Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On Patristics

Phil Snider recently posted an excellent essay regarding patristics in contrast with modern historical-critical methodology etc... and secular study of early Christian history.

Theology and patrology represent an inversion of the common academic approach. That is, its stance is within a living faith tradition in which the contributions of one's predecessors are developed and amplified in order to increase one's understanding of a worldview which differs substantially from the tradition behind modern academe. The concern of a patrologist is to ask questions about how the Fathers thought in order to provide resources to evaluate and re-evaluate our theology within the Christian church today. It is not to add to the database of some kind of abstract history-as-it-was database whose purpose is both unclear and, hence, represents, at best, a body of interesting reading and, at worst, unconnected (and, hence, trivial) antiquarian lore.
Check the whole thing out if you get a chance.

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