9 Things Evangelicals Hate About 2nd Century Christianity

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  • SongBookz

    All well and good except… The words “psalm” and “song” themselves imply a stringed instrument.

    • Adam Hovey

      I do believe the author said specifically Christian liturgy and New Testament

      • coilette

        Jesus and the Apostles sang psalms at Passover, including the Last Supper. Furthermore, in the tradition of the times, prayer was chanted, i.e. sung. But that in itself does not necessarily imply an instrument (although there are explicit references to instruments in the OT).

  • Jack

    I don’t know where you got “they didn’t pray the Doxology.” It is used in some form of all of the Eastern Christian Liturgies; the Orthodox and Byzantine Catholics use a Trinitarian expansion.

    • Jack

      To clarify, I was referring to “For thine is the Kingdom…”. In the Byzantine rite, it goes, “For thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.”

    • There is some evidence of a shorter form of the doxology in the Didache, but the earliest extant copy is from the 11th century, which means there isn’t great certainty about it’s presence being original.

      You are right about the Eastern liturgies, but once again, we don’t have any sure evidence of the doxology being part of the liturgy from the 2nd or 3rd centuries. It is, of course, not at all Protestant in origin.

  • Richard A

    Oddly, I just had occasion to mention the three-year waiting period for adult baptisms on another blog.

    I don’t think Irenaeus’ “regenerated as newborn babes” is evidence for infant baptism, though.

    • The language is such as to not rule out either meaning. He could mean “as babes”, as in “during the time we were infants” or he could mean, “as though we were spiritually babies”. One reason to favor the former is that, as Irenaeus knew, babies aren’t spiritually pure because they bear the stain of original sin. So, the analogy, if that’s what it is, was a poor one.

  • Howard

    “… being spiritually regenerated as newborn babes ….” In English this phrase is ambiguous, but the word “as” would probably mean “like”, not “when”. If you want it to have the meaning you want, you’re going to explain the meaning in Greek.

    • As I mentioned in my reply to Richard A, I acknowledge the ambiguity in his phrasing. However, even if it were best translated “like babes” that wouldn’t necessarily clarify it. “…being spiritually regenerated like newborn babes…” Does he mean “like newborn babes (that you’ve seen baptized)”? So, not any clearer.

      Again, he could have meant it, as far as I can tell, as an analogy, but that interpretation is hard to justify. Irenaeus knew that newborn babies aren’t spiritually pure; they bear the stain of original sin. So, the analogy, if that’s what it is, was a very poor one. Hence, it is more likely that he was referring to spiritual regeneration experienced by newborn babies.

      • Howard

        You understand that ambiguity is not your friend here, right? An ambiguous phrasing in one passage from St. Irenaeus is not going come within a day’s march of convincing any Evangelical.

        • I was an Evangelical for almost 23 years. I have a firm grasp.

          • Howard

            I was one for more than 30 years. If you had used this argument on me, I would see it as evidence of the extreme weakness of your case.

          • So be it. Catholics are not obliged to present only the strongest evidence. Sometimes, as we go further back in time, very strong evidence for certain Catholic beliefs or practices is scarce; that isn’t reason to pretend what evidence we have doesn’t exist. And if someone wants to ignore the mountain of strong evidence for other beliefs in favor of deriding a mole hill, that’s on them. The truth is, the case for infant baptism in early centuries is weak, and I never mind admitting the truth. The fact is, the evidence is weak due to strong evidence in favor of a far more important issue — namely, the efficacy of baptism.

            It’s well-known that early Christians, even in the 3rd century, delayed baptism until near death because of a premature understanding of post-baptismal forgiveness. So, it’s not surprising that many people who were delaying their own baptisms until near death would not seek immediate baptism for their children (provided the children were expected to survive to adulthood). Of course, the very reason for delaying baptism was the understanding that baptism was efficacious, that is, it effected the forgiveness of sins via spiritual regeneration. So, the incontrovertible evidence for belief in the efficacy of baptism is the very reason why we have little evidence for infant baptism in the early Church.

          • Howard

            OK. I think I had better ask what the point of the article was. Was this meant as a tool for apologetics, only in hindsight you should have held it at 8 things, or was it written to make Catholics feel more secure in their Faith?

          • Patti Sheffield

            Another passage from St. Irenaeus that showed support for infant baptism is from Against Heresies 2:22-4. It explicitly states that people of every age are saved through being born again through Christ. Born again is another term for baptism. It’s worth a read.


        • IrishEddieOHara

          Having jousted with Evangelicals on the field of apologetics for the last 15 years of my conversion, unless the Holy Spirit opens them up to listen — they won’t. They are convinced that their pastor or favorite Bible teacher is the mouthpiece of God Himself and that everyone else is wrong.

          Having said that, the case David makes is weak. The issue comes down to one of understanding what baptism is. It is the covenant making ceremony for the New Covenant. We have the principle in the Old Covenant of infant boys being circumcised into the Old Covenant without any requirement of “making a decision for Jehovah” or some such thinking. Colossians 2 shows us that circumcision was changed into baptism, just as the Passover was changed into the Eucharistic Banquet.

          Linguistics is a hard argument, especially since so few know Greek. But principles remain firmly in place, despite whatever language is used. The principle is shown that in the Old Covenant, covenant membership was open to all, regardless of their cognitive ability. That did not change in the New Covenant, and I would challenge any Evangelical to show me where in Scripture that principle was altered.

          • Howard

            Yes, faith is a gift from God. That is true for everyone.

            I suppose we converted about the same time.

  • Mike17

    There’s an interesting article by Mgsr Charles Pope on the non-use of music in the early Christian liturgy:

  • Jaceczko

    Here’s a tenth:

    • 10. Sola Scriptura would have been impossible, since “The Bible”, considered as a single-volume codex, widely available and containing all of the texts canonized as inspired Scriptures in the fourth century, did not exist until right before the Protestant Reformation.

  • JeffAStevens

    I think the headline is needlessly aggressive. We’re not concerned with what the evangelicals hate. Or at least we shouldn’t be. Evangelicals are our separated brethren and we should be welcoming to them, not shoving their errors in their face.