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Posts Tagged ‘Church Fathers’

Did the Early Church Believe the Doctrines of Grace?

There are a number of websites (some quite terrible, others a bit scholarly, yet equally terrible) that attempt to dissuade investigative readers to believe that, except for Augustine, or at least until the “time of Augustine”, that the early church did not believe in the depravity of man, in unconditional election and/or a sovereign predestination, a limited atonement in extent of Jesus Christ, grace that is irresistible, and the final perseverance of the saints. This is a tragedy. Why? With a hearty consulting of primary sources, readers can certainly find the “infant stages” of all these Gospel doctrines throughout the writings of the early church. And not only these can be found in “infant stages” but they can be found quite specifically in many of the early writers.

Read the entire article here.

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Michael Haykin on the Importance of the Church Fathers

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Fred Zaspel, at Books At a Glance, recently interviewed Michael A.G. Haykin on the Church Fathers. Haykin, a Credo Magazine contributor, is Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church (Crossway, 2011).

Here is Zaspel’s fascinating interview with Haykin:

Books At a Glance (Fred Zaspel):

Let’s begin on a personal level. Tell us something of your own interests and studies in the ancient church. Wasn’t this your original area of Christian academic interest? How did that come about?

Haykin:

I did begin with an interest in the Ancient Church. I am sure my love for the Graeco-Roman world that goes back to first grade (yes, first grade) had something to do with it. I have always loved history, but what sparked the fascination with the Patristic era was the request by my theology prof, Dr Jakob Jocz, the Lithuanian Jewish believer and a superb theologian, to write an essay on Novatian’s De Trinitate. I was hooked, and especially so when I studied with Dr John Egan, a Jesuit expert on Gregory Nazianzus. Egan had gotten his doctorate under Charles Kannengiesser, the Athanasius expert, who was the last doctoral student of Jean Daniélou, the great architect of patristic ressourcement. This is a great heritage that I have received from these men.

 

 

 

Read the entire interview here.

We hold to the good writings of the church fathers, while our enemies hold to their errors

John%20Calvin%20114. It is a calumny to represent us as opposed to the Fathers, (I mean the ancient writers of a purer age,) as if the Fathers were supporters of their impiety. Were the contest to be decided by such authority (to speak in the most moderate terms,) the better part of the victory would be ours. While there is much that is admirable and wise in the writings of those Fathers, and while in some things it has fared with them as with ordinary men; these pious sons, forsooth, with the peculiar acuteness of intellect, and judgment, and soul, which belongs to them, adore only their slips and errors, while those things which are well said they either overlook, or disguise, or corrupt, so that it may be truly said their only care has been to gather dross among gold. Then, with dishonest glamour, they assail us as enemies and despisers of the Fathers. So far are we from despising them, that if this were the proper place, it would give us no trouble to support the greater part of the doctrines which we now hold by their suffrages.

Still, in studying their writings, we have endeavored to remember, (1 Corinthians 3:21-23; see also Augustin. Ep. 28,) that all things are ours, to serve, not Lord it over us, but that we are Christ’s only, and must obey him in all things without exception. He who does not draw this distinction will not have any fixed principles in religion: for those holy men were ignorant of many things, are often opposed to each other, and are sometimes at variance with themselves.

John Calvin-Prefatory Address to Francis King of the French-Institutes of the Christian Religion