Friday, November 11, 2005

The Hilarian Viewpoint

Scott Gilbreath at "Magic Statistics" has a good post on the basics about St. Hilary of Poitiers, sometimes said to be the most Greek of the Latin Fathers. He was a major, and very creative, defender of Nicene orthodoxy against the Arian heresy, whose De Trinitate, although overshadowed by Augustine's, deserves to be better known.

The good bishop had a reasonable perspective on heresy, too. Concerned with the question of why God would allow heresies to rise up in His Church, he reasoned that it must be that when a heresy begins to run rampant, the Church had failed in some way to grow and learn in a way it should have, and that God therefore allows the heresy to run wild in order to stimulate the Church into action. Effectively this view sees heresy as primarily an opportunity for the Church to pray, to learn, and to teach; as an approach to heresy, it keeps the focus where it should be: on truth.

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