Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Here are a few quotes from Chadwick’s book on Augustine, regarding his ecclesiology. Please note how Augustine sees the relationship between the Scriptures, the Sacraments and the Church. A lot of this is a summary of previous posts.

I post on this, because Anglicanism has been called “Reformed Augustianism, (I agree) and I believe Augustine’s views are very close to those of the Magisterial (and english) Reformers, and should be looked at, since it seems most present-day protestant churches have a rather confused ecclesiology.

Very informative, though don’t take this as a “blanket” endorsement (emphasis mine).

Unity, Catholicism and Sacraments

[…] the parables of the kingdom (Matt. 13) taught the in the Lord’s field both wheat and tares should be left until the harvest of the last judgement. Therefore, no scandal could ever be sufficient ground to introduce division and to leave the one Church. […]

Among the signs of a true believer Augustine specified that he would always love the Church, warts and all […] the errors of individual bishops could not bring pollution on a community or upon episcopal succession. The grace of God did not depend for its efficacy on the personal sanctity of the individual minister, but on whether he did what God commanded to be done and thereby showed himself aware that in his sacramental action the whole Church is acting. For every act of the Church is catholic, universal. The sacrament is Christ’s, not the minister’s personal property, and salvation is always and throughout the work of God, not of man. Therefore a sacrament of baptism bestowed by an orthodox but schismatic priest must on no account be repeated. Baptism has stamped the soul with a decisive once-for-all seal, just as Christ died once-for-all to redeem. Admittedly, baptism given in schism could not be fully a means of grace until the recipient had been reconciled to the Church.

Apostolic succession mattered to the African Catholics too, for it was the external form that helped to safeguard the sacred tradition of apostolic teaching and sacraments.

However, in the context of the Donatist controversy note this comment:

Donatist language about the ordained ministry as the supreme guarantee of their sacraments seemed to Augustine to presuppose a much too clericalized notion of the Church. The ministry had a very necessary service to perform. Ordination was a sanctification of the Holy Spirit. It was self-evident that the presidency at the Eucharist should be given to those commissioned by ordination for this work. No one (except heretical sects) dreamt of lay presidency. But Augustine never thought of the Church as consisting in the clergy. The ministry was subordinate, a service. The continuity of the Church in the apostolic faith had its instrument and sign in ministerial order […] when Augustine looked for the authentication of the truth of the gospel he looked to the faith of the universal Church.”


[Augustine] expressly denied that holy Scripture represented the sole medium of divine revelation (S 12.4); but it represented the principle of authority which seemed central to Christian belief in a divinely given way of salvation for an ignorant and lost humanity. The authority of the Bible and Church rested on reciprocal support. Usage in the churches had determined the limits of the canon. Bible texts established the divinely constituted nature of the Church.

He made the observation that many heretics start from a mistaken or partisan interpretation of Scripture and, because they are both clever and proud, are reluctant to correct themselves. “It is part of a catholic disposition to express the wish to accept correction if one is mistaken” (DEP ii.5).”

Henry Chadwick. Augustine (1986, Oxford University Press)

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Cosmin sent me this great quote:

Hermeneutics is not a tidy, administrative process, going from point to point with syllogistic clarity. It meanders. It detours. It waits, sometimes in puzzlement, sometimes in wonder. But always it has a target. The Scriptures are not provided to feed our gossipy curiosity or legislate our barnyard morals: they examine our lives and invite our faith.”

Eugene H. Peterson, Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1978 ) p 129

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The one book meme

Rather late in the game, I thought I’d try this one myself. If you’d like to participate, just post your own responses to these questions and tag five people. Welcome to the One Book Meme!

1. One book that changed your life:
Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:

Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:

The Bible. Or at least, the Psalms.

4. One book that made you laugh:

Bill Meyers, My Life as a smashed burrito with extra hot sauce.

5. One book that made you cry:
Patricia Verdugo, Los Zarpazos del Puma

6. One book that you wish had been written:
Looking back and moving forward: towards a recovery of reformed catholicity

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
Brian McClaren, A Generous Orthodoxy

8. One book you’re currently reading:
John Owen, The Mortification of Sin

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Eugene Peterson, Christ plays in a thousand places

10. Now tag five people: I’ll just tag James and Becka… anyone else who wants in is welcome.

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Vintage Jesus

Although I certainly don’t agree with Mark Driscoll in everything both doctrine and practice, I nevertheless highly value his contribution to the Church, both locally in Seattle, as well as universally.


