Monday, September 20, 2010

Gavrilyuk on the rule of faith

"the diversity of early Christianity was substantially different from that of pagan religions and early Judaism.  The concern for the unity of the kerygma, for the right teaching and practice was dominant in Christianity from the very beginning.  The pagan cults, in contrast, exhibited no tendency toward the unification of beliefs.  While some syncretism and blending was inevitable, the cultic leaders showed no interest in reconciling divergent mythological accounts or providing one confessional statement. . . .
"The Christianity of the great church emerged and differentiated itself from all religions of the Roman Empire, as well as from most of its heterodox rivals, as a confessional faith, as a religion uniquely committed to the rule of faith."

Paul L. Gavrilyuk, "Scripture and the regula fidei:  two interlocking components of the canonical heritage," Canonical theism:  a proposal for theology and the church, ed. William J. Abraham, Jason E. Vickers, and Natalie B. Van Kirk (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2008), 33 (27-42).  Footnote after "from the very beginning" cites Gal 1:6-9, 5:20; 1 Cor 11:18-20; 1 Tim 1:3; Heb 2:1; Acts 18:26; 1 John 2:24, 4:2-3; Ignatius, Trallians 6.1, Philadelphians 2.1; Polycarp 3.1.  Footnote after "a religion uniquely committed to the rule of faith" quotes Frances Young as follows:
Christianity is the only major religion to set such store by creeds and doctrines.  Other religions have Scriptures, others have their characteristic ways of worship, others have their own peculiar ethics and lifestyle. . . . But except in response to Christianity, they have not developed creeds, statements of standard belief to which the orthodox are supposed to adhere
(The making of the creeds (London:  SCM Press, 1991), 1).

No comments: