Archive for the ‘William Cunningham’ Category

If heresies and offenses come, Christendom will only profit thereby

October 17, 2009

If heresies and offenses come, Christendom will only profit thereby, for they make Christians to read diligently the Holy Writ and ponder the same with industry…Thus through heretics and offenses we are kept alert and stouthearted and amid wrangles and battles understand God’s word better than before.


The uses of theological controversy are, to expose error, and to produce and diffuse clear and correct opinions upon all points of doctrine.

It is the church’s imperative duty to aim at these objects, and controversy seems to be as indispensable with a view to the second as to the first of them. But it is an evil and an abuse, when the exposure of error is made to serve as a substitute for the realization and application of what is admitted to be true.

William Cunningham, “The Reformers and the doctrine of assurance” in The Reformers and the Theology of the Reformation, p. 148