Orthodoxy in RetroSpect

St. Vincent described orthodox doctrine as those things that have been believed “everywhere, always, by all.” This same theological content has been described with a number of terms: fixed elements, central truths, normative dogmas, foundational doctrines, fundamentals of the faith, essential marks. These core doctrines of the faith mark a person or church as truly “Christian.”

While evangelicals have done well to defend these doctrines exegetically, they have often lacked a strong historical perspective on the essential truths of orthodoxy. Such a view of “orthodoxy in retrospect” enables us to discern core truths from marginal teachings, central dogmas from peripheral doctrines, orthodox essentials from ancillary opinions.

What are those things that have been believed and taught “everywhere, always, by all”? To help answer this quetsion, we provide a selection of quotations related to seven key areas of doctrine from each period of church history: Apostolic (AD 30-90), Patristic (90-500), Medieval (500-1500), Protestant (1500-1700), and Modern (1700-present). This page will be frequently updated with additional insightful quotations from the fathers, theologians, reformers, and pastors of the church.

1. The Doctrine of God in Retrospect—The Triune God as Creator and Redeemer

Apostolic Period(30–90) c. 33, Jesus—“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”[1] “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. . . . He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”[2] c. 55, Paul—“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”[3] c. 63, Peter—“To those who are elect . . . according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus.”[4] c. 90, John—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”[5]
Patristic Period(90–500) c. 96, Clement of Rome—“Do we not have one God and one Christ and one Spirit of grace which was poured out upon us? . . . For as God lives, and as the Lord Jesus Christ lives, and the Holy Spirit (who are the faith and the hope of the elect) . . . ”[6]c. 180, Athenagoras of Athens—“For we speak of His Word as God too and Son, and of the Holy Spirit likewise, united into one by power and divided in order thus: the Father, the Son, the Spirit.”[7] c. 210, Tertullian of Carthage—“We, however . . . believe that there is one only God, but under the following dispensation, or oikonomia, as it is called, that this one only God has also a Son, His Word, who proceeded from Himself, by whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made. . . ; who sent also from heaven from the Father, according to His own promise, the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, the sanctifier of the faith of those who believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost.”[8] c. 260, Dionysius of Rome—“For we believe that, together with the Son, who was made man for our sakes, according to the good pleasure of His will, was also present the Father, who is inseparable from Him as to His divine nature, and also the Spirit, who is of one and the same essence with Him.”[9] 381, Council of Constantinople—“We believe in one God, the Father All Governing, creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all time, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not created, of the same essence as the Father, through Whom all things came into being…. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giver, Who proceeds from the Father, Who is worshiped and glorified together with the Father and Son.”[10] c. 419, Augustine of Hippo—“The Trinity is the one and only and true God, and also how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are rightly said, believed, understood, to be of one and the same substance or essence.”[11]
Medieval Period(500–1500) c.520, Boethius—“The belief of this religion concerning the Unity of the Trinity is as follows: the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Therefore Father, Son, and Hoy Spirit are one God, not three Gods.”[12]c. 740, John of Damascus—“(We believe) in one Father, the beginning, and cause of all: begotten of no one: without cause or generation, alone subsisting: creator of all: but Father of one only by nature, His Only-begotten Son and our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ. . . . And (we believe) in one Son of God, the Only-begotten, our Lord, Jesus Christ: begotten of the Father, before all the ages: Light of Light, true God of true God: begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father, through Whom all things are made. . . . Likewise we believe also in one Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life: Who proceedeth from the Father and resteth in the Son: the object of equal adoration and glorification with the Father and Son, since He is co-essential and co-eternal.”[13]1077, Anselm of Canterbury—“And so it is evidently expedient for every man to believe in a certain ineffable trinal unity, and in one Trinity; one and a unity because of its one essence, but trinal and a trinity because of its three—what? For, although I can speak of a Trinity because of Father and Son and the Spirit of both, who are three; yet I cannot, in one word, show why they are three; as if I should call this Being a Trinity because of its three persons, just as I would call it a unity because of its one substance.”[14]c. 1265, Thomas Aquinas—“Three persons exist in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”[15]
Protestant Period(1500–1700) 1533, Augsburg Confession—“We unanimously hold and teach, in accordance with the decree of the Council of Nicaea, that there is one divine essence, which is called and which is truly God, and that there are three persons in this one divine essence, equal in power and alike eternal: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. All are one divine essence, eternal, without division, without end, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, one creator and preserver of all things visible and invisible.”[16]1559, John Calvin—“Where names [technical theological terms] have not been invented rashly, we must beware lest we become chargeable with arrogance and rashness in rejecting them. I wish, indeed, that such names were buried, provided all would concur in the belief that the Father, Son, and Spirit, are one God, and yet that the Son is not the Father, nor the Spirit the Son, but that each has his peculiar subsistence.[17]1646, Westminster Confession—“There is but one living and true God…. In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.”[18]
Modern Period(1700–present)  c. 1790, Samuel Hopkins—“The scriptures teach us that there are three in this one God. Not three Gods; for this would be a contradiction; but that this infinite being exists in such a manner, as to be three distinct subsistencies or persons, and yet but one God.”[19]c. 1870, Charles Hodge—“In the Bible all divine titles and attributes are ascribed equally to the Father, Son, and Spirit. The same divine worship is rendered to them. The one is as much the object of adoration, love, confidence, and devotion as the other. It is not more evident that the Father is God, than that the Son is God; nor is the deity of the Father and Son more clearly revealed than that of the Spirit.”[20]1907, A. H. Strong—“In the nature of the one god there are three eternal distinctions which are represented to us under the figure of persons, and these three are equal. ”[21]1930, B. B. Warfield—“There is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence.”[22]1999, Wayne Grudem—“God eternally exists as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and each person is fully God, and there is one God.”[23]


