The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Church Fathers: Spirit Filled Anti-Semites, Misogynists, and Racists

Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting disturbing excerpts from the works of those known as Church Fathers. I wonder why this isn’t a topic of discussion in seminary? These individuals are revered by many as “godly” men. Yeah right.

Church Fathers, a miniature from Svyatoslav's ...

If you’re not familiar with the term Church Fathers, here’s a definition:

Those persons whose views the Church considered to be foundational for the development of early Christian orthodoxy and spirituality. The time of the Fathers is classically divided into three periods: the foundational years (until the Council of Nicaea [325]); the formational period (until the Council of Chalcedon [451]); and the decline of the patristic era (in the Latin Church, until the death of Gregory the Great [604] or perhaps Isidore of Seville [636]; in the Greek Church, until the death of John of Damascus [749]). Viewed as founders of the mainline ecclesiastical tradition, the category of Fathers includes apostles, bishops, martyrs, apologists, heresiologists, theologians, and historians.

The authority of the Fathers is based upon their support of the tradition. The teaching of any specific Father which diverges from the tradition bears no particular weight unless approved by a general council. The Church accepts the unanimous agreement of the Fathers with respect to scriptural exegesis as faith without error. The balance of their combined teachings in theology and doctrine, especially when the Fathers are taken in relation to one another, is given specific consideration in matters of modern ecclesiasical debate.

Jefford, C. N. (2000). Church Fathers. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), Eerdmans dictionary of the Bible (D. N. Freedman, Ed.) (255). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.

January 24, 2012 Posted by | Church History, Theology | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Recommendation: The Pre-Nicene New Testament (Robert M. Price)

Not until AD 367, forty-two years after the famous Council of Nicea, would Saint Athanasius begin sorting through and determining which works should be granted special status. Prior to that time, Christians had recognized only the Hebrew Bible as scripture, all other works being seen as expressions rather than as sources of faith. Out of political necessity, and for the sake of unity and order in the church, canonization was harshly imposed on the churches. Professor Price offers the earliest extant versions of fifty-four books, all of which were once considered sacred, including both the New Testament books and lesser known works.

  • Hardcover: 1248 pages
  • Publisher: Signature Books; First Edition edition (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560851945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560851943

January 1, 2012 Posted by | Biblical Scholarship, Books (Recommended), Church History | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Christian Sermon: Commonly Known As Second Clement (Part 2)

2. “Rejoice, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and shout, you who have no labor pains; for the deserted woman has more children than she who has a husband.” Now when he said, “Rejoice, O barren woman, who bears no children,” he spoke of us, for our church was barren before children were given to it. (2) And when he said, “shout, you who have no labor pains,” he means this: we should offer up our prayers to God sincerely, and not grow weary like women in labor. (3) And he said, “for the deserted woman has more children than she who has a husband,” because our people seemed to be abandoned by God, but now that we have believed, we have become more numerous than those who seemed to have God. (4) And another Scripture says, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (5) He means this: that it is necessary to save those who are perishing. (6) For this is a great and marvelous thing, to support not those things that are standing but those that are falling. (7) So also Christ willed to save what was perishing, and he saved many when he came and called us who were already perishing.

Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (107–109). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

September 11, 2010 Posted by | Church History, Sermon | , , , | Leave a comment

Ancient Christian Sermon: Commonly Known As Second Clement (Part 1)

The date of this ancient sermon is still unknown, though it’s believed to be late first century – early second century.

1. Brothers, we ought to think of Jesus Christ, as we do of God, as “Judge of the living and the dead.” And we ought not to belittle our salvation, (2) for when we belittle him, we also hope to receive but little. And those who listen as though these are small matters do wrong, and we also do wrong, when we fail to acknowledge from where and by whom and to what place we were called, and how much suffering Jesus Christ endured for our sake. (3) What repayment, then, shall we give to him, or what fruit worthy of what he has given to us? And how many blessings do we owe him? (4) For he has given us the light; as a father he has called us sons; he saved us when we were perishing. (5) What praise, then, shall we give him, or what repayment in return for what we received? (6) Our minds were blinded, and we worshiped stones and wood and gold and silver and brass, the works of men; indeed, our whole life was nothing else but death. So while we were thus wrapped in darkness and our vision was filled with this thick mist, we recovered our sight, by his will laying aside the cloud wrapped around us. (7) For he had mercy upon us and in his compassion he saved us when we had no hope of salvation except that which comes from him, and even though he had seen in us much deception and destruction. (8) For he called us when we did not exist, and out of nothing he willed us into being.

Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (107). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

September 4, 2010 Posted by | Church History, Sermon | , , , | Leave a comment