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Deserted Island, Church Fathers Edition: Augustine & Cyril of Alexandria

5 Minutes in Church History with Stephen Nichols

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.81.6K Ratings

🗓️ 21 June 2023

⏱️ 5 minutes

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Writings by the church fathers could offer hours of enriching study on a desert island. Today, special guest Dr. Michael Reeves shares why he would bring works by Augustine and Cyril of Alexandria to his literary oasis.

Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/deserted-island-church-fathers-edition-augustine-and-cyril-of-alexandria/

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Welcome back to another episode of Five Minutes in Church History. Again, we're at the National


Conference and this is part two of Deserted Island Church Fathers edition with Dr. Michael


Reeves. Well, Dr. Reeves, you've already got two books. You've got three more. So, go ahead.


Number three. My next book, my third book, will be by Cyril of Alexandria. And I would


pick his commentary on the gospel of John. People often look at the early church and say, well, they


were talking about Christological debates and Trinitarian debates and they never really got on to


things like justification. And what Cyril shows is it's all one in his head. He's saying, get


Christ right and you get the gospel right. And so what Cyril was doing is he was taking out a


theological Nestorianism which imagined that the eternal son comes alongside the man Jesus to


help him out. And so that's what salvation is. It's being helped along to do a better job by grace.


Grace is just like Red Bull for you to just energize you to do better. And what Cyril wanted to


show and he shows so beautifully is no. In scripture, we have one Lord Jesus Christ. God


becomes incarnate and takes flesh. Not merely coming alongside us to help us along a bit. He


accomplishes salvation in himself. And therefore, because we have one Lord Jesus Christ, the word made


flesh, therefore salvation in Christ is completely achieved. He is an all-sufficient savior.


So how about number four? I would move along the African coast now to Augusta. I was wondering


when he would show up. Yeah. And I feel spoiled for choice as to where to go. If I have to pick one


I'm going to pick his anti-Polation writing, particularly on the Spirit and the latter.


And what Augustin does so brilliantly there is show how Pelagianism misunderstands God.


And he says that Pelagius, your problem is that you are using God. So Pelagius by a salvation by


works is seeking to buy God off. So God is not enjoyed as the treasure of the gospel. He's the


gatekeeper who you pay to get the real reward which is paradise for yourself. And Augustin says,


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