Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Gnostic Roots of Heresy

The good blogger at PrincipiumUnitatis keeps pumping me with good reading assignments, this time from his own 'pen'. His thesis is that "each of the heresies faced by the Church in the first
millenarian was in some way a denial of the complete divine-human union of Christ's incarnation." This fairly short piece (14 pages heavily foot-noted) is worth the time invested in reading it, especially for one considering the relationship of Orthodoxy and Catholicism to the proper constitution of Christ's Church.

I mean to point out here though two fairly unrelated points that struck me.

1) Here is one of those Luther quotes that made me deliver a staccato and loud "Hmm." in my throat:

"If the words, "I believe that there is a holy Christian people," had been used in the Children's Creed, all the misery connected with this meaningless and obscure word ("church") might easily have been avoided.... Ecclesia ... should mean the holy Christian people, not only of the days of the apostles, who are long since dead, but to the end of the world...." (Martin Luther, On the Councils and the Church – Part III (1539))

I merely comment that his suggested words were not used because they were in no way meant. "Church" is quite Scriptural, and thanks to the clear and repeated metaphors of a building and a body, is not so obscure a word.

2) Our author shares this comment, "By denying the efficacy of the sacraments, Zwingli was denying that the blood and water that flowed from Christ's side are our source of salvation. (That blood and water continues to flow from the side of Christ's Body, the Church, in the sacraments; these are the 'rib' by which the Father is making a Bride for His Son.)"

The parenthetical portion is most profound, in my opinion. I won't comment on it, because I have not had time to process its implications fully. I merely post it here because it was one of two profound, eye-opening moments I've had since the start of summer.

No comments: