Novelty, the new, the different has captivated protestantism.  Perhaps captured is the better term.  I’m not sure, but I’ve long thought that there was something wrong when you ask any protestant who their favorite author/speaker is and 99% of the time it will be someone who is currently alive.  Their favorite book will be one that was just published.  Did you hear their latest sermon or ideas?

I was thinking about novelty this morning.  And I thought about the gnostics, going around in the late first early second centuries “fixing” Christianity.  Taking the ridiculous story of Christ and it’s obviously embarrassing ties to reality and correcting it.  In response you have (among others) Ireneaus.  He writes a few treatises that still exist on this topic, and to put a fine point on this response he says, “Your ideas are hog-wash.  We know they are hog wash because they weren’t handed down to us from the apostles.”

Why is that so important that ideas come from the apostles?  That they be traceable?  Because the faith was once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude).

Christianity is a revelation, not a deduction.

If your Christianity wasn’t handed down to you from the apostles (and no, just having a copy of some of their writings emphatically does NOT count), then what you have is the result of deduction and speculation, not revelation.  And that’s important.


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