From: Adrian Teo (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Dec 23 2002 - 00:31:43 EST
It was Vincent of Lerins, a younger contemporary of
Augustince, who said that
the catholic faith is what has been believed always,
everywhere, and by all (_quod
semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus est creditum_).
AT: Thanks for the correction and refeshing my memory.
George: This is certainly one helpful
criterion but it has its limitations. One only has to recall
"Athanasius against the
AT: I understand the phrase "Athanasius contra mundum" not in
the sense that Athanasius was the lone defender of orthodoxy, but
that he was contending against the worldly powers - the Arian
emperors and bishops, and those leaders who caved in to pressure and
torture. Certainly, there were many bishops who supported Athanasius,
especially in the west. If the prevailing majority opinion was Arian,
then the council of Constantinople would have gone in a very
diffferent direction than it did.
George: The way in which important doctrines have developed
over the course of time
means that we can say that they have been held "always" only
in a rather nuanced way.
& "everywhere" clearly can't be taken too literally.
There is no scriptural promise that the church of
Christ will be protected from
all error, and history shows that it has not been. The
promise is rather that the gates
of Hell will not _prevail_ against the church. There will
always be believers gathered
around Christ in Word and Sacraments.
AT: I beg to differ with you on this, but our difference of
opinion is the result of differences in the traditions that we belong
to. Although I am personally comfortable discussing these
differences, I know that others on this list would find the issue
sensitive and volatile. I think we should leave it at that.
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