Why apostolic tradition matters, part 2

Irenaeus of Lyons

It seems that every time a supposedly "lost gospel" is unearthed the media hypes it as if it were the Second Coming. Invariably, these texts contradict the received understanding of the church. The most recent example is the so-called Gospel of Jesus's Wife. The scrap of parchment, published to great fanfare but quickly shown to be fake, purportedly demonstrated belief among early Christians that Jesus was married. Before that you'll recall the froth and frenzy around the 2006 publication … [Read more...]

Why apostolic tradition matters, part 1

St. Paul the Apostle

How do know if a particular doctrine is true or false? What defines the boundaries of orthodoxy? We're not the first believers to face these questions. Within a generation of Christ’s death and resurrection, the church broke free from the orbit of Jerusalem and swerved into the path of the Gentile world and its bewildering array of pantheons, temples, astrologists, sorcerers, philosophers, and mystery cults. Some of the interactions proved beneficial. In Cities of God, Rodney Stark … [Read more...]