Friday, April 3, 2015

ANF V: Novatian Introduction

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

Novatian, a Roman Presbyter: Introductory Notice


The editors associate Novatian with other fathers like Tatian and Tertullian, who were powerful witnesses to the faith but wandered into questionable doctrines and practices later in their lives. Perhaps not open heresy per se, but ideas and actions that today we would hesitate to associate with and then would have openly condemned.
And yet, that does not negate the good they did in contending for the faith. Novatian specifically, as we saw much of in Cyprian's Epistles, divided the church structure by opposing the election of Cornelius, and eventually holding a different view of baptism, polity, and holiness. In the last he was overly extreme, ultimately coming to an uncharitable view of Christian practice. And yet, he still held faithfully to the truth revealed in Scripture and may even have been martyred.

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