The Christian Tradition, volume 1 (Pelikan)

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BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
The Church's origin is found in the Old Testament, or rather it's fulfillment is in being the New Israel. This New Israel would fundamentally rework the Old Testament categories around the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. From this point the church would address (and at the same time be influenced) by Classical philosophy and Mediterranean paganisms (less so on the latter). These two foils, in the parts where they were true, were "preparations for the gospel," particularly the Logos movements that gave rise to Logos Christologies.

Having established a base the Church began to address "heretical" movements: Montanism, Gnosticism, and Novationism. The only way the Church could successfully deal with these movements was to establish the criteria of apostolic continuity: an apostolic creed, an apostolic canon, and an apostolic succession.

Discussions would soon move to formulating the Trinity and the Hypostatic Union of Christ. Special attention is given to "why" different heresies would arise from Alexandria and Antioch and while Chalcedon provided a via media, it, too, raised new problems.

Pelikan then moves to Nature, Grace, and St Augustine. St Augustine is seen as the champion against Pelagianism and Donatism, but early interpreters of St Augustine feared he paid too high a price with his predestinarianism. Nonetheless, even denials of Augustinianism were phrased in Augustinian concepts and language. The later church had to reject St Augustine's "double predestination" because it was not the faith that the catholic church had always believed, which is the summary of Pelikan's last chapter.

Finally, we need to address the importance of Pelikan's project. Certain Eastern Orthodox Boomerdox apologists at Ancient Faith Radio think this is the greatest refutation of Protestantism ever written. Presumably it goes like this: Pelikan was like really smart and he converted from Protestantism to EO, so there. More likely, Pelikan finished this project long before he converted, and there isn't anything polemical in this series. And Pelikan's interpretation of St Cyril has long been superceded.
 
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