Friday, March 15, 2013

Shepherd of Hermas: Intro

I now have the opportunity to read the Shepherd of Hermas. It is taking a step back, but I have a little extra time and what I really care about is what the second century thought, so the more I can get of that the better. The Shepherd of Hermas is interesting. It was highly influential in the early church, and many considered it Scripture. The main point of the vision that Hermas is given is to proclaim that for a limited time there exists an opportunity for the forgiveness of post-baptismal sins. Let that sink in for a bit. This is very foreign to our ears, since we would never consider the possibility that God would not forgive us, no matter what we do.

But it makes sense when you consider that the church may be thinking that the original remission of sins applies only to past sins. Now, I don’t think anyone even at that time believed you couldn’t be forgiven for the usual sins. I believe this applied to more of the major sins. However, I don’t exactly know, so I will have to update you once I have actually read through the book.

Anyway, this would very much benefit me in my quest for understanding the church’s historic stance on Justification. We will just have to see what I dig up.

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