Photo: Fresco of the Council of Nicaea, Sistine Chapel Credit: Wikimedia Commons
MF CASR Lunch with John Kaufman
"The Church Has Always Said..."
The Use of History as a Theological Argument
Christians often argue for the truth of some theological statement or Christian practice by stating that "the church has always said or done things in this way" or "the first Christians said or did things in this way," and therefore Christians should think or do things in the same way today. History is used as an argument for truth. But in my experience as a historian, it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to actually say what the church has "always" done or said. What churches and Christians do and say is not static, but is the result of development, debate and decisions. Thus, the argument that "this is the way things have always been" functions poorly in support of truth claims. John is currently working on a book where discussing the development of central Christian beliefs and practices in the first five centuries of Christianity, showing how even the most important Christian practices and beliefs weren't static but developed over time.
Join us for an informal lunch.
We will provide coffee and tea.
Between Rows 5 & 6