Ignatius << I’m interested in finding out if there are any early Christian writings that indicate support for any of the following ideas: >>
Best Protestant books on these topics:
<< Sola Scriptura >>
See Holy Scripture: Ground and Pillar of Our Faith (2001) by Webster/King, they quote many Fathers extolling the primacy of Scripture, that tradition or Councils are a “secondary interpreter” of Scripture, or that “tradition” are just customs or practices, and they claim that is the Fathers all believing Sola Scriptura. I thought Sola meant “only” or “alone” but anyway…
BTW, my review on Amazon.com still doing the damage:
Most Helpful Customer Review is still – 58 of 74 people found the following review helpful – (I gave it 3 stars for effort) Ground and Pillar of Whose Faith? Volume 1, since December 6, 2001
<< Sola Fide >>
The phrase was used by some of the Fathers: e.g. Ambrosiaster. But at the same time those Fathers have a very “Catholic” soteriology. Ambrosiaster (c. 366-384), commenting on 1 Corinthians 1:4 – “God has decreed that a person who believes in Christ can be saved without works. By faith alone he receives the forgiveness of sins.” (cited by Gerald Bray, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT: 1-2 Corinthians, page 6, other examples given by Bray).
The original Latin: “Datam dicit gratiam a Deo in Christo Jesu, quae gratia sic data est in Christo Jesu; quia hoc constitutum est a Deo, ut qui credit in Christum, salvus sit sine opere: sola fide gratis accipit remissionem peccatorum.” (MIGNE PL 17:185)
Sounds fairly Protestant, until you read what Ambrosiaster also said:
“God by his mercy has saved us through Christ. By his grace, we, born again in Baptism, John 3:5ff; Titus 3:5ff in all the Fathers], have received abundantly of his Holy Spirit, so that relying on good works, with him helping us in all things, we might be able thus to lay hold of the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven.” (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Titus 3:7 cited by Robert B. Eno “Some Patristic Views on the Relationship of Faith and Works in Justification” in Justification By Faith: Lutherans and Catholics in Dialogue VII , page 115)
“For justification, faith alone in love is necessary. For faith must be fortified with brotherly love for the perfection of the believer.” (Ambrosiaster, Commentary on Galatians 5:6, ibid, page 116)
And a comment from Anglical evangelical Alister McGrath:
“Like many of his contemporaries, for example, he [Ambrosiaster] appears to be obsessed with the idea that man can acquire merit before God, and the associated idea that certain labours are necessary to attain this.” (Alister McGrath, IUSTITIA DEI, volume 1, page 22 – his reference is to Souter’s The Earliest Latin Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul [Oxford, 1927] pages 65, 72-73, 80).
And Protestant scholar Robert Eno in the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue on Ambrosiaster:
“Despite our initial justification by God’s mercy, our subsequent life, our works, will determine whether we are justified or damned ultimately. As can be seen, Ambrosiaster has no difficulty with merit language for the justified person. Having been washed, we must merit receiving the promise.” (Eno, in Justification By Faith, page 117)
<< that the Eucharist is not the actual Body and Blood of Christ >>
You won’t find that, but you will find all the Fathers using such terms as “symbol” or “figure” or “anti-type” but they mean the “symbols” ARE what they symbolize. For example, St. Cyril of Jerusalem:
“Let us, then, with full confidence, partake of the Body and Blood of Christ. For in the figure of bread His Body is given to you, and in the figure of wine His Blood is given to you, so that by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, you might become united in body and blood with Him. For thus we become Christ-bearers, His Body and Blood being distributed through our members. And thus it is that we become, according to the blessed Peter, sharers of the divine nature [2 Pet 1:4].” (Catechetical Lectures 22 [Mystagogic 4], 3; also 23 [Mystagogic 5], 20 for the word “antitype”)
However, Cyril of Jerusalem was also probably the most explicit about the “propitiatory nature” of the Eucharist sacrifice and the miraculous “change” that takes place (see Cat Lect 19 [Mystagogic 1], 7; 22 [Mystagogic 4], 2,6,9; 23 [Mystagogic 5], 7; 23 [Mystagogic 5], 8, 9, 10).