Newman an essay on the development of christian doctrine

Stuck between Anglicanism and Catholicism in s England, the brightest Christian mind of his generation immersed himself in the history of the early Church Newman answered for me a question with which I struggled for five years. He wished to maintain that the sacred doctrines admitted by the Church of England into her Articles were taught in primitive times with a distinctness which no one could fancy to attach to the characteristic tenets of Rome.

An essay on the development of Christian doctrine

Methodius; and the Divine Circumincessio, the most distinctive portion of the Catholic doctrine, and the unity of power, or again, of substance, are declared with more or less distinctness by Athenagoras, St. The philosophical and theological thought and the spirituality of Cardinal Newman, so deeply rooted in and enriched by Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Fathers, still retain their particular originality and value.

Here then I concede to the opponents of historical Christianity, that there are to be found, during the years through which it has lasted, certain apparent inconsistencies and alterations in its doctrine and its worship, such as irresistibly attract the attention of all who inquire into it.

No one has power over the issues of his principles; we cannot manage our argument, and have as much of it as we please and no more.

In his Essay, Newman provides seven tests by which the development of an idea may be legitimized. Perhaps his confidence in the truth and availableness of this view has sometimes led the author to be careless and over-liberal in his concessions to Protestants of historical fact.

If ever there were a safe truth, it is this. And this is a point which the writer of the above passages ought to have more distinctly brought before his mind and more carefully weighed; but be seems to have fancied that Bishop Bull proved the primitiveness of the Catholic doctrine concerning the Holy Trinity as well as that concerning our Lord.

You accept the lesser evidence, you reject the greater. The Catholic Truth in question is made up of a number of separate propositions, each of which, if maintained to the exclusion of the rest, is a heresy. No; he must allow that the alleged deluge has done its work; yes, and has in turn disappeared itself; it has been swallowed up by the earth, mercilessly as itself was merciless.

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine by John Henry Newman

They make mention indeed of a Three; but that there is any mystery in the doctrine, that the Three are One, that They are coequal, co-eternal, all increate, all omnipotent, all incomprehensible, is not stated and never could be gathered from them.

In order then to prove that all the Antenicene writers taught the dogma of the Holy Trinity, it is not enough to prove that each still has gone far enough to be only a heretic not enough to prove that one has held that the Son is God for so did the Sabellian, so did the Macedonian and another that the Father is not the Son for so did the Arian and another that the Son is equal to the Father for so did the Tritheist and another that there is but One God for so did the Unitarian not enough that many attached in some sense a Threefold Power to the idea of the Almighty for so did almost all the heresies that ever existed, and could not but do so, if they accepted the New Testament at all ; but we must show that all these statements at once, and others too, are laid down by as many separate testimonies as may fairly be taken to constitute a "consensus of doctors.

An Essay On the Development of Christian Doctrine

That it existed in other respects, as a practice, is plain from the nature of the case, and from the writings of the Apologists. InNewman founded the Birmingham Oratory at Maryvale and began ministering to the Catholic population of the city.

Development of doctrine

But the quality of his moral comment on the age remains what I have said: An idolatrous Paganism tended to repress the externals of Christianity, as, at this day, the presence of Protestantism is said to repress, though for another reason, the exhibition of the Roman Catholic religion.

Peter or his successors were and are universal Bishops, that they have the whole of Christendom for their one diocese in a way in which other Apostles and Bishops had and have not. Dionysii would appear to be the only writers whose language is at any time exact and systematic enough to remind us of the Athanasian Creed.

Thus the doctrine of Penance may be called a development of the doctrine of Baptism, yet still is a distinct doctrine; whereas the developments in the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation are mere portions of the original impression, and modes of representing it.

The quality of his logic is that of a long but passionate patience, which waits until he has fixed all corners of an iron trap.

The Creeds of that early day make no mention. Here, then, we have a short and easy method for bringing the various informations of ecclesiastical history under that antecedent probability in its favour, which nothing but its actual variations would lead us to neglect.

Now let us look at the leading facts of the case, in appealing to which I must not be supposed to be ascribing any heresy to the holy men whose words have not always been sufficiently full or exact to preclude the imputation.

It is melancholy to say it, but the chief, perhaps the only English writer who has any claim to be considered an ecclesiastical historian, is the unbeliever Gibbon.

His finding, exhaustively documented: Stuck between Anglicanism and Catholicism in s England, the brightest Christian mind of his generation immersed himself in the history of the early Church Newman answered for me a question with which I struggled for five years. Between andduring a time of solitude and the completion of Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Newman underwent a process conversion to Roman Catholicism.

However, authors such as Daniel Lattier have argued that some older Eastern Orthodox thinkers did not reject the concept outright, and that Eastern Orthodoxy may allow a form of doctrinal development, albeit more limited than Western forms of it. Moreover the statements of a particular father or doctor may certainly be of a most important character; but one divine is not equal to a catena.

Newman also published the Oxford Conservative Journal during this time period as a platform for retracting any negative remarks he previously assailed towards the Roman Church.

Justin was ready to concede to creatures. The onus probandi is with those who assert what it is unnatural to expect; to be just able to doubt is no warrant for disbelieving. Ignatius calls it 'the medicine of immortality: The following work is directed towards its removal.

This is true, and admits of application to certain other doctrines besides that of the Blessed Trinity in Unity; but there is as little room for such antecedent probabilities as for the argument from suggestions and intimations in the precise and imperative Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus, as it is commonly understood by English divines, and is by them used against the later Church and the see of Rome.

It admits of various and unequal application in various instances; and what degree of application is enough, must be decided by the same principles which guide us in the conduct of life, which determine us in politics, or trade, or war, which lead us to accept Revelation at all, for which we have but probability to show at most, nay, to believe in the existence of an intelligent Creator.

Of course we believe that they imply it, or rather intend it. This leads us to point out that what Newman appears to be saying my be misunderstood. It would be the work of a life to apply the Theory of Developments so carefully to the writings of the Fathers, and to the history of controversies and councils, as thereby to vindicate the reasonableness of every decision of Rome; much less can such an undertaking be imagined by one who, in the middle of his days, is beginning life again.

How are you casting your lot with the Saints, when you go but half-way with them?With an investment of effort this tome is a brilliant argument for the Western Christian concept of the development of doctrine. It is a must read for anyone who is serious about Christian theology.

Anyone who knows Newman's life knows that he married personal discipline and holiness to academic rigor/5(35).

An essay on the development of Christian doctrine

The Development of Ideas: 2. The Antecedent Argument in behalf of Developments in Christian Doctrine: 3. The Historical Argument in behalf of the existing Developments: 4. Instances in Illustration: Part 2.

Doctrinal Developments viewed Relatively to Doctrinal Corruptions: 5. John Henry Cardinal Newman begins the Essay with a deffinition of development, pointing out that the real problem is how to distinguish true developments from corruptions and decays.

He then goes on to sweeping consideration of the growth and development of doctrine in the Catholic Church, from the time of the Apostles to Newman's own era/5.

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Ships from and sold by rjphotoeditions.coms: The following Essay is directed towards a solution of the difficulty which has been stated,—the difficulty, as far as it exists, which lies in the way of our using in controversy the testimony of our most natural informant concerning the doctrine and worship of Christianity, viz.

the history of eighteen hundred years.

Newman an essay on the development of christian doctrine
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