Posted by: chuckbumgardner | April 30, 2010

Ligon Duncan, “Did the Fathers Know the Gospel?”

I enjoyed listening to an outstanding session from Together for the Gospel 2010 by Ligon Duncan, “Did the Fathers Know the Gospel?” The goal of the lecture, as reflected in the title, was to debunk the notion that the early church fathers’ understanding of justification was substantially different than the Reformation view.  He only spent the last, oh, one-third of the lecture specifically addressing that point, and the bulk of the session was actually more of an introduction to the church fathers emphasizing their value.  Some outstanding material therein, and I’d recommend it to your listening.  Some quotes I jotted down as I listened:

When you read the Fathers in areas that were not disputed, contested matters of church doctrine in their own time . . . watch out.  Because they are all over the map.  But when you read the Fathers in any area which was a matter of dispute and debate in the church of their time they almost always get it right — and gloriously so.  Heresy served the church to get the Bible’s proper understanding rightly articulated to the people of God. . . . Put them in a fight, and they’ll almost always get it right.

Christians for a hundred years after the days of the apostles continued to work fundamentally out of the Hebrew Scriptures as they preached the gospel, because the New Testament Scriptures had not been widely circulated in the form of the collection that we have now.

Duncan also highly recommends his interview “Patristics for Busy Pastors”, and commends Peter Brown as the best modern biographer of Augustine.

(note: I’ve now listened to “Patristics for Busy Pastors,” and found it to be outstanding as well.)



  1. […] and primary source material in the patristics After listening to Ligon Duncan read part of Lewis’s Introduction to Athanasius’s On the Incarnation, I thought to […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: