Tuesday, June 03, 2008

J.N. Darby on the unreliability of the Early Church Fathers

John Nelson Darby wrote:

I have not cited the Fathers, nor gone into their doctrines. While I do not doubt that the truly pious among them were guarded in the faith; yet, as doctors, nothing can be more uncertain; as moralists, scarce anything more objectionable. God has preserved truth in and for His church, blessed be His name! but the Fathers are the expression, not of orthodox truth, but of a mass of mentalefforts on divine subjects, of heavings to and for on subjects which escaped their grasp; of the efforts, too, of minds, for the most part seriously corrupted by Platonic philosophy, and shrinking from the attacks of Pagans on the point of the unity of the Godhead, which they feared to compromise by the doctrine of eternal Sonship and divinity of Christ. Save Jerome and Origen, they did not understand Hebrew, and could only use the Septuagint version; valuable no doubt as to testimony, but most imperfect as representing the meaning of scripture, and sometimes any meaning at all.
JN Darby, Remarks on Puseyism, in Collected Writings, vol.29


theologien said...

Makes you wonder how the church survived until Darby came along.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I do think things were in a bad state before Darby.