In describing themselves the words catholic and orthodox are sometimes, but less often, added; perhaps because they shrank from the use of titles so closely identified with their persecutors.

    (2) The church consists of all baptized persons, and preserves the apostolic tradition which Christ revealed to the apostles and they to the Church, which has handed it on by unbroken transmission from the first.

    (3) The sacraments are three which are requisite to salvation, to wit, Repentance, Baptism, and the Body and Blood of Christ. Marriage, ordination, confirmation, extreme unction are not necessary to salvation.

    (4) All true baptism in accordance with the precepts of Christ, especially Mark xvi. 16, must be preceded by repentance and faith.

    (5) Consequently infant baptism is invalid; and, in admitting it, the Latins, Greeks, and Armenians have lost their Christianity, lost the sacraments, forfeited their orders, and have become a mere Satanic mimicry of the true faith. If any of them, even their patriarchs, would rejoin the true Church, they must be baptized.

    (6) The catechumen or candidate for baptism must be of mature age, as was Jesus of Nazareth, in order that he may be able to understand, recognize, and repent of his sin, which is twofold, viz.: original and operative.

    (7) Baptism is only to be performed by an elect or ordained member of the Church, and in answer to the personal demand of the person who seeks to be admitted into the Church.

    (8) On the eighth day from birth the elect one shall solemnly confer a name on the new-born child, using a prescribed form of prayer. But he shall not allow any mythical or superstitious names.

    (9) In doctrine the Paulicians were Adoptionist, and held that Jesus the Messiah was born a man, though a new man, of the Virgin Mary; and that, having fulfilled all righteousness and having come to John for baptism, he received in reward for his struggles the Lordship of all things in heaven and earth, the grace of the divine spirit, whereby he was anointed and became the Messiah, and was elected or chosen to be the eternal only-born Son, mediator of God and man, and intercessor.

    (10) They may also be called Unitarians, in so far as they believed that Jesus Christ was not creator but created, man, made and not maker. He was never God at all, but only the new-created Adam.

    (11) Jesus was born without original sin.

    (12) The Holy Ghost enters the catechumen immediately after baptism (to exclude evil spirits), when a third handful of water is, in his honor, poured out over the catechumen’s head. He is also breathed into the elect one by the bishop at the close of the ordination service.

    (13) The word Trinity is nowhere used, and was almost certainly rejected as being unscriptural. In baptism, however, three separate handfuls of water were poured over the head in the name of the father, in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit. Two or three words are erased in the baptismal formula, which would have explained more clearly the significance they attach to the proceeding, but it was clearly heretical or they would not have been erased. A ‘figure’ follows in the text, p. 98, shadowing forth the meaning. The king, we learn, releases certain rulers from the prison of sin; the Son calls them to himself and comforts and gives them hope; and then the Holy Spirit at once crowns them and dwells in them for ever and ever. This figure is also meant to exhibit the significance of genuine baptism.

    (14) The Virgin Mary lost her virginity at the birth of Jesus, and is not ‘ever virgin.’ She was a virgin, however, till the new Adam was born. She cannot intercede for us, for Christ, our only intercessor, expressly denied blessedness to her because of her unbelief.

    (15) There is no intercession of the saints, for the dead rather need the prayers of the living than the living of the lead.

    (16) The idea of Purgatory is false and vain. There is but one last judgment for all, for which the quick and the dead (including saints) wait.

    (17) Images, pictures, holy crosses, springs, incense, candles are all to be condemned as idolatrous and unnecessary, and alien to the teaching of Christ.

    (18) The Paulicians are not dualists in any other sense than the New Testament is itself dualistic. Satan is simply the adversary of man and God, and owing to the fall of Adam held all, even patriarchs and prophets, in his bonds before the advent of Christ.

    (19) Sin must be publicly confessed before God and the Church, which consists of the faithful.

    (20) The elect ones alone have the power of binding and loosing given by Christ to the Apostles and by them transmitted to their universal and apostolic Church.

    (21) Their canon included the whole of the New Testament except perhaps the Apocalypse, which is not mentioned or cited. The newly-elected one has given to him the Gospel and Apostolicon. The Old Testament is not rejected; and although rarely cited, is nevertheless, when it is cited, called the God-inspired book, “Astouadsashountch”, which in Armenian answers to our phrase ‘Holy Scripture’ or ‘Bible.’
     
  3. CarpentersApprentice

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    Part 2 of 2 parts.

    Extract from the Introduction (pages xxxiii to xl) to The Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia by Fred C. Conybeare (Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1898). A Summary of Paulician Tenants.

