Sunday, February 3, 2008

'Only a few can be learned, but all can be Christian'

Thought this was a great quote. Can you guess who wrote it (from a work called Adhortatio ad christianae philosophiae studium)?:

"To me he is truly a theologian who teaches not by skill with intricate syllogisms but by a disposition of mind, by the very expression and eyes ...

In his kind of philosophy, located as it is more truly in the disposition of the mind than in syllogisms, life means more than debate, inspiration is preferable to erudition, transformation is a more important matter than intellectual comprehension.

Only a very few can be learned, but all can be Christian, all can be devout, and – I shall boldly add – all can be theologians."

If you need a little help, see this article from Christian History & Biography that's just been published about him ...

Some hints: he famously argued with Luther over the freedom/bondage of the will, and his name rhymes with 'tea-jazz-Gus'


Bridges said...

___________________ of Rotterdam.

I like that you have his name in the labels section. You ol' softy.

I heard a quote that summed up his dispute with Luther. When someone said that he and Luther had worked together on the same 'reformation', he said,

'I laid an egg, but Luther hatched another bird'.


Chris Ross said...

Interesting line. I heard Piper give an address at ETS '06 that differentiated Erasmus and Tyndale, in a way, really, that goes exactly counter to the quote I shared: he made Erasmus out to be a kind of sophist, who like subtlety and erudition, while Tyndale was portrayed as a genuinely devout believer who recognized the 'blood-earnestness' of the Gospel.

I think one of the reasons I like this quote was that it showed a side of Erasmus that you wouldn't necessarily expect to find.

People are complex beings, no?

K. Morse said...

I found your blog about three weeks ago, and just wanted to say I think its great. I love studying the Puritans, and so this blog scratches an itch for me.


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