Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tertullian on the Sacraments

The statement is often made that the early Christians didn't have sacraments and that they were a later "man-made" addition of the Catholic Church. Could this early Christian have gotten it wrong so soon after the death of the last apostles?

"No soul whatever is able to obtain salvation unless it has believed while it was in the flesh. Indeed, the flesh is the hinge of salvation. . . . The flesh, then, is washed [baptism] so that the soul may be made clean. The flesh is anointed so that the soul may be dedicated to holiness. The flesh is signed so that the soul may be fortified. The flesh is shaded by the imposition of hands [confirmation] so that the soul may be illuminated by the Spirit. The flesh feeds on the body and blood of Christ [the Eucharist] so that the soul too may feed on God. They cannot, then, be separated in their reward, when they are united in their works" (The Resurrection of the Dead 8:2–3 [A.D. 210]).


Blogger MMajor Fan said...

There would be no soul at all without the body being conceived. It's not like souls are floating around in the ether having chats with angels until their timesheet indicates it is time to hop into a body. God creates a soul to send into the newly conceived body. We know this because God breathed life into Adam. God showed this to Moses so people would understand that God sends the soul into the newly created body. Genesis 2: 7 the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. I could bit myself in the arm whenever I hear that people don't understand this to be the doctrine that the body is created (conceived) and then God sends the soul into the body. This ain't the Bible's way of saying that God slapped Adam until he started breathing lol. Genesis explains in simple language that the body of man is created so that the soul can be housed in it, and that humans should be fruitful and multiply. God did not say, chant "Om" and try to visualize yourself out of your body as much as you can, and do not appreciate your body and all the life around you, and definitely ignore anything my prophets teach about dignity of body and there is no such thing as sacraments (even though there is thousands of years of temple ritual in preparation). I don't think that is written in even the Martian or Venusian translations of the Bible lol.

January 13, 2008 1:38 AM  
Blogger Jordan Stratford+ said...

Tertullian went from being an embarrassingly crazy pseudo-Christian to an embarrassingly crazy pseudo-Gnostic. You might want to avoid using him to make any kind of point. He was a complete nutter.

January 13, 2008 11:01 PM  
Blogger + Alan said...

Hey Russ, hope you guys are having a good new year so far.

First I'll say this: The body is not inherently evil. God did not create it to drag us down. We were meant to be in a body and to live on earth. Yes, earth, dirt, wood, water, air - they're not inherently evil either, nor are they here just to pass away someday so we can float on clouds. We certainly should be against such gnostic-type thoughts.

But, to answer your last question before the quote - YES. He could well have gotten it wrong so early after the Apostles' passing. Many did. Actually this one apparently did not long after he said that. He went a little wacky on the kooky charismatic end.

So, I love the early Fathers and we can glean a ton from what they left us, but not everything they said was solidified in Tradition by the Holy Spirit. Even the great Augustine was a little funky in some areas if you ask me, but then, so are we probably.

I'm not sure about not being saveable unless explicitly having faith while in the flesh. I don't think we have anything absolutely nailed down on that one. We know of the possibility that some may have an implicit faith in Christ (even not knowing who He is) on earth and may be saved. Maybe God, in His great Mercy, will open Himself to some after death who didn't have such a chance in life on earth. Maybe, but we don't know. We can hope though. I like to lean toward His Loving Mercy in such questions.

Anyway, just a few thoughts to throw in the mix. Peace to you.

January 13, 2008 11:59 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

It's the wonderful "both/and" of the Catholic Church, rather than the 'either/or' that is so appealing to me, after having bought into the gnostic thought here and there on my journey. Good one, TJ. Talk about "inclusive" in the correct way! Not as in "PC" but in CHRIST BECAME MAN, GOD IN THE FLESH... to talk about our bodies as if they're just mere 'tents' for our more 'important' spirit/soul is ludicrous, and so harmful to "living the abundant life" that so many of us thought we were living in our Evangelical world. I can't get enough of the Sacraments! I now need to get ready to go to Mass. A wafer becoming the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, to be consumed by me, a mere unworthy mortal! GOD IS AWESOME and His Grace amazing!

January 14, 2008 7:48 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Truth can be spoken, even from an ass, as so often happens from the author of this blog.
Tertullian became a heretic later in life but the Church still values his writings and he remains a Church Father, despite his later fall into Montanism.

January 14, 2008 8:15 AM  
Blogger Tim A. Troutman said...

Jordan - TiberJumper is right, Tertullian started out very orthodox but slid into the Montanist heresy which is almost identical to modern day Pentecostalism.

January 14, 2008 10:59 AM  

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