- The doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation are basically hammered out in the early church. By tracing the controversies, we can learn how and why the creedal formulations of these doctrines is important.
- Church Fathers worked and wrote in a mission context. The pre-Constantinian context of much patristic theology offers a paradigm of how Christians can operate and do mission as a minority in a hostile or indifferent society.
- The very alien nature of the world in which the Fathers operated challenges us to think more critically about ourselves in our own context.
- Protestants cannot claim to understand the historical development of their own tradition unless they come to terms with patristic theology: Luther and Calvin were deeply read and heavily influenced by patristic writings.
- The Church Fathers have a more constant concern for the poor — an emphasis sometimes lacking in contemporary evangelicalism.
- The Church Fathers placed a prominent emphasis on the resurrection — not just Good Friday, but also Easter — not just the cross, but also the empty tomb. This too is is sometimes missing in the church today.
- You should read them because almost every modern heresy and threat to the gospel will attempt to appeal to one or more Church Fathers as an authority and means of legitimising their position or appeal for orthodoxy.
- The Church Fathers were closer to the times and cultures of the Bible and show us how the early church interpreted the Bible. If we use and interpret the Bible differently, we must have very solid reasons.
- The Church Fathers had a very high view of church; in our time and age of individualism, many have a very low view of church; what can we learn from the early church?
- Only together with all saints can we know the depth of the love of God; ignoring centuries of writings of the early church is at our own expense as it diminishes our love for God.
zaterdag 17 mei 2014
10 Reasons why to read the Church Fathers