2. Humanity and Sin in Retrospect—The Fall and Resulting Depravity

Apostolic Period(30–90) c. 57, Paul—“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam.”[24] “For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’”[25]c. 62, Paul—“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[26]
Patristic Period(90–500) c. 150, Justin Martyr—“The human race . . . had fallen under the power of death and the guile of the serpent, and each one . . . had committed personal transgression.”[27]c. 180, Irenaeus of Lyons—“This commandment the man kept not, but was disobedient to God, being led astray by the angel who, for the great gifts of God which He had given to man, was envious and jealous of him, and both brought himself to nought and made man sinful. . . . For we were imprisoned by sin, being born in sinfulness and living under death.”[28]c. 430, Augustine of Hippo—“Such was my heart, O God, such was my heart. You had pity on it when it was at the bottom of the abyss. Now let my heart tell you what it was seeking there in that I became evil for no reason. I had no motive for my wickedness except wickedness itself. It was foul, and I loved it. I loved the self-destruction, I loved my fall, not the object for which I had fallen but my fall itself. My depraved soul leaped down from your firmament to ruin. I was seeking not to gain anything by shameful means, but shame for its own sake.”[29]
Medieval Period(500–1500) c. 520, Boethius—“But when he . . . failed to keep the commandment of his Creator, he was banished, bidden to till the ground, and being shut out from the sheltering garden he carried abroad into unknown regions the children of his loins; by begetting whom he transmitted to those that came after, the punishment which he, the first man, had incurred by the sin of disobedience. Hence it came to pass that corruption both of body and soul ensued, and death. . . . But this curse . . . came of transgression which the first man had by natural propagation transmitted to posterity.”[30]529, Synod of Orange—“If anyone says that the whole person, that is, in both body and soul, was not changed for the worse through the offense of Adam’s transgression, but that only the body became subject to corruption with the liberty of the soul remaining unharmed, then he has been deceived by Pelagius’ error and opposed the Scripture. . . . If anyone asserts that the transgression of Adam harmed him alone and not his progeny, or that the damage is only by the death of the body which is a punishment for sin, and thus does not confess that the sin itself which is the death of the soul also passed through one person into the whole human race, then he does injustice to God, contradicting the Apostle.”[31]c. 740, John of Damascus—“For God did not create death, neither does He take delight in the destruction of living things. But death is the work rather of man, that is, its origin is in Adam’s transgression, in like manner as all other punishments.”[32]1077, Anselm of Canterbury—“When they [Adam and Eve] were conquered by sin, they were so weakened as to be unable, in themselves, to live afterwards without sinning. . . . Human nature, being included in the person of our first parents, was in them wholly won over to sin. . . . From the deadly effect of the first transgression, man is conceived and born in sin.”[33]
Protestant Period(1500–1700) 1559, John Calvin—“As Adam’s spiritual life would have consisted in remaining united and bound to his Maker, so estrangement from him was the death of his soul. . . . After the heavenly image in man was effaced, he not only was himself punished, . . but he involved his posterity also, and plunged them in the same wretchedness. . . . We are not corrupted by acquired wickedness, but bring an innate corruption from the very womb. . . . All of us, therefore, descending from an impure seed, come into the world tainted with the contagion of sin. Nay, before we behold the light of the sun we are in God’s sight defiled and polluted.”[34]1561, The French Confession of Faith—“We believe that man was created pure and perfect in the image of God, and that by his own guilt he fell from the grace which he received, and is thus alienated from God, the fountain of justice and of all good, so that his nature is totally corrupt. And being blinded in mind, and depraved in heart, he has lost all integrity, and there is no good in him.[35]1646, Westminster Confession—“Our first parents, being seduced by the subtlty and temptations of Satan, sinned, in eating the forbidden fruit. This their sin, God was pleased, according to His wise and holy counsel, to permit, having purposed to order it to His own glory. By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity descending from them. 4From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions.”[36]
Modern Period(1700–present)  1833, New Hampshire Baptist Confession—“We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse.”[37]1902, Brief Statement of the Reformed Faith—“We believe that our first parents, being tempted, chose evil, and so fell away from God and came under the power of sin, the penalty of which is eternal death; and we confess that, by reason of this disobedience, we and all men are born with a sinful nature, that we have broken God’s law, and that no man can be saved but by His grace.”[38]2010, Dallas Theological Seminary—“We believe that man was originally created in the image and after the likeness of God, and that he fell through sin, and, as a consequence of his sin, lost his spiritual life, becoming dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or total depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race of man, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably bad apart from divine grace.”[39]


