Video – The early church fathers on hell

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What did the early Church Fathers have to say about the doctrine of eternal punishment?

Every now and then I make a video for Rethinking Hell, and I’ll share some of those here as they are produced. The purpose of this one was to provide a succinct reply to the comment that is sometimes made that the doctrine of hell as a place of eternal torment is the view that all the Early Church Fathers held. I hope you find it interesting!

I believe because it is absurd – Was Tertullian a fideist?

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Tertullian was a Church Father of the late second century. He’s sometimes called the father of Latin Christianity. He is also frequently quoted as a person who thought that reason and faith have little if anything to do with each other. The quote is “I believe because it is absurd.” The suggestion that usually accompanies the quote is that to believe against all reason, to believe things that rational thought tells us are just unreasonable, and to thereby have faith in God, is some sort of virtue that Christianity promotes. Continue reading “I believe because it is absurd – Was Tertullian a fideist?”

Episode 021: Sexing up Early Church History

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Did the Church conspire to hide the truth about other Gospels that did not make it into the Bible?

This time I’m discussing the claim that scholars have uncovered Gospels other than Matthew Mark, Luke and John, other Gospels that deserve to stand alongside the four canonical Gospels as having equal historical legitimacy, but which the churchTM has unfairly suppressed in its quest for dominance over the Scripture and what it is permitted to contain. These include the Gospel of Thomas, the Secret Gospel of Mark and others.

It’s the middle of the night, but some time in the next few days I’ll edit this post and add the reading list that I promised in this podcast episode.

Glenn Peoples

 

Episode 020: The Argument from Atrocity

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Should we reject Christianity because of the harmful deeds done in its name? Some have said so. This episode explains what is wrong with that line of reasoning.

Glenn Peoples

Episode 018: Athanasius, Atonement and Annihilation

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Here it is, Episode 18. Here I draw on the work of the fourth century bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius. His work called The Incarnation of the Word is my all-time favourite work from the Church Fathers, and I think it gives us excellent theological reasons for adopting annihilationism. Along the way, it invites a theological storm over what it meant for Christ to become subject to death as one of us.

As always, comments are more than welcome.

 

The Protestant bogeyman of thousands of churches

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Is it really true that Protestantism is made up of thousands upon thousands upon thousands of hopelessly fragmented so-called churches with nothing uniting them?

A thread over at Theologyweb has had me thinking lately. I’ve added some of my own comments, and I thought I’d sum up some thoughts here.

From time to time, Catholic warrior apologists1 like to argue that since there are so many Protestant denominations, there must be something inherently wrong with Protestantism. In particular, so the argument often goes, the fact that there are so many denominations – about 33,000 of them we are told – shows that sola scriptura must be false, as it results in so many widely divergent interpretations of various parts of Scripture, and what we really need if we want unity is for people to accept Scripture and Tradition – specifically Roman Catholic Tradition, as passed on by the papacy.

I care a great deal about the unity of the Church and it troubles me no end to see people starting up new churches left, right and centre. This is not the way it should be.

I should say first of all that there is a fundamental misrepresentation of a historic Protestant attitude to unity that normally accompanies this sort of polemic tactic. Whether I am a Protestant or not, I care a great deal about the unity of the Church and it troubles me no end to see people starting up new churches left, right and centre. This is not the way it should be. I should also point out that these new churches have no historical connection to the Protestant Reformation, so it is polemical bluster to lump them in with the Protestant movement at all. But that said, I want to focus on the claim about 33,000 churches for now.

Continue reading “The Protestant bogeyman of thousands of churches”

  1. By this term I mean those Catholic thinkers whose apparent interest in Catholic theology is about making polemical attacks on Protestantism, rather than positive explanations of theology. Although they may prefer the term Catholic apologetics, in my experience their endeavour is anti-Protestant polemics. Fortunately, most Catholic theologians are not like this at all. []