The rule of Faith

1313 Words6 Pages
Introduction During the 2nd century early church teachings were challenged by Gnosticism a religious movement similar to Christianity. Contrary to the Christian teachings that salvation is attained through faith in Jesus Christ; Gnostics taught that salvation was attained through access to secret knowledge. Similar to the Christian tradition Gnostics claimed that the secret knowledge was passed on from the Apostles. In addition, Gnostics taught that access to the secret knowledge was only available to those who read the Bible in a specific manner. As a result, Christian leaders questioned the methods used by Gnostic writers for interpreting Scripture. The spread of Gnosticism prompted the church to develop a “traditional” method for interpreting certain scriptures. By implementing a “traditional” guide for interpreting Scripture Christian leaders could ensure that Scripture was interpreted based on the background of the history of the Christian Church. Furthermore, it would distinguish Christian tradition from Gnostic tradition. The guide for interpreting scripture became the “rule of faith”. The Content and Purpose of the Rule Consequently, Irenaeus, the first great Catholic theologian and Tertullian, the Father of Latin theology developed the idea of an authorized method for interpreting scripture. Both theologians defended the Christian faith and communicated doctrines they believed were essential to the “rule of faith.” Irenaeus defended the understanding of salvation and the role of tradition in his book entitled Against Heresies. In opposition to the secret traditions the heretics claimed to have received from the apostles, Irenaeus argued that, the teachings of the apostles, which secure salvation for th... ... middle of paper ... ...nds like a rock concert and the preaching moment is more like a motivational speech. In the traditional church service the creeds, hymns and preaching are the focal points of the service. Whereas in a contemporary service praise and worship are the focal points. In the early church tradition only apostles, bishops and elders taught the Word of God. McGrath stated that, “by their historical succession from the apostles, the bishops ensured their congregations remained faithful to their teachings and interpretations.” Sadly, there is little or no accountability for congregations to remain faithful to their teachings in the contemporary “church tradition”. I believe that adopting the practices of the early “church tradition” would be a great way for the contemporary “church tradition” to pass on the teachings of the apostles and enrich the life of the church.
Open Document