3. The Gospel of God the Son in Retrospect—The Person and Work of Christ

Apostolic Period(30–90) 55, Paul—“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”[40]90, John—“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”[41]
Patristic Period(90–500) 96, Clement of Rome—“We should gaze intently on the blood of Christ and realize how precious it is to his Father; for when it was poured out for our salvation, it brought the gracious gift of repentance to the entire world.”[42]“Because of the love he had for us, our Lord Jesus Christ gave his blood for us, by God’s will—his flesh for our flesh, his soul for our souls.”[43]110, Ignatius of Antioch—“There is only one Physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject to suffering, then beyond it—Jesus Christ our Lord.”[44]“Jesus Christ . . . died for us that you may escape dying by believing in his death.”[45]“That is the one I seek, who died on our behalf; that is the one I desire, who arose for us.”[46] 125, Aristides of Athens—“God [or ‘he’] came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son of God lived in a daughter of man. . . . But he himself was pierced by the Jews, and he died and was buried; and . . . after three days he rose and ascended to heaven.”[47] c. 208, Tertullian—“But since he is truly God, as the Son of the Father, in His fashion and image, He has been already by the force of this conclusion determined to be truly man, as the Son of man, ‘found in the fashion’ and image ‘of a man.’”[48] c. 230, Hippolytus of Rome—“And working and enduring in the flesh things which were proper to sinless flesh, He proved the evacuation of divinity (to be) for our sakes, confirmed as it was by wonders and by sufferings of the flesh naturally. For with this purpose did the God of all things become man, viz., in order that by suffering in the flesh, which is susceptible of suffering, He might redeem our whole race, which was sold to death; and that by working wondrous things by His divinity, which is unsusceptible of suffering, through the medium of the flesh He might restore it to that incorruptible and blessed life from which it fell away by yielding to the devil; and that He might establish the holy orders of intelligent existences in the heavens in immutability by the mystery of His incarnation, the doing of which is the recapitulation of all things in himself. He remained therefore, also, after His incarnation, according to nature, God infinite, and more, having the activity proper and suitable to Himself,—an activity growing out of His divinity essentially, and manifested through His perfectly holy flesh by wondrous acts economically, to the intent that He might be believed in as God, while working out of Himself by the flesh, which by nature is weak, the salvation of the universe.”[49] c. 325, Athanasius of Alexandria— “But if any of our own people also inquire . . . why He suffered death in none other way save on the Cross, let him also be told that no other way than this was good for us, and that it was well that the Lord suffered this for our sakes. For if He came Himself to bear the curse laid upon us, how else could He have ‘become a curse,’ unless He received the death set for a curse? And that is the Cross. For this is exactly what is written: ‘Cursed is he that hangs on a tree.’ Again, if the Lord’s death is the ransom of all . . . how would He have called us to Him, had He not been crucified?”[50] 451, Council of Chalcedon— “This selfsame one is perfect both in deity and also in humanity; this selfsame one is also truly God and truly man, with a rational soul and a body. He is of the same essence as the Father as far as his deity is concerned and of the same essence as we are ourselves as far as his humanity is concerned; thus like us in all respects, sin only excepted. Before time began he was begotten of the Father, in respect of his deity, and now in these “last days,” for us and on behalf of our salvation, this selfsame one was born of Mary the virgin, who is God-bearer in respect of his humanity.”[51]
Medieval Period(500–1500) c. 520, Boethius—“God willed that His only-begotten Son should be born of a Virgin that so the salvation of mankind which had been lost through the disobedience of the first man might be recovered by the God-man.”[52]c. 600, Gregory the Great—“Guilt can be extinguished only by a penal offering to justice. But it would contradict the idea of justice, if for the sin of a rational being like man, the death of an irrational animal should be accepted as a sufficient atonement. Hence, a man must be offered as the sacrifice for man. . . . But what man descending in the ordinary course would be free from sin? Hence, the Son of God must be born of a virgin, and become man for us. He assumed our nature without our corruption. He made himself a sacrifice for us, and set forth for sinners his own body, a victim without sin, and able both to die by virtue of his humanity, and to cleanse the guilty.”[53]1077, Anselm of Canterbury—“Moreover, if these two complete natures are said to be joined somehow, in such a way that one may be Divine while the other is human, and yet that which is God not be the same with that which is man, it is impossible for both to do the work necessary to be accomplished. For God will not do it, because he has no debt to pay; and man will not do it, because he cannot. Therefore, in order that the God‑man may perform this, it is necessary that the same being should be perfect God and perfect man, in order to make this atonement. For he cannot and ought not to do it, unless he be very God and very man. Since, then, it is necessary that the God‑man preserve the complete-ness of each nature, it is no less necessary that these two natures be united entire in one person, just as a body and a reasonable soul exist together in every human being; for otherwise it is impossible that the same being should be very God and very man.”[54]
Protestant Period(1500–1700) 1530, Augsburg Confession—“Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, took unto him man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably joined together in unity of person; one Christ, true God and true man: who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, that he might reconcile the Father unto us, and might be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men. The same also descended into hell, and truly rose again the third day. Afterward he ascended into the heavens, that he might sit at the right hand of the Father.”[55]1559, John Calvin—That Christ, by his obedience, truly purchased and merited grace for us with the Father, is accurately inferred from several passages of Scripture. I take it for granted, that if Christ satisfied for our sins, if he paid the penalty due by us, if he appeased God by his obedience; in fine, if he suffered the just for the unjust, salvation was obtained for us by his righteousness.”[56]1646, Westminster Confession—“The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. . . . [He] was crucified, and died; was buried, and remained under the power of death, yet saw no corruption. On the third day He arose from the dead, with the same body in which He suffered.”[57]
Modern Period(1700–present) 1784, Methodist Articles of Religion“The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin; so that two whole and perfect natures—that is to say, the Godhead and manhood—were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man, who truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for the actual sins of men. . . . Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all men at the last day.”[58]1846, Evangelical Alliance—“And we do more especially affirm our belief in the Divine-human person and atoning work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as the only and sufficient source of salvation, as the heart and soul of Christianity, and as the centre of all true Christian union and fellowship.”[59]1960, Karl Barth—“What took place is that the Son of God fulfilled the righteous judgment on us men by Himself taking our place as man and in our place undergoing the judgment under which we had passed… Cur Deus homo? In order that God as man might do and accomplish and achieve and complete all this for us wrong-doers, in order that in this way there might be brought about by Him our reconciliation with Him and conversion to Him.”[60]1996, Millard J. Erickson—“Jesus was fully human. He possessed both a complete physical body and a complete human psyche. . . . He therefore grew and developed, learned, became hungry and thirsty, and could suffer and die. . . . Jesus was also fully divine. He was God in the same sense and to the same extent as the Father. . . . Being fully human, Jesus died a physical death, but he was raised from the dead by the power of the Father. This victory over sin and death was the culmination of his redemptive work.”[61]