I’m really looking forward to his upcoming book: Vintage Jesus. If its anything like Radical Reformission (which I enjoyed), it’ll be worth the buy. It looks like a creative way to reach out the Late-Moderns.

Plus, check out this endorsement:

“This book reveals Mark Driscoll as a highly powerful, colorful, down-to-earth catechist, targeting teens and twenty-somethings with the old, old story told in modern street-cred style. And professor Breshears ballasts a sometimes lurid but consistently vivid presentation of basic truth about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

—J. I. Packer, professor of theology, Regent College

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Dumbrell again, taking note on justification and imputation in Romans 4:1-8. (Emphasis mine). To see previous posts on Dumbrel, see part I, part II, part III and part IV.

“Imputation”, i.e. the ascribing to the believer of what is really God’s righteousness as the understanding of our covenant acceptance, has been a customary approach to Paul’s notion of righteousness.

However, this is a misunderstanding of what Paul means. “Imputation” is based upon the concept of “righteousness” as a property, something given by God as belonging to Himself. However, the correct biblical understanding of “righteousness” is relational. We do not merely have an “imputed” righteousness, but we are by God’s verdict, right with God. If the meaning of justification is forensic, then the understanding of justification is basically “acquittal”. To be justified is thus to be the recipient of God’s favorable verdict in regard to our final state. Justification, whose basis is forgiveness, is not itself forgiveness (with which it is popularly identified), but the declaration that forgiveness, which confirms our new relationship with God, has been granted. The judge has pronounced in our favor! True, by our acquittal we have been forgiven, but justification is the recognition that forgiveness has occurred, not forgiveness in itself. Forgiveness is the gift, justification its recognition. Justification says that, as a result of forgiveness, we are now in right relationship with God.

Justification by grace through faith announces that we have moved from under the wrath of God to new life in Christ. This basic movement has occurred through the work of the Spirit in regeneration and it is this movement which justification recognizes. That is to say, God brings into a new relationship those who previously have had no relationship with Him. In other words, He admits the, in biblical terms, into covenant with Him. Justification is the declaration of our change of status from sinner to membership of the New People of God.

Dumbrell, William J. Romans: A New Covenant Commentary (Wipf & Stock, 2005) p.53

Footnote: I’m curious as to how Dumbrell is going to handle Romans 5, and the issue of Union with Christ. Imputation surely is a what flows from a correct understanding of this: We are united to Christ, and therefore are participate in what He has accomplished through His active obedience that reverses the consecuences of sin, the result of our/Adam’s active disobedience (Rom 5:15-21).

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Comments on Romans 3:21-26

Paul probable conclusion is that Christ’s offering of himself was the great and final sin offering (cf. Rom. 8:3 and 2 Cor. 5:21), which brought the institution of sacrifice and its outward appurtenances, priesthood and temple, to an end but also availed for all. For Israel, the death of Jesus legitimated the sacrificial system, validated its entire operation, but also concluded it. With the death of Jesus, the temple in Jerusalem itself was profaned (Mark 15:38) […] As opposed to the hidden transaction within the veil of the Tabernacle on the Day of Atonement, God displayed Christ publicly to show His justice in dealing with sin and yet to put in the right those who have faith in Jesus for the remission of sin (v. 26). God had previously passed over sin -providing His covenant people a sacrificial system that could not finally deal with the problem of sin- but the sacrificial death of Jesus showed His attitude to it and His total plan involving all humankind for its removal.

The crucified Messiah had made this possible since He atoned for the penalty of sin in all ages for all people. Greek paresis (RSV “passed over”) does not mean God ignored prior sins but that God’s patient forgiveness always looked forward to the cross to demonstrate and provide the basis upon which God was prepared to forgive all sin. Such a basis was necessary, Paul argues, to establish the legitimacy of God’s forgiveness.

So God’s absolute righteousness is affirmed, that He himself is righteous, true to His covenant requirements , and that He can in view of the cross provide forgiveness leading to justification (v.26).

(Emphasis Mine) Dumbrell, William J. Romans: a New Covenant Commentary. (Wipf & Stock, 2005)pp. 47-48

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This looks good!

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