Monday, April 6, 2015

ANF V: Novatian On the Trinity I-VIII

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume 5

Novatian: Treatise Concerning the Trinity I-VIII


Loosely following the structure of the Creed, in this first section Novatian outlines the Divinity of God the Father. I won't go in detail through each of the eight "arguments" given in these chapters, I'll just encourage you to read these because they are excellent. For example, Chapter II gives us a wonderful articulation of Divine Providence:
And over all these things He Himself, containing all things, having nothing vacant beyond Himself, has left room for no superior God, such as some people conceive. Since, indeed, He Himself has included all things in the bosom of perfect greatness and power, He is always intent upon His own work, and pervading all things, and moving all things, and quickening all things, and beholding all things, and so linking together discordant materials into the concord of all elements, that out of these unlike principles one world is so established by a conspiring union, that it can by no force be dissolved, save when He alone who made it commands it to be dissolved, for the purpose of bestowing other and greater things upon us. 
Excellent, excellent stuff. There might be a slight tendency to over-allegorization at times, but that's a failing of the Church Fathers in general, and there's no reason to single out Novatian for criticism there specifically.

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