H. E. W. TURNER TURNER
Title: The Pattern of Christian Truth: A Study in the Relations Between Orthodoxy and Heresy in the Early Church
Binding: Paper Back
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers October 2004
1592449824 / 9781592449828
Seller ID: 20081217151307
The assumption that heresy was a distortion, a diminution of an original orthodox deposit of faith was fundamental to apologetic works of early Christian writers such as Hegesippus, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Hippolytus and others, defining the categories for centuries thereafter. In the wake of modern critical suspicions, however, came Walter Bauer's 1934 Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, which reset the defaults concerning those two categories. Bauer famously argued that orthodoxy and heresy were simply competing versions of Christian teaching, neither having priority, and that what we now know as orthodoxy only emerged triumphant at the end of the second century. The labels then became set by the victors. Twenty years later in the Bampton Lectures of 1954, H.E.W. Turner set forth the first significant critical response to Bauer's thesis, with a highly nuanced argument that Bauer's analysis was not only historically deficient, but that it lacked any attention to theological analysis. Orthodoxy triumphed because its theology was defined by Scripture and not by extraneous elements imposed on Scripture; and it was consistent with Tradition and Reason by its rule of faith and a creed that manifested the experience of the Church, unselfconsciously developing a theology that articulated her inner life (''The Church lived Trinitarianly before she evolved a satisfactory doctrine of the Trinity, while her devotion to Christ as God precede by a still longer time span the achievement of a theologia Christi''). As Turner himself concludes, ''the most important element in the evolution of Christian orthodoxy is... kind of Christian common sense exercised at all its levels within the Christian Church, which is merely another name for the guidance of the Holy Spirit leading the Church into all truth and dividing to every man severally as He wills.'' And just in passing, how refreshing to read these most erudite lectures (delivered only fifty years ago?) that refer to Jesus as ''our Lord,'' are innocent of ''B.C.E.'' and ''C.E.,'' and conclude with a doxology. 508 pp.