4. The Doctrine of Salvation in Retrospect—Saved by Grace through Faith

Apostolic Period(30–90) c. 62, Paul—“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved. . . . For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”[62]c. 63, Peter—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”[63]90, John—“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”[64]
Patristic Period(90–500) 96, Clement of Rome—“All, therefore, were glorified and magnified, not through themselves or their own works or the righteous actions which they did, but through his will. And so we, having been called through his will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or under-standing or piety or works which we have done in holiness of heart, but through faith, by which the almighty God has justified all who have existed from the beginning; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.”[65]180, Irenaeus of Lyons—“In like manner we also are justified by faith in God: for the just shall live by faith. Now not by the law is the promise to Abraham, but by faith: for Abraham wasjustified by faith: and for a righteous man the law is not made. In like manner we also are justifiednot by the law, but by faith, which is witnessed to in the law and in the prophets, whom the Wordof God presents to us.[66]c. 300, Methodius of Olympius—“And all this was, not of works of righteousness which we have done, nor because we loved Thee, . . . but Thou, O Lord, of Thine own self, and of Thine ineffable love toward the creature of Thine hands, hast confirmed Thy mercy toward us, and, pitying our estrangement from Thee, hast moved Thyself at the sight of our degradation to take us into compassion.”[67]c. 430, Augustine of Hippo—“ But this part of the human race to which God has promised pardon and a share in His eternal kingdom, can they be restored through the merit of their own works? God forbid. For what good work can a lost man perform, except so far as he has been delivered from perdition? Can they do anything by the free determination of their own will? Again I say, God forbid. . . . But whence comes this liberty to do right to the man who is in bondage and sold under sin, except he be redeemed by Him who has said, “If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed?” And before this redemption is wrought in a man, when he is not yet free to do what is right, how can he talk of the freedom of his will and his good works, except he be inflated by that foolish pride of boasting which the apostle restrains when he says, “By grace are ye saved, through faith. . . . And lest men should arrogate to themselves the merit of their own faith at least, not understanding that this too is the gift of God, this same apostle, who says in another place that he had “obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful,” here also adds: ‘and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.’”[68]
Medieval Period(500–1500) c. 530, Boniface II of Rome—“True faith in Christ and the beginning of every good intention is inspired in the mind of each person through the intervention of God’s grace. . . . The divine mercy intervenes on our behalf while we are still refusing in order to make us willing; it is upon us when we will; and it follows us so that we will continue in faith.”[69]1077, Anselm of Canterbury—“Although the whole work which God does for man is of grace, . . . it is necessary for God, on account of his unchangeable goodness, to complete the work which he has begun.”[70]c. 1265, Thomas Aquinas—“In the state of perfect nature man did not need the gift of grace added to his natural endowments, in order to love God above all things naturally, although he needed God’s help to move him to it; but in the state of corrupt nature man needs, even for this, the help of grace to heal his nature.”[71]
Protestant Period(1500–1700) 1537, Gasparo Contarini—“Because Luther has said various things on God’s grace and about free will, [the Roman Catholic scholars] have opposed everything he preaches and teaches about salvation by faith through God’s grace and concerning human worthlessness. What they do not see is that, by contradicting Luther, they actually contradict Saints Augustine, Ambrose, Bernard and Thomas Aquinas”[72]1540, Martin Luther—“I began to understand that ‘the justice of God’ meant that justice by which the just man lives through God’s gift, namely by faith. This is what it means: the justice of God is revealed by the gospel, a passive justice with which the merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written: ‘He who through faith is just shall live.’ Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.”[73]1646, Westminster Confession—“Those whom God effectually calleth He also freely justifieth; not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous: not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone: nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience, to them as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness, by faith: which faith they have not of themselves; it is the gift of God.”[74]
Modern Period(1700–present) c. 1790, Samuel Hopkins—St. Paul says, that all believers are the subjects of the mighty power of God, operating upon them, by which they have been brought to believe: That they, being naturally dead in trespasses and sins, have been made alive by God; and that faith is the gift of God; that they are saved not by any works of righteousness which they have done, but by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; so that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who sheweth mercy, and worketh in them by his Spirit, to will and to run, &c. &c.”[75]c. 1890, Charles Haddon Spurgeon—“Because God is gracious, therefore sinful men are forgiven, converted, purified, and saved. It is not because of anything in them, or that ever can be in them, that they are saved; but because of the boundless love, goodness, pity, compassion, mercy, and grace of God.”[76]2010, Baptist Faith and Message—“Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.”[77]


5. The Bible in Retrospect: Inspiration and Authority of Scripture

Apostolic Period(30–90) c. 33, Jesus—“‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. . . . Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’”[78]c. 62, Luke—“And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead. . . . They received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed.”[79]c. 65, Paul—“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”[80]c. 66, Peter—“Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”[81]
Patristic Period(90–500) 96, Clement of Rome—“You have searched the Scriptures, which are true, which were given by the Holy Spirit; you know that nothing unrighteous or counterfeit is written in them.”[82]180, Irenaeus of Lyons—“[We are] most properly assured that the Scriptures are indeed perfect, since they were spoken by the Word of God and His Spirit.”[83]c. 215, Clement of Alexandria—“He who believeth then the divine Scriptures with sure judgment, receives in the voice of God, who bestowed the Scripture, a demonstration that cannot be impugned.”[84]c. 220, Gaius of Rome—“For either they [the heretics] do not believe that the divine Scriptures were dictated by the Holy Spirit, and are thus infidels; or they think them-selves wiser than the Holy Spirit, and what are they then but demoniacs?”[85]c. 220, Tertullian of Carthage—“The statements . . . of holy Scripture will never be discordant with truth.”[86]c. 235, Hippolytus of Rome—“What then? Does the Scripture speak falsely? God forbid![87]

