Monday, June 24, 2013

Khomiakov on Tradition and Scripture

Khomiakov, a Russian Theologian, gives an Orthodox understanding of the relationship between Tradition and Scripture.
“…between tradition, works, and scripture there is no contradiction, but, on the contrary, complete agreement. A man understands the Scriptures, so far as he preserves tradition, and does works agreeable to the wisdom that lives within him. But the wisdom that lives within him is not given to him individually, but as a member of the Church, and it is given to him in part, without altogether annulling his individual error; but to the Church it is given in the fullness of truth and without any admixture of error…

The man who takes Scripture only, and founds the Church on it alone, is in reality rejecting the Church, and is hoping to found her afresh by his own powers: the man who take tradition and works only, and depreciates the importance of Scripture, is likewise in reality rejecting the Church, and constituting himself a judge of the Spirit of God, who spake by the Scripture. For Christian knowledge is a matter, not of intellectual investigation, but of a living faith, which is a gift of grace…in the Church there has not been, nor ever will  be, any contradictions, either in Scripture, or in tradition, or in works; for in all three is Christ, one and unchangeable”[1].

[1] Khomiakov, A.S., The Church is One, (London, S.P.C.K., 1948), p. 17-18

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