    (22) In the Eucharist the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ through the blessing invoked. Yet when he said to his followers” ‘My body is the true food and my blood the true drink,’ and again, ‘I am the bread of life which came down from heaven,’ he spoke in figures. However, in the last supper, when he blessed the elements, i.e. prayed the Lord that the bread might be truly changed into his body, it was verily so changed by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus “saw” that it was so and thanked the Almighty Father for the change of it into his body and blood.

    (23) The false priests (of the orthodox Churches) either deceive the simple-minded with mere bread, or – what is worse – they change the elements into their own sinful bodies when they say ‘This is “my” body,’ instead of changing them into Christ’s.

    (24) One unleavened loaf and wine are to be offered in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

    (25) In baptism the catechumens pass naked into the middle of the water on their knees; but beside this immersion it was necessary to pour three handfuls of water over the head.

    (26) Exorcism of the catechumen is performed by the elect one before baptism.

    (27) The sponsors in the infant baptism of the heretics (i.e. the orthodox) churches are at best mere false witnesses.

    (28) There is but a single grade of ecclesiastical authority, and this is that of the elect one. He bears the authority to bind and loose given by the Father to Jesus in the descent of the Holy Spirit in Jordan, handed on by Jesus to the apostles and by them to their successors.

    (29) But although all authority is one and the same, the elect depository of it may have various titles; and according to the particular function he is fulfilling he is called in the Key, priest, elder, bishop, doctor, president, apostle, and chief.

    (30) The word used to denote authority i s “ishkhan-uthiun.“ Hence is it probably that the “ishkhanq,” or rulers who choose out and present to the bishop a candidate for election, and in conjunction with the bishop lay hands on him in ordination, were themselves elect ones.

    (31) The presbyters and arch-presbyter mentioned in the ordinal or Service of Election seem to be identical with these “ishkhanq,” or rulers. They seem to have the same duty of testing, choosing and presenting before the bishop the candidate for election. On p. 108 the parties present at that service are summed up thus: ‘The bishop, the newly-elected one, the rulers, archrulers, and congregation.’ A little before we read that the presbyters and arch-presbyters bring up the candidate to the bishop and pray him to ordain. It would seem then that the rulers and presbyters are the same people.

    (32) There is no trace of Docetism in the Key, nor any denial of the real character of the Passion. Christ’s sufferings are indeed declared to have been insupportable.

    (33) The office of Reader is mentioned. In the Ordination Service he is the candidate for election.

    (34) There is no rejection of the epistles of Peter, nor is any disrespect shown to that apostle. It is merely affirmed, p. 93, that the church does not rest on him alone, but on all the apostles, including Paul. In the Election Service, p. 107, the bishop formally confers upon the candidate the ritual name of Peter, in token of the authority to loose and bind now bestowed on him. There was a similar ritual among the Cathars of France.

    (35) Sacrifice of animals (to expiate the sins of the dead) are condemned as contrary to Christ’s teaching.

    (36) New-born children have neither original nor operative sin, and do not therefore need to be baptized.

    (37) A strong prejudice against monks animates the Key. The devils favorite disguise is that of a monk.

    (38) The scripture and a knowledge of divine truth are not to remain the exclusive possession of the orthodox priests.

    (39) Rejection of the Logos doctrine as developed in the other Churches. There is indeed no explicit rejection of it in the Key, but it is ignored, and the doctrine that Jesus is a man and not God, leaves no room for it in Paulician theology.

    (40) For the same reason they must have rejected the term “theotokos.”

    (41) The elect one was an anointed one, a Christ, and the ordinal is a ritual for the election and anointing of a presbyter in the same way as Jesus was elected and anointed, namely by the Holy Spirit.

    END
     
    #3 CarpentersApprentice, Mar 10, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2007
  4. Jarthur001

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    The Paulician church in no way was Baptist. Those that hold to this have only studied part of history.

    They were dualistic.
    They rejected the OT all together.
    They rejected all of the gospels other then Luke.
    As a matter of fact...If I remember right, I think all they held to were the gospel of Luke and Pauls writings.

    They hated Peter because he denied Christ, which makes no sense when you think about how much Paul talks of grace.

    Yet you are right, in that some Baptist think they were early Baptist.:BangHead:
     
  5. CarpentersApprentice

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    Jarthur001,

    Thanks for getting the ball rolling. A review of the the Paulicians own writings (cf. Conybeare, The Key of Truth), however, would find differently...

