Polycarp: “Away with the Atheists!”

For various reasons, it is sometimes difficult to gauge the accuracy of ancient uninspired literature. The ancient methods and customs of writing were often different than they are today. Scholars have spent a lot of time and energy working to learn how accurate various ancient sources are. One such example is the Martyrdom of Polycarp.… Continue reading Polycarp: “Away with the Atheists!”

Didymus the Blind

Young Among the great church fathers stands Didymus, who was born in Alexandria around 313 AD.  When he was just four years old he lost his sight.  Although his eyes didn’t work, his mind sure did: he taught himself to read by way of feeling carved letters.  He also had a photographic memory and was… Continue reading Didymus the Blind

The Psalter Knows Christ (Athanasius)

Some of our readers may remember how Luther and Calvin loved the Psalms and spoke of them often.  Luther said that the Psalms were a mini Bible.  Calvin said that all the emotions of the soul are found in the Psalter.  In saying these things, neither Luther nor Calvin were being novel or cutting edge. … Continue reading The Psalter Knows Christ (Athanasius)

Doctrinal Hair-Splitting and the Early Church (Young)

I've mentioned this helpful patristics resource here before: From Nicaea to Chalcedon by Frances Young. It's a great study on some of the church fathers and their teaching (e.g. Athanasius, Basil, Cyril, and so forth). One early church leader Young discusses is Gregory Nazianzen, who is called "Gregory the Theologian."  Gregory was a defender of… Continue reading Doctrinal Hair-Splitting and the Early Church (Young)

A Distinction Between God and Matter (Athenagoras)

I've mentioned the 2nd century church father Athenagoras on this blog several times before (on theology here, on violence and abortion here, and on homosexuality here).  One helpful section of his treatise called "A Plea for the Christians" is where Athenagoras defends the fact that Christians do not worship matter, but God, who is separate… Continue reading A Distinction Between God and Matter (Athenagoras)