Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Paul Blowers - Rule of Faith 2
"For Irenaeus and Tertullian alike it is imperative to identify the Canon of Truth or Rule of Faith as Scripture's own intrinsic story-line in order to avoid the Gnostics' double-talk, their propagating of one myth on the philosophical level while still trying, on another level, to commnicate it with pieces of scriptural narrative. Thus when Irenaeus expounds the Rule of Faith for his friend Marcianus in his Epideixis, he does it literally by retelling the biblical story and indicating the underlying nexus between its constitute elements as though he were unfolding the sequences of a drama. The story of creation, paradise, and the fall present a prelude. There follows a long exhibition of redemptive history (christological excurses notwithstanding), beginning with the antediluvia stories of obedience and disobedience, then moving on to the patriarchs, the lawgiving, the exodus and conquest, the message of the prophets - all told, a history of promises fulfilled in the recapitulative work of Jesus Christ. Irenaeus completes his exposition in the Epideixis by setting out a host of ancient prophecies fulfilled in Christ, and at last displaying the glory of the new covenant and the prospective new life in the Spirit opened up to the Gentiles" (pp. 212-13).