    RE They were dualistic.

    Item (18) states, "The Paulicians are not dualists in any other sense than the New Testament is itself dualistic. Satan is simply the adversary of man and God, and owing to the fall of Adam held all, even patriarchs and prophets, in his bonds before the advent of Christ."

    RE They rejected the OT all together.

    Item (21) states, "The Old Testament is not rejected; and although rarely cited, is nevertheless, when it is cited, called the God-inspired book, “Astouadsashountch”, which in Armenian answers to our phrase ‘Holy Scripture’ or ‘Bible.’"

    RE They rejected all of the gospels other then Luke. As a matter of fact...If I remember right, I think all they held to were the gospel of Luke and Pauls writings.

    Item (21) states, " Their canon included the whole of the New Testament except perhaps the Apocalypse, which is not mentioned or cited. The newly-elected one has given to him the Gospel and Apostolicon."

    RE They hated Peter because he denied Christ.

    Item (34) states, "There is no rejection of the epistles of Peter, nor is any disrespect shown to that apostle. It is merely affirmed, p. 93, that the church does not rest on him alone, but on all the apostles, including Paul. In the Election Service, p. 107, the bishop formally confers upon the candidate the ritual name of Peter, in token of the authority to loose and bind now bestowed on him.

    CA
     
  6. Eliyahu

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    CA,

    Thanks for your valuable post.

    I read thru yours interestingly.

    One thing that I want to emphasize is that the history or the biography of the true believers cannot be delivered thru the pagan believers or the secular theologians who have had no spiritual experience of Being Born Again. Once a statement or confession is gone into the head of such pagan believers or the theologians without the experience of Being born again, then it is converted into a strange statement or a distorted theory as in whichever form the noodles in their heads are boiling.

    Paulicans refused the title of Mary as Mother of God, then RCC or Mary worshippers condemned them as denying the deity of Jesus Christ.
    I am sure they believed that God was in Jesus and Jesus is in God, and that God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. As for how Christ took the humanity, it is not easy to define and therefore there could have been a lot of misunderstanding.

    Paulicans rejected Infant Baptism, they emphasized the strong faith before Baptism, the person to be Baptized must confess that he or she would not deny the Lord despite any torture, whipping, imprisonment, beheading or crucifixion. So they may have demanded too much thing for the Baptism.
    Paulicans destroyed the images, Crosses, and idols, and refused Theotokos. This caused the misunderstanding that Paulicans denied the deity of Christ. But they claimed that any divinity was not actively working but just lurking before the Baptism of Jesus. RCC exaggerated what they believed as they refused the Mary worship.
    They practiced the Baptism by immersion, I believe.
    You can read about them in Pilgrim Church as well. E.H Broadbent mentioned the Key of Truth might have been written around the time of Queen Theodora who persecuted the Paulicans terribly and killed 100,000 of them. The book might have been written by one of the famous leaders such as Genesios, Joseph, Zacharia, Bannes, Sembat, Sergius.
    ( Some of the excerpts of Pilgrim Church are here:http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/thailand/pc-b-041.htm)
    This site doesn't cover the full context of the book but talks about Paulicans.

    http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/thailand/PC-B-042.HTM
    Paper book Pligrim Church covered this better.

    (26) Exorcism is not the right word for it, it must be "Prayer and Blessing" before the Baptism, which is usually done at the true believers churches. for the person to be baptized, before the Baptism.

    Their beliefs are quite similar to Baptists/Brethren.
    So-called Plymouth Brethren consider Paulicans as one of the True Believers groups such as Montanists, Donatists, Novatians, Bogomils, Waldensians, Moravians, etc though they may have held some incorrect doctrines at times.

    If anyone believes he or she is a descendant of the True Believers outside the RCC, then she or he must see thru the history from the view point of True Believers outside the RCC, not from the view of RCC.
     
    #6 Eliyahu, Mar 11, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2007
  7. CarpentersApprentice

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    Which "pagan believers or the secular theologians," are you referring to?

    CA
     
  8. Eliyahu

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    Roman Catholics are Pagan believers, I have no doubt about it.
    Secular theologians are the theologians who are called Christians but have no actual experience of Being Born again. There are many of such theologians among the colleges and seminaries of the theology while they exhibit some serious theories and manufacture all the plausible histories.
     
  9. CarpentersApprentice

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    My only reference is to Fred C. Conybeare, the translator and editor of the book I cited above. Is he a pagan believer, or secular theologian?

    CA
     
  10. Eliyahu

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    I think he stands on the right bases.
     