“Let us mark the words of Daniel, and learn that the Scripture deals falsely with us in nothing.”[88]

c. 250, Cyprian of Carthage—“For he labours thus because he believes—because he knows that what is foretold by God’s word is true, and that the Holy Scripture cannot lie.”[89]

c. 420, Augustine of Hippo—“ This Mediator, having spoken what He judged sufficient first by the prophets, then by His own lips, and afterwards by the apostles, has besides produced the Scripture which is called canonical, which has paramount authority, and to which we yield assent in all matters of which we ought not to be ignorant, and yet cannot know of ourselves.”[90]

“Only those books of Scripture which are called canonical have I learned to hold in such honor as to believe their authors have not erred in any way in writing them. But other authors I so read as not to deem everything in their works to be true . . . whatever may have been their holiness and learning.”[91]

Medieval Period(500–1500) c. 740, John of Damascus—“All Scripture, then, is given by inspiration of God and is also assuredly profitable. Wherefore to search the Scriptures is a work most fair and most profitable for souls. For just as the tree planted by the channels of waters, so also the soul watered by the divine Scripture is enriched and gives fruit in its season, viz. orthodox belief, and is adorned with evergreen leafage, I mean, actions pleasing to God. For through the Holy Scriptures we are trained to action that is pleasing to God, and untroubled contemplation. . . . Let us draw of the fountain of the garden perennial and purest waters springing into life eternal. Here let us luxuriate, let us revel insatiate: for the Scriptures possess inexhaustible grace.”[92]1077, Anselm of Canterbury—“I am sure that, if I say anything which plainly opposes the Holy Scriptures, it is false; and if I am aware of it, I will no longer hold it.”[93]c. 1265, Thomas Aquinas—“Nevertheless, sacred doctrine makes use of these authorities [philosophers] as extrinsic and probable arguments; but properly uses the authority of the canonical Scriptures as an incontrovertible proof, and the authority of the doctors of the Church as one that may properly be used, yet merely as probable. For our faith rests upon the revelation made to the apostles and prophets who wrote the canonical books, and not on the revelations (if any such there are) made to other doctors.”[94]
Protestant Period(1500–1700) c. 1560, John Calvin—“We owe to the Scripture the same reverence as we owe to God, since it has its only source in Him and has nothing of human origin mixed with it.”[95]1566, Second Helvetic Confession—“We believe and confess the Canonical Scriptures of the holy prophets and apostles of both Testaments to be the true Word of God, and to have sufficient authority of themselves, not of men. For God himself spake to the fathers, prophets, apostles, and still speaks to us through the Holy Scripture.”[96]1646, Westminster Confession—“ The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it as the Word of God.”[97]
Modern Period(1700–present) 1875, Reformed Episcopal Church in America—“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost: Holy Scripture is therefore the Word of God; not only does it contain the oracles of God, but it is itself the very oracles of God. And hence it containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.”[98]1978, Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy—“Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.”[99]1984, Charles C. Ryrie—“Inspiration is the act by which God superintended the human authors of the Bible so that they composed and recorded without error His message to mankind in the words of their original writings.”[100]


6. The Church in Retrospect—Redeemed Humanity Incorporated into Christ

Apostolic Period(30–90) c. 33, Jesus—“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”[101]c. 55, Paul—“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.”[102]c. 62, Paul—“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.”[103]c. 62, Paul—“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. . . . For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”[104]
Patristic Period(90–500) c. 180, Irenaeus of Lyons—“The Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. . . . Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these . . . . For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.”[105]c. 215, Clement of Alexandria—“Therefore in substance and idea, in origin, in pre-eminence, we say that the ancient and Catholic Church is alone, collecting as it does into the unity of the one faith . . . those already ordained, whom God predestinated, knowing before the foundation of the world that they would be righteous.”[106]c. 250, Cyprian of Carthage—“The spouse of Christ cannot be adulterous; she is uncorrupted and pure. She knows one home; she guards with chaste modesty the sanctity of one couch. She keeps us for God. She appoints the sons whom she has born for the kingdom. Whoever is separated from the Church and is joined to an adulteress, is separated from the promises of the Church; nor can he who forsakes the Church of Christ attain to the rewards of Christ. He is a stranger; he is profane; he is an enemy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. If any one could escape who was outside the ark of Noah, then he also may escape who shall be outside of the Church.”[107]c. 275, Apostolic Constitutions“The Catholic Church is the plantation of God and His beloved vineyard; containing those who have believed in His unerring divine religion; who are the heirs by faith of His everlasting kingdom; who are partakers of His divine influence, and of the communication of the Holy Spirit; who are armed through Jesus, and have received His fear into their hearts; who enjoy the benefit of the sprinkling of the precious and innocent blood of Christ; who have free liberty to call Almighty God, Father; being fellow-heirs and joint-partakers of His beloved Son: hearken to this holy doctrine, you who enjoy His promises, as being delivered by the command of your Saviour, and agreeable to His glorious words.”[108]381, Council of Constantinople—“We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.”[109]
 Medieval Period (500–1500) c. 520, Boethius—“Therefore is that heavenly instruction spread throughout the world, the peoples are knit together, churches are founded, and, filling the broad earth, one body formed, whose Head, even Christ, ascended into heaven in order that the members might of necessity follow where the Head was gone.”[110]c. 1265, Thomas Aquinas—“Now there are places called churches in which the Christian people gather together for the divine worship. Thus our church takes the place of both temple and synagogue: since the very sacrifice of the Church is spiritual; wherefore with us the place of sacrifice is not distinct from the place of teaching. The figurative reason may be that hereby is signified the unity of the Church, whether militant or triumphant.”[111]c. 1380, John Wycliffe—“And if you say that Christ’s Church must have a head here on earth, so it is, for Christ is Head, who must be here with His Church until the day of doom, and everywhere by his Godhead.”[112]c. 1419, John Huss—“The Church is the most excellent things created by God. . . . We should believe that there is a holy universal Church, of which Jesus Christ is the sole Chief. . . . This Church is the assembly of all the elect, present, past, and future. . . . No particular tie, no human election, renders a person a member of the universal Church, but divine predestination alone; this predestination is, according to St. Augustine, election by the grace of the Divine will, or preparation to grace in the present life, and to glory in the future one.”[113]
Protestant Period(1500–1700) c. 1525, Martin Luther—“I believe that there is upon earth a little holy group and congregation of pure saints, under one head, even Christ, called together by the Holy Ghost in one faith, one mind, and understanding, with manifold gifts, yet agreeing in love, without sects or schisms. I am also a part and member of the same a sharer and joint owner of all the goods it possesses, brought to it and incorporated into it by the Holy Ghost by having heard and continuing to hear the Word of God, which is the beginning of entering it.”[114]1560, John Calvin—“Hence the Church is called Catholic or Universal, for two or three cannot be invented without dividing Christ; and this is impossible. All the elect of God are so joined together in Christ, that as they depend on one head, so they are as it were compacted together into one body, being knit together like its different members; made truly one by living together under the same Spirit of God in one faith, hope, and charity, called not only to the same inheritance of eternal life, but to participation in one God and Christ.”[115]1646, Westminster Confession—“The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life to the end of the world: and doth, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto.”[116]1688, Baptist Philadelphia Confession—“The Catholic or Universal Church which (with respect to the internal work of the Spirit and truth of grace) may be called invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ, the head thereof: and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”[117]
Modern Period(1700–present) c. 1745, John Wesley—“The catholic or universal Church is, all the persons in the universe whom God hath so called out of the world as to entitle them to the preceding character; as to be ‘one body,’ united by ‘one spirit;’ having ‘one faith, one hope, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in them all.’[118]1876, Articles of the Reformed Episcopal Church—The souls dispersed in all the world, who adhere to Christ by faith, who are partakers of the Holy Ghost, and worship the Father in spirit and in truth, are the body of Christ, the house of God, the flock of the Good Shepherd—the holy, universal Christian Church. A visible Church of Christ is a congregation of believers in which the pure Word of God is preached and Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. And those things are to be considered requisite which the Lord himself did, he himself commanded, and his apostles confirmed.”[119]1992, Thomas Oden—“The church is one, finding its oneness in Christ. The church is holy, set apart from the world to mediate life to the world and bring forth the fruits of the Spirit amid the life of the world. The church is catholic in that it is whole, for all, and embracing all times and places. The church is apostolic in that it is grounded in the testimony of the first witnesses to Jesus’ life and resurrection, and depends upon and continues their ministry.”[120]


