Thursday, November 12, 2009

Newman - The Development of Doctrine (Part 1)

"Till positive reasons grounded on facts are adduced to the contrary, the most natural hypotheses, the most agreeable to our mode of proceeding in parallel cases, and that which takes precedence of all others, is to consider that the society of Christians, which the Apostles left on earth, were of that religion to which the Apostles had converted them; that the external continuity of name, profession, and communion, argues a real continuity of doctrine; that, as Christianity began by manifesting itself as of a certain shape and bearing to all mankind, therefore it went on so to manifest itself...this one thing at least is certain; whatever history teaches, whatever it omits, whatever it exaggerates or extenuates, whatever it says and unsays, at least the Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth, it is this...Our popular religion scarcely recognizes the fact of the twelve long ages which lie between the Councils of Nic├Ža and Trent, except as affording one or two passages to illustrate its wild interpretations of certain prophesies of St. Paul and St. John. It is melancholy to say it, but the chief, perhaps the only English writer who has any claim to be considered an ecclesiastical historian, is the unbeliever Gibbon. To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant...this utter incongruity between Protestantism and historical Christianity is a plain fact" - Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman "Development of Christian Doctrine"

I'm going through this monumental work of Cardinal Newman's. I'm on # 14 of the intro and very much enjoying how he's taking the argument so far and destroying Anglicanism & Protestantism.

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