  11. DQuixote

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    Amen. Even Southern Baptists blunder from time to time <shudder> as in their present frenzied endorsement of C.S. Lewis. If they'd read the latter's writings they recognize the heresy in the cartoon.
     
  12. CarpentersApprentice

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    Hi DQuixote,

    Do you have any thoughts on how the Baptist - Paulician connection came to be?

    CA
     
  13. Eliyahu

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    You are right. Corruptions are everywhere. We have to be vigilant.
     
  14. Eliyahu

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    I think you have to see the whole picture of the Biblical churches which were built by Holy Spirit.

    Here is the article by Dr. Thomas Cassidy who appears on this board, in the Bible Translation and Versions thread from time to time. He has very much profound knowledge on the Bible Manuscripts and Bible history as a professor and pastor.


    [FONT=&#48148]http://www.beaconmbc.com/In Defense of, Biblical, Historical, Christianity.htm[/FONT]

    [FONT=&#48148]Excerpts of it:[/FONT]

    [FONT=&#48148](Paulicans) recognized only believers baptism by immersion; rejected transubstantiation; rejected ceremonialism; rejected penance as unprofitable and absurd; had no hierarchy or clerical office; they were strong Trinitarians; opposed all image worship (called the "holy relics" "JUNK"!); believed in holy living. They sound pretty good to me! The accusations against the Paulicians were the most strident in the attempts of their enemies to discredit them[/FONT]


    [FONT=&#48148]It will be very much interesting if you can see the big difference between the accusations by the opponents and the actual confessions by the Paulicans.[/FONT]

    Now Satan works hard to cover up such difference!
     
    #14 Eliyahu, Mar 11, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2007
  15. Jarthur001

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    It is clear you place all your proof in one document. You need to read a bit more.

    Yes they deny that they were dualist...yet there own writers tell another story...

    The good god created angels only. The Romans (i.e. the Byzantines) erred in confusing these two first principles.

    Similarly the Armenian writer Gregory Magistros (c. 1040) accuses the Thonraki of teaching that "Moses saw not God, but the devil," and infers thence that they held Satan to be creator of heaven and earth, as well as of mankind.

    Your own document ...The Key of Truth ....teaches that after the fall Adam and Eve and their children were slaves of Satan until the advent of the newly created Adam, Jesus Christ.


    They call the Virgin, the "upper Jerusalem" in which the Lord came in and went out, and denying that he was really made flesh of her.

    Please read "The Greek and Eastern Churches" by Walter Frederic Adeney

    Walter Frederick Adeney (1849-1920),
    A Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Church History

    Adeney on page 217 addresses Conybeare's work on his find "The Key of Truth". Adeney praises Conybeare. Yet you must understand this is not the only document we have that is Pauliani.


    Page 218..
    Baptism was not allowed till age thirty.
    Baptism is one dip and three handfuls of water over the candidate.
    They had 3 "sacraments", repentance, Baptism, and the Lords table.

    Baptist say repentance is part of salvation not a sacrament.

    Adeney also tells us that though they claim that they held the OT as the word of God, they never quoted it or used it. In fact I think he says they are only three times know where they quoted the OT in there writings.




    Link below...


    http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/apologia/paulicans.html


    I need not post on their views on peter...this is found in all history books
     
  16. Jarthur001

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    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare (1856-1924) was a British orientalist, Fellow of University College, Oxford, and Professor of Theology at the University of Oxford.
    He took an interest in the Order of Corporate Reunion, an Old Catholic organisation, becoming a Bishop in it in 1894. Also in the 1890s he wrote a book on the Dreyfus case, as a Dreyfusard, and translated the Testament of Solomon and other early Christian texts. As well, he did influential work on Barlaam and Josaphat. He was an authority on the Armenian Church.

    He from 1904 to 1915 was a member of the Rationalist Press Association of freethinkers, founded in 1899. These multiple associations make his position on Christianity harder to discern.

    One of his best-known works is Myth, Magic, and Morals from 1909, later reissued under the title The Origins of Christianity. This has been read both as strong criticism of the Jesus myth theory, making Conybeare a supporter of the historical Jesus; but also as an attack on aspects of Christianity itself. He returned later in 1914 to make a direct assault on leading proponents of the time of the Jesus-myth theory.

    His wife Mary Emily was a translator of Wilhelm Scherer. The distinguished physician Sir John Josias Conybeare (1888-1967) was his son.


