Surveys of Church Teachings

An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

By: John Henry Newman February 20, 2015 No Comments

John Henry Cardinal Newman’s classic study, in which he originally set out to prove that the Anglican Church was the “via media” or middle way between the Catholic Church and the Protestant movement, but in the process became convinced that only in the Catholic Church is found the fullness of the deposit of faith as delivered by Jesus to His Apostles. This book has proved a great source of inspiration and conviction for many converts.

Newman begins the Essay with a deffinition of development, pointing out that the real problem is how to distinguish true developments from corruptions and decays. He then goes on to sweeping consideration of the growth and development of doctrine in the Catholic Church, from the time of the Apostles to Newman’s own era. He demonstrates that the basic “rule” under which Christianity proceeded through the centuries that throughout the entire life of the Church this law of development has been in effect and safeguards the faith from any real corruption.

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