Thursday, September 04, 2008

An Inconvenient Conciliar Truth - Part 01

An Inconvenient Conciliar Truth - Part 01

Some folks seem to find relying on councils a comfort. For these folks, there are some inconvenient facts that they must face. This post is the first in what, Lord willing, will be a multi-part series.

Council of Elvira (306)

This fourth century Spanish council, attended by around 20 bishops and about the same number of "priests," ultimately issued eighty-one canons (sometimes it is claimed that only the first 21 of these canons were original, and that the others were added later). Canon XXVI forbade paintings in churches. While this shows that painting began to be introduced into churches quite early (otherwise, no canon prohibiting such behavior would be necessary), it also shows early resistance to such idolatry.

It is also significant because iconodules (those who believe the use of images of God in worship to be acceptable) tend to point to an eighth century council in support of their position. It is an inconvenient fact, however, that the eight century council upon which they rely was a departure from earlier conciliar decisions.

-TurretinFan

4 comments:

orthodox said...

Oh, and I guess a ton of Presbyterian churches are condemned by this council of elvira too. Hmmm...

Turretinfan said...

"Oh, and I guess a ton of Presbyterian churches are condemned by this council of elvira too. Hmmm..."

Indeed. And rightly so.

-TurretinFan

Lucian said...

One council indeed. And one father indeed. (Epiphanius of Salamis).

Are you keen on its other decisions as well, like never ordaining any converts to the priesthood, or imposing clerical celibacy, or other such goodies that this particular little council had to offer? (Why not?)

Turretinfan said...

I will gladly admit I haven't checked all the other 80 canons to see if they match up to your description. Assuming they do, yes, I would reject those canons that are at odds with the sole Rule of Faith, Scripture.

The reason is that, unlike some, I do not place my faith in the providential working of God through fallible councils, but in the inspired and consequently infallible Word of God.

-TurretinFan