Make Use of Any Human Author

This exceptional Richard Sibbes quote was posted over at Miscellanies today (to contribute, I added a photo):


Puritan Richard Sibbes, in a short book titled A Christian’s Portion [Works, 4:2–38], fleshed out 1 Corinthians 3:21–23. At one place he makes the point that the Church possesses all truth, even that of non-Christian authors. In one passage Sibbes writes [page 18]:

Again, ‘all things are ours’ [1 Cor. 3:21]. Therefore truth, wheresoever we find it, is ours. We may read [a] heathen author. Truth comes from God, wheresoever we find it, and it is ours, it is the church’s. We may take it from them as a just possession. Those truths that they have, there may be good use of those truths; but we must not use them for ostentation. For that is to do as the Israelites; when they had gotten treasure out of Egypt, they made a calf, an idol of them. So we must not make an idol of these things. But truth, wheresoever we find it, is the church’s. Therefore with a good conscience we may make use of any human author. I thought good to touch this, because some make a scruple of it.

Yes, some do even to this day.

HT: Tony Reinke


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