3. Paleo-Orthodoxy. This is the belief that the Christian faith can be found in the early church—namely in the consensual beliefs of the early church. This is a form of “consensual orthodoxy” (consensus fidelium).
. . .
Eastern Orthodoxy, some Evangelicals, and many Emerging Christians (not Emergent as I have defined it in my writings)
- Looks to the historic body of Christ for orthodoxy.
- Understands that God’s providential concern for the Church would have established the most important truths early.
I'll accept this provisionally.
- Can elevate the authority of the early church above that of Scripture.
Before the Council of Carthage 0f 397 AD, there was no Bible, only scattered fragments of Scripture. These fragments had to be cobbled together into a Cannon. This short-sighted comment ignores the very legitimacy of the Church Council that selected which books went into the New Testament. Denying this Authority only LEGITIMIZES the Gnostic Gospels!
- Hard to find justifiable reasons to believe that theology cannot develop or mature beyond the first five centuries.
He compounds the INSULT with:
Eastern Church: Here, I primarily mean the Eastern Orthodox church. Notice that they are also orthodox. The further developments represented by the “TH” show the progress and maturing of certain doctrines (e.g. person of Christ and the Trinity). The lower case show an undeveloped doctrine (e.g. salvation) and the italics show a distorted understanding (e.g. atonement).
He's obviously never heard of the Nicene Creed. One look at Anthony Coniaris'es Orthodoxy: A Creed for Today, should put that Obvious Falsehood to rest. There is no better place to learn about the Trinity than through the Nicene Creed.
He doesn't stop there. In a section entitled Words That Don't Prove Your Point, he states:
- If this isn't true, then there is no basis to believe the Bible. If there's no basis to believe the Bible then we might as well be atheists.
This argument also shows up a different way. For example: God can't do that--if He did it would make him the author of Evil and I can't believe in that sort of God. Okay, that's a fine opinion but it doesn't disprove or prove any argument. The latter is a matter of wishing something was true and the former is a matter of setting up a very steep slope with your doctrine at the very tippity top. In both cases it doesn't make your position right or wrong: it's just a non-decider.
Just what was the Council of Carthage of 397 actually doing? Were they wishing that certain Books that they accepted into the Cannon were True, or were they Holier than the Gnostics? In either case, our Esteemed Scholar has just managed to Invalidate the Bible!
My problem with his "Theology" is that with this attack on the Council of Carthage, the Bible actually does go out the Window! Perhaps he's upset that his favorite gospel, The Gospel according to Judas Iscariot, was excluded? It's clear that I'm not going to blog with his group, as his so-called Cannons of Conduct, which excludes honest discussion of the issues I pose, are hypocritically biased towards Calvinism under color of Objectivity.