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Lectures On Justification

June 9, 2011

Carl Trueman:

Here is a thought-provoking quotation from John Henry Newman on the Athanasian Creed where he addresses the vulnerability of said creed to criticism by those who set theology and worship in opposition (no, that’s not something of which the church was stupidly unaware until some soul-patched postmodernist pointed it out; the church has been acutely aware of such claims since at least the time of the Apostles).

“I grant that the Athanasian Creed certainly may be taken by careless readers to imply that orthodoxy is the ultimate end of religion; but surely it will seem otherwise on due consideration.  For no one can deny, looking at it as a whole, that it is occupied in glorifying Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in declaring their infinite perfections; so much so that it has sometimes been considered what it really is in form, a Psalm or Hymn of Praise to the Blessed Trinity, rather than a Creed, as the Te Deum is.  Nay, this is its characteristic, not only in its general structure, but in its direct enunciation of the Sacred Mysteries; which is put forth not as an end in itself, but evidently in order to glorify God in His incomprehensible majesty, and to warn us of the danger of thinking of Him without reverence.”  Lectures on Justification (London, 1838), 362.

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