Thursday, March 2, 2017

Review: The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 2

The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 2 The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 2 by Alexander Roberts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A good volume that consists of the early church leader's in defense of the Christian faith and the repudiation of pagan religious belief and Greek philosophy through the use of Scripture and Greek philosophy. It is interesting that the Christian writers used the word and Greek concept of "gnostic"/"gnosis" when making a distinction between the true gnostic or gnosis who were the Christians and the Scriptures, in opposition to the false gnostic or gnosis who were the pagans with their pagan beliefs.

The early fathers in this volume made use predominantly of the philosophic concepts used in their day to teach and explain Christian teachings in order to portray the latter as being beyond human concepts but not beyond reason. They also emphasized conduct appropriate to Christian faith. Apparently, without necessarily excluding faith, they made repentance and corresponding conduct essential to possessing salvation and spoke little of faith (apparently, it may have been assumed as reflected in repentance and right living?). It would be hard to find the Calvinist concept of salvation by "faith alone" in the these writings.

I must admit, I did skip of few pages finding them either redundant or uninteresting, for example, pages 253-291 of the "Instructor." The topics entitled were things like, "On the Use of Ointments and Crowns," "On Sleep," "On True Beauty," etc. I was finding subjects read before these to be boring so I decided to skip the rest, at least, until I got the the topic of "Religion in Ordinary Life," "Going to Church," "Out of Church," and further more interesting subjects I thought relevant even for today.

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