Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FATHERS: The Sure and Universal Rule

I have often inquired of very many men eminent for their sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of the apostolic faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity: and I have almost in every instance received an answer to this effect: we must with the Lord’s help, fortify our own belief in two ways; first, by the authority of the divine Law (the word of God), and then by the tradition of the whole universal church. (A Commonitory, St. Vincent of Lerins, ca 450 AD)

Vincent of Lerins was a monk who gave his life to learning how one should determine true apostolic doctrine. In his quest, he interviewed innumerable godly and learned persons in the faith; consequently, he left behind for the church with a set of sound dogmatic precepts that have yet to be exceeded. The foundation for his methodolgy is simple: knowledge of the word of God, and knowledge of the traditions that were left to us by the apostles. I will be posting a series on St Vincent in the days to come, with the goal of identifying the process for sorting out apostolic truth from revisionist error.

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