    His works....Works

    Outlines of a Philosophy of Religion by Hermann Lotze (1892) translator
    The Armenian Apology and Acts of Apollonius, and Other Monuments of Early Christianity (1894)
    About the Contemplative Life; or the Fourth Book of the Treatise Concerning Virtues, by Philo Judaeus (1895) editor
    The Dreyfus Case (1898)
    The Key of Truth, a Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia (1898)
    The Testament of Solomon (1898) translation in the Jewish Quarterly Review, October 1898, online
    The Story of Ahikar from the Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Greek and Slavonic Versions (1898) with J. Rendel Harris and Agnes Smith Lewis
    Rituale Armenorum Being the Administration of the Sacraments & the Breviary Rites of the Armenian Church Together with the Greek Rites of Baptism & Epiphany edited from the oldest manuscripts (1905) with Arthur John Maclean
    Selections from the Septuagint According to the Text of Swete (1905) with St. George Stock, later as A Grammar of Septuagint Greek online
    The Armenian version of Revelation, Apocalypse of John the Divine (1907) editor
    Myth, Magic, and Morals: A Study of Christian Origins (1909)
    History of New Testament Criticism (1910)
    The Ring of Pope Xystus, Together with the Prologue of Rufinus (1910)
    The Life of Apollonius of Tyana: The Epistles of Apollonius and the Treatise of Eusebius. Philostratus (1912) translator, Loeb Classical Library, two volumes
    A Catalogue of the Armenian Manuscripts in the British Museum (1913)
    The Historical Christ; or, An investigation of the views of Mr. J. M. Robertson, Dr. A. Drews, and Prof. W. B. Smith (1914)
    Russian Dissenters (1921)
    The Armenian Church: Heritage and Identity. (St. Vartan Press: New York, 2001) edited by the Rev. Nerses Vrej Nersessian
     
  17. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: An interesting point indeed. The truth is that the Church held no such
    idea of inherited moral depravity referred to as original sin before the father of original sin, Augustine, introduced the idea into the church that sin lied in the constitution of the flesh and not in the will as previously taught within the Church.

    Why should the discounting of that which is contrary to reason and Scripture gender any ill contempt for any group, and why should the holding to truth, i.e. the discounting of a false Augustinian notion of original sin, now be seen as unusual or odd or the means of discounting someone’s roots?
     
  18. Eliyahu

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    I didn't know that.
    The comments posted by CA contained a little of biased comments such as church hierarchy, exorcism etc.
    The best way is to read the Key of Truth itself correctly translated one.
    The site which I mentioned may have much less flaws.
    Even the Wikipedia itself is rather often pro Catholic about the religious issues, IMO. We have to eliminate all the impurities in understanding the history.
     
    #18 Eliyahu, Mar 11, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2007
  19. Jarthur001

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    Not really....

    The Church only stated the doctrine of sin in very general terms in the early years. So long as the truth was not denied the Church was content to hold and state it in the simple form in which it is presented in the Bible. But when positions were assumed which were inconsistent with the revealed doctrine, or when one truth was so stated as to contradict some other truth, it became necessary to be more explicit, and to frame such an expression of the doctrine as should comprehend all that God had revealed on the subject. This process in the determination, or rather in the definition of doctrines was of necessity a gradual one. It was only as one error after another arose in the Church, that the truth came to be distinguished from them severally by more explicit and guarded statements.

    The earliest heresies were those of Gnosticism and Manicheism in which, in different forms, sin was represented as a necessary evil having its origin in a cause independent of God and beyond the control of the creature, the Church was called upon to deny those errors, and to assert that sin was neither necessary nor eternal, but had its origin in the free will of rational creatures.

    In the midst of these inconsistencies the following points were constantly insisted upon.

    (1.) That all men in their present state are sinners.
    (2.) That this universal sinfulness of men had its historical and causal origin in the voluntary apostasy of Adam.
    (3.) That such is the present state of human nature that salvation can be attained in no other way than through Christ, and by the assistance of his Spirit.
    (4.) That even infants as soon as born need regeneration and redemption, and can be saved only through the merit of Christ.

    Not that the Greek fathers held the doctrine of original sin in the form in which it was afterwards developed by Augustine, but they nevertheless taught that the race fell in Adam, that they all need redemption, and that redemption can only be obtained through the Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  20. CarpentersApprentice

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    Hardcover: 634 pages
    Publisher: Augustus M Kelley Pubs (June 1965)
    ISBN-10: 0678099510

    I'll look it up. (Could take a while, though. Inter-library loan probably.)

    Thanks.

    CA
     

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