Category Archives: Theology-Soteriology

What Does It Mean To Say That Sola Fide *IS* The Gospel?

This is a question I’ve been wrestling with for the past few years. The idea that sola fide, the propositional statement “justification is by faith alone,” literally is the Gospel itself – was originally transmitted to me via a “cranky … Continue reading

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Matter Matters

I’ve been thinking lately about the dualistic attitude of many Christians, in which “spiritual” things are set in stark contrast to “unspiritual” – i.e., material, temporal – things. Many Christians simply take for granted that the soul is far superior … Continue reading

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“Jousting With Death Against Life and With Life Against Death”

Generally speaking, I wouldn’t recommend Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) as a source of spiritual insight and an example for piety. But the following mini-discourse of hers on salvation is really striking for its evangelical warmth and Christ-centeredness. Writing to Pope … Continue reading

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Nicholas of Cusa on Justification By Faith (Alone)

Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), of whom I have written a biographical sketch elsewhere, wrote a work called De Pace Fidei (On Peace in Religion), which is a dialogue between the adherents of various religions. In the dialogue the following interesting … Continue reading

Posted in 15th Century, Theology-Soteriology | 2 Comments

Bondage of the Will in Bernard of Clairvaux?

This struck me as interesting from Bernard of Clairvaux’s On Loving God: To sum up: what infidel does not know that he has received light, air, food–all things necessary for his own body’s life–from Him alone who giveth food to … Continue reading

Posted in 12th Century, Theology-Soteriology | Comments Off

Cyril Vs. Nestorius; Alexandria Vs. Antioch

Nestorius accused Cyril of Alexandria of turning the nature of the Godhead into flesh: “To speak briefly, they refer the Godhead of the Only-begotten to the same origin as the flesh joined [with it], and kill it with the flesh, … Continue reading

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“Blending the Lord’s Appearance As A Man Into a Confused Combination”

Nestorius, presumably referring to the views of men like Cyril of Alexandria, argued that the “heretics” commit a similar error to that of Arius and Apollinaris, “blending together the Lord’s appearance as a man into a kind of confused combination.” … Continue reading

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Gregory of Nazianzus Contra Apollinaris

My summation of Gregory of Nazianzus’ attack on Apollinarianism: “[W]e do not sever the man from the Godhead, but we lay down as a dogma the unity and identity [of person]…,” the eternal God assuming manhood for our salvation.:”(“To Cledonius … Continue reading

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Redeeming Human Nature

Somewhere recently I read that for the Fathers the object of Christ’s redemptive work was not individuals per se, but the whole of humanity. Not that individuals per se do not get redeemed (they do), but that the focus of … Continue reading

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Ousia: “Particular, Concrete Existence”

Probably old hat to some, but reading this today in the translator’s note to Gregory of Nyssa’s “An Answer to Ablabius” really helped me with Trinitarian metaphysics. In the Cappadocians, the divine ousia (essence) is not strictly speaking a “universal” … Continue reading

Posted in Christology-Patristic, Patristic Hermeneutics, Theology-Christology, Theology-Soteriology, Theology-Trinity | 3 Comments