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Gill & the Church Fathers

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by JM, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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    I love Gill! If any man has pointed me to Christ more often I can't name him. In Gill's 'Cause of God and Truth' he quotes the early church fathers in support of the TULIP and sites his sources. The issue I am having is that I can't find the quotes Gill sites in the early church fathers! If I find something that looks like it fits the passage Gill sites the context doesn't seem to agree with how Gill interprets it.

    Anyone else notice this in Gill's work?

    Thanks,

    j
     
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  2. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    I'm sure he did his homework! :)

    I doubt whether he would have found post-Reformation scholastic logic - so much part of some expressions of Calvinism - in the so called Church Fathers' writings, though.
     
  3. stenerson

    stenerson Newbie

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    I never read Gill. I've heard the accusations of hyper-Calvinism.
     
  4. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    Now HERE is an interesting article: Calvinism in the Early Church

    Goes well beyond the typical reliance on Augustine. Whether or not these men were consistent throughout the entirety of their life, is really all besides the obvious point.
     
  5. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Gill was quite the scholar on the ancient church, Hebrew and Greek/Roman traditions and cultures and knew the languages as well. I find his commentaries to be the gold standard.

    Do you have an example of Gill taking the ECFs out of context?

    I do know many of the ECFs although orthodox in their beliefs, have contradictions between various works. If memory serves only Augustine and Jerome made a concerted effort to harmonize their various works later in life.

    Good pious intelligent men, yet still fallible men who were not writing Holy Scriptures.
     
  6. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

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  7. Apologetic_Warrior

    Apologetic_Warrior Pilgrim

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    While I am not a particular Baptist, John Gill cannot be ignored, he is a giant among giants, and I would recommend reading from him. Often I have referred to his commentaries on Scripture for help, because often I need help, and where better to look than men who are faithful to Scripture, who hold a high view of Scripture with a Christ centered view and acknowledge and emphasize the sovereignty of God.
     
  8. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

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    Find them as the works are not found on an internet site in English? This has been my experience with some quotes as well. Most come from scholarly tomes where the author is actually working with a manuscript and translating it.

    For example, when looking at Sola Fide and the early fathers, I had to go to the source documents in English as most of the apologetics sites had snippets which made little sense. To make it worse the "source" was not linked and was listed in Latin! So took some research.

    So when someone challenged me that the early fathers "knew nothing of faith alone" I actually just went to their homilies on the actual scriptures Luther and Calvin went to on the matter.

    Surprise was St John Chrysostom was a Sola Fide advocate long before the Reformation. So was St Basil. And I just started my research:

    https://www.christianforums.com/threads/salvation-by-faith-alone.8031954/page-5#post-71883325

    https://www.christianforums.com/threads/salvation-by-faith-alone.8031954/page-8#post-71887763

    The threads above were in response to RCs. I quote the relevant passages and also linked the entire works for those who want to examine the context.

    So my best advice on examining the church fathers is to get into the actual works. What I found is their works in general will support both Reformation claims and also RC and EO claims. One might say they tended to contradict their own works. However we must be kind in that they were not scholastics in the sense they had in mind they should harmonize their writings later in life. It seems the only one with a mind to harmonize was Augustine and most likely the reason Calvin and Luther liked his works.

    Lastly, the ECFs are a treasure of information. However, we must realize they were fallible men like us who were not writing Inspired Holy Scriptures. Their largest contribution was that as men of God they could recognize which were and were not inspired writings.
     
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  9. twin1954

    twin1954 Baptist by the Bible

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    You know my thoughts on Gill. He is my favorite theologian.

    Still I do find a few instances where he seems to stretch the sense of a passage to fit his theology. Not many but a few. He was a man and therefore subject to faults.
     
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