7. The Future in Retrospect—The Restoration of Humanity and Creation

Apostolic Period(30–90) c. 33, Angels—“Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”[121]c. 50, Paul—“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”[122]c. 95, John—“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”[123]
Patristic Period(90–500) c. 180, Irenaeus of Lyons—“But when this present fashion of things passes away, and man has been renewed, and flourishes in an incorruptible state, so as to preclude the possibility of becoming old, then there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, in which the new man shall remain continually, always holding fresh converse with God.”[124]c. 220, Origen of Alexandria—“For if the heavens are to be changed, assuredly that which is changed does not perish, and if the fashion of the world passes away, it is by no means an annihilation or destruction of their material substance that is shown to take place, but a kind of change of quality and transformation of appearance. . . . And if any one imagine that at the end material, i.e., bodily, nature will be entirely destroyed, he cannot in any respect meet my view, how beings so numerous and powerful are able to live and to exist without bodies, since it is an attribute of the divine nature alone—i.e., of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—to exist without any material substance, and without partaking in any degree of a bodily adjunct.”[125]381, Council of Constantinople—“He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. . . . We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.”[126]
Medieval Period(500–1500) c. 520, Boethius“Thus this teaching . . . promises that in the end of the age our bodies shall rise incorruptible to the kingdom of heaven, to the end that he who has lived well on earth by God’s gift should be altogether blessed in that resurrection, but he who has lived amiss should, with the gift of resurrection, enter upon misery. And this is a firm principle of our religion, to believe not only that men’s souls do not perish, but that their very bodies, which the coming of death had destroyed, recover their first state by this bliss that is to be.”[127]c. 740, John of Damascus—“We shall therefore rise again, our souls being once more united with our bodies, now made incorruptible and having put off corruption. . . . Those who have done good will shine forth as the sun with the angels into life eternal, with our Lord Jesus Christ, ever seeing Him and being in His sight and deriving unceasing joy from Him, praising Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit throughout the limitless ages of ages.”[128]1077, Anselm of Canterbury—“The future resurrection of the dead is clearly proved. For if man is to be perfectly restored, the restoration should make him such as he would have been had he never sinned. . . . Therefore, as man, had he not sinned, was to have been transferred with the same body to an immortal state, so when he shall be restored, it must properly be with his own body as he lived in this world.”[129]c. 1265, Thomas Aquinas—“Although the reward or punishment of the body depends upon the reward or punishment of the soul, nevertheless, since the soul is changeable only accidentally, on account of the body, once it is separated from the body it enters into an unchangeable condition, and receives its judgment. But the body remains subject to change down to the close of time: and therefore it must receive its reward or punishment then, in the last Judgment.”[130]
Protestant Period(1500–1700) 1530, Augsburg Confession—“In the consummation of the world, Christ shall appear to judge, and shall raise up all the dead, and shall give unto the godly and elect eternal life and everlasting joys; but ungodly men and the devils shall he condemn unto endless torments.”[131]1566, The Second Helvetic Confession—Now Christ shall return to redeem his, and to abolish Antichrist by his coming, and to judge the quick and the dead (Acts xvii. 31). For the dead shall arise, and those that shall be found alive in that day (which is unknown unto all creatures) ‘shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye’ (1 Cor. xv. 51, 52). And all the faithful shall be taken up to meet Christ in the air (1 Thess. iv. 17); that thenceforth they may enter with him into heaven, there to live forever (2 Tim. ii. 11); but the unbelievers, or ungodly, shall descend with the devils into hell, there to burn forever, and never to be delivered out of torments (Matt. xxv. 41).”[132]1646, Westminster Confession—“At the last day, such as are found alive shall not die, but be changed: and all the dead shall be raised up, with the self-same bodies, and none other (although with different qualities), which shall be united again to their souls forever.”[133]
Modern Period                                                       (1700–present) c. 1890, Charles H. Spurgeon—“Can all the saints put together fully measure the greatness of the promise of the Second Advent? This means infinite felicity for saints, What else has he promised? Why, that because he lives we shall live also. We shall possess an immortality of bliss for our souls; we shall enjoy also a resurrection for our bodies; we shall reign with Christ; we shall be glorified at his right hand.”[134]c. 1870, Charles Hodge—“The Apostle teaches that our vile bodies are to be fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ, and that a similar change is to take place in the world we inhabit. There are to be new heavens and a new earth, just as we are to have new bodies. Our bodies are not to be annihilated, but changed. . . . The result of this change is said to be the introduction of a new heavens and a new earth. This is set forth not only in the use of these terms, but in calling the predicted change ‘a regeneration,’ ‘a restoration,’ a deliverance from the bondage of corruption and an introduction into the glorious liberty of the Son of God. This earth, according to the common opinion, that is, this renovated earth, is to be the final seat of Christ’s kingdom. This is the new heavens; this is the New Jerusalem, the Mount Zion in which are to be gathered the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven; the spirits of just men made perfect; this is the heavenly Jerusalem; the city of the living God; the kingdom prepared for his people before the foundation of the world.”[135]1998, Millard J. Erickson—“All human beings (except those still alive when the Lord returns) must undergo physical death, at which time they go to an intermediate state appropriate to their spiritual condition. Those who have trusted themselves to the saving work of Jesus Christ will go to a place of bliss and reward; those who have not, will go to one of punishment and torment. At some future time Christ will return bodily and personally. Then all the dead will be resurrected and consigned to their ultimate destination—heaven or hell. There they will remain eternally in an unalterable condition.”[136]




