The High Christology of the Pre-Pauline Church Creeds

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The primitive Church was far from primitive in their understanding, and expression, of Christology.by Fr. Patrick Henry ReardonThe most primitive confessional formulas of Christology (those preserved, for instance, in Romans 1:3-4 and Galatians 4.4) continued to shape the Church's understanding of Jesus through the second century (Justin and Irenaeus, for instance). This pattern continued into the ... More...

The Song of the Sacraments

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by Fr.  Patrick Henry ReardonOur English word "time" bears a double burden, which in more sensible languages (like Italian) is carried by two different nouns. Thus, our "time" can mean a point in time: an instance or event (Italian volta). Our English "time" can also mean something fluid: a passage of time, or time in sequence (Italian tempo). In biblical Greek (another sensible language), time ... More...

The Potted Creed in the Book of Romans

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by Fr. Patrick Henry ReardonAn adequate theological analysis of the Incarnation must devote some attention to the Greek verb gignomai normally translated as "to become." Most often in biblical narratives this verb is used in an impersonal sense, egeneto ("it happened"), the equivalent of the Hebrew ve-yahi.When it refers to the Incarnate Word, however, this verb often indicates a change of ... More...

What the Apostle Paul Learned When He Joined the Church

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by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon Several decades ago, when our family was still Episcopalian, a new parishioner remarked that I seemed to have a "high Christology." Responding to my comment that I had no idea what he was talking about, he explained that a high Christology believes in Jesus' pre-existence as God's Son. A "low Christology," on the other hand, believes that the human being Jesus was ... More...

Scripture’s Role in Mystogogy (Initiation into Mystery)

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by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon The doctrine of divine providence is asserted in the biblical thesis that "all things work together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28). This "working together" of historical events under divine governance for particular and inter-related purposes is a mystery, in both usual senses of the word. First, divine providence is a mystery in the sense that ... More...