[1] Matt. 28:19. The singular “name” with the three distinct persons indicates a plurality in unity.

[2] John 15:26; 16:14–15.

[3] 2 Cor. 13:14.

[4] 1 Pet. 1:1–2.

[5] John 1:1.

[6] Clement of Rome, 1 Clement 46.6; 58.2.

[7] Athenagoras of Athens, Embassy 24.1. (English translation from  Jospeh Hugh Crehan, ed., Athenagoras: Embassy for the Christians, The Resurrection of the Dead, ed. Johannes Quasten and Joseph C. Plumpe, Ancient Christian Writers, vol. 23 [Westminster, MD: Newman, 1956]).

[8] Tertullian of Carthage, Against Praxeus 2.

[9] Dionysius of Rome, Against the Sabellians 2.

[10] Council at Constantinople, The Constantinopolitan Creed (381).

[11] Augustine of Hippo, On the Trinity 2.

[12] Boethius, The Trinity is One God, not Three Gods 1. (Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, The Theological Tractates and the Consolation of Philosophy, trans. H. F. Stewart and E. K. Rand [1918]).

[13] John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodoxy Faith 1.8. (NPNF 2.9: 6, 9).

[14] Anselm of Canterbury, Monologium 78. 

[15] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica 1.30.2. (Fathers of the English Dominican Province, The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, 2d rev. ed. (1920).

[16] The Lutheran Augsburg Confession of Faith (1533).

[17] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 1.13.5.

[18] The Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith (1646).

[19] Samuel Hopkins, The System of Doctrines Contained in Divine Revelations Explained and Defended, 2d ed., vol. 1 (Boston: Lincoln and Edmunds, 1811), 78.

[20] Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner, 1871), 444.

[21] Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, The Doctrine of God (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1907), 304.

[22] B. B. Warfield, “Trinity” in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr, vol. 5 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1930), 3012.

[23] Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, ed. Jeff Purswell(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999), 104.

[24] Rom. 5:12–14.

[25] Rom. 3:9–12.

[26] Eph. 2:1–3.

[27] Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho 88 (ANF 1:243).

[28] Irenaeus of Lyons, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching 16, 37. (See translation from the Armendian in Armitage Robinson, ed., trans., St. Irenaeus: The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching [London: SPCK, 1920].)

[29] Augustine of Hippo, Confessions 2.4.

[30] Boethius, On the Catholic Faith.

[31] Canons of Orange 1, 2 (J. Patout Burns, Theological Anthropology, Sources of Early Christian Thought, ed. William G. Rusch [Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981], 113).

[32] John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodoxy Faith 2.28. (NPNF 2.9: 41).

[33] Anselm, Cur Deus Homo 1.18, 22.

[34] John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 2.1.5.

[35] The French Confession of Faith 9 (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom 3:365).

[36] The Westminster Confession of Faith 6.

[37] The New Hampshire Baptist Confession 3. (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom 3: 743).

[38] Brief Statement of the Reformed Faith 5 (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom 3: 922).

[39] Dallas Theological Seminary, We Believe: The Doctrinal Statement of Dallas Theological Seminary, 4–5.

[40] 1 Cor. 15:3–5

[41] John 1:1, 14.

[42] Clement of Rome, 1 Clement. 7.4.

[43] Clement of Rome, 1 Clement 49.6.

[44]Ignatius of Antioch, Ephesians 7.2.

[45] Ignatius of Antioch, Trallians 2.1.

[46] Ignatius of Antioch, Romans 6.1.

[47] Aristides of Athens, Apology 2. Robinson writes on the textual difficulties of this passage: “The most serious change is that in the Syriac, where the word ‘God’ is inserted as the subject of the verbs which follow. The passage is one which was more likely than any other in the whole piece to tempt later writers to make changes of their own. It is to be noted that here the Greek in spite of its additions represents the original Apology much more faithfully than the Syriac does” (J. Rendel Harris, ed., The Apology of Aristides on Behalf of the Christians, ed. J. Armitage Robinson, 2d ed., Texts and Studies, vol. 1/1 [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1893]), 79.

[48] Tertullian, Against Marcion 5.20.

[49] Hippolytus of Rome, Against Beron and Helix, Fragment 2 (ANF 5:232).

[50]Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word 25.1–3.

[51] Council of Chalcedon, Definition of Chalcedon (451).

[52] Boethius, On the Catholic Faith.

[53] Gregory the Great, Moralia on Job 17.

[54]Anselm of Canterbury, Cur Deus Homo(Why God Became Man) 2.7.

[55] Augsburg Confession of Faith, 3 (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 3:9).

[56]Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion 2.17.3.

[57] Westminster Confession of Faith, 8.2, 4.

[58] Methodist Articles of Religion 2–3 (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 3: 807).

[59] The Doctrinal Basis of the Evangelical Alliance, Second Resolution (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 3: 827).

[60] Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4.1, 222, 223.

[61] Millard J. Erickson, The Word Became Flesh: A Contemporary Incarnational Christology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 39.

[62] Eph. 2:4–5, 8–9.

[63] 1 Pet. 1:3–5.

[64] 1 John 5:11–13.

[65] Clement of Rome, 1 Clement 32.

[66] Irenaeus of Lyons, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching 35.

[67] Methodius of Olympius, Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna 8 (ANF 6: 389).

[68] Augustine of Hippo, Enchiridion 30–31 (NPNF 1.3:247–248)

[69] Boniface II, Letter of Pope Boniface II to Caesarius 2 (Burns, Theological Anthropology, 110–111).

[70] Anselm of Canterbury, Cur Deus Homo (Why God Became Man) 2.5.

[71] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica 2(1).109.3.

[72] Gasparo Contarini, Letter to Bishop Gilberti of Verona (1537).

[73]Martin Luther, Works 34, 328

[74] Westminster Confession, 11.1.

[75] Hopkins, System of Doctrines, 1:449–450.

[76] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “All of Grace,” in Works of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

[77] The Baptist Faith and Message 4(A).

[78] Luke 24:25–27; 44–47.

[79] Acts 17:2–3, 11–12. 

[80] 2 Tim. 3:16–17.

[81] 2 Pet. 1:20–21 (NET).

[82] Clement of Rome, 1 Clement 45.2–3.

[83] Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 2.28.2.

[84]Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 2.2, 11.

[85]Gaius of Rome, in Eusebius, Church History 5.28.

[86]Tertullian, Treatise on the Soul 22.

[87]Hippolytus, Fragments on the Song of Songs 2.

[88] Hippolytus of Rome, Fragments on Susannah 52.

[89] Cyprian of Carthage, On Works and Alms 8.

[90] Augustine of Hippo, City of God 11.3.

[91] Augustine of Hippo, Epistle to Jerome 19.1.

[92] John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodoxy Faith 4.17. (NPNF 2.9: 89).

[93] Anselm of Canterbury, Cur Deus Homo 1.18.

[94] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica 1.1.8.

[95] John Calvin, Commentaries, vol. 10, 330.

[96] The Second Helvetic Confession,

[97] Westminster Confession 1.4.

[98] Articles of Religion of the Reformed Episcopal Church in America 5 (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 3: 815).

[99] The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, Short Statement 4, available at http://www.churchcouncil.org/ICCP_org/Documents_ICCP/English/01_Biblical_Inerrancy_A&D.pdf.

[100] Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology

[101] Matt. 16:18.

[102] 1 Cor. 12:12–14.

[103] Eph. 2:19–22.

[104] Eph. 5:25–27, 29–30.

[105] Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 1.10.2.

[106] Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 7.17.

[107] Cyprian, On the Unity of the Church 6.

[108] Apostolic Constitutions, 1.1.pref.

[109] Council at Constantinople, The Constantinopolitan Creed (381). 

[110] Boethius, On the Catholic Faith.

[111] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica 2(1).102.4.

[112] John Wycliffe, The Church and Her Members 2.

[113] John Huss, Treatise on the Church.

[114] Martin Luther, The Large Catechism

[115] John Calvin, Institutes of th Christian Religion, 4.1.2.

[116] Westminster Confession 25.1–3.

[117] The Philadelphia Confession 26.1 (in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, vol. 3, The Evangelical Protestant Creeds, 4th ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1919), 738.

[118] John Wesley, “Sermon 74: Of the Church,” in Sermons on Several Occasions, ed. Christian Classics Ethereal Library (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley/sermons.vi.xxi.html).

[119] Articles of Religion of the Reformed Episcopal Church in America 21 (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 3: 821).

[120]Thomas Oden, Systematic Theology, vol. 3, Life in the Spirit (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1992), 303.

[121] Acts 1:11.

[122] 1 Thess. 4:13–18.

[123] Rev. 21:3–5.

[124]Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5.36.1.

[125]Origen, First Principles 1.6.4.

[126] Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, The Constantinopolitan Creed (381).

[127] Boethius, On the Catholic Faith.

[128] John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodoxy Faith 4.27. (NPNF 2.9: 101)

[129] Anselm, Cur Deus Homo, 2.3.

[130] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica 3.59.5.

[131] Augsburg Confession of Faith 17 (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom 17).

[132] The Second Helvetic Confession 11 (Schaff, Creeds of Christendom, 3:852).

[133] Westminster Confession, 32.2.

[134] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “According to Promise,” Works of Charles Haddon Spurgeon

[135] Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology vol. 3 (New York: Charles Scribner, 1871), 852, 854.

[136] Millard J. Erickson, A Basic Guide to Eschatology: Making Sense of the Millennium (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 12.

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