Skip to comments.Two Fathers [Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna]
Posted on 02/26/2010 6:24:33 AM PST by marshmallow
I have a pile of books in my study for review, and if people are kind enough to send me a book I try to read it and review it if I can. I also have a belief that I should read every book someone sends me rather than just the books I want to read because this is the way God cracks open my clam like closed mind and heart just a little bit more.
Thus the splendid commentary on Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp of Smyrna comes my way. Like most converts, I'm a fan of the fathers. I mean, their splendiferous names alone are rather admirable. These guys are not called Harry Jones or Bill Button. Ignatius of Antioch. Polycarp of Smyrna. There's a certain rolling sense of thunder about them. They are to be reckoned with. They demand bold type. Their icons are august and awesome. Bearded and serious they are...the are the Dumbledores, the Gandalfs, the wizened wise wizards of the gallery of saints. They are the patristical patriarchs.
Enough purple prose. You know their stories or if you don't you should. Ignatius comes along as bishop of Antioch just a few years after Peter himself was there. Some say he is the third bishop after Peter, and that Peter himself appointed him. He is one of the originals, and the story goes that he was one of the children Jesus took up and blessed. "Let the little children come unto me and forbid them not." If only he had recorded the story in his letters, "You know my dear children," he could have written, "I still remember to this day when our Lord Jesus Christ the king of glory took me in his arms and blessed me. Who can forget that tender voice? Who, once blessed, could forget the look of eternity in his eyes?"
Alas, no such record exists, but he did write six splendid letters to the churches while he was on his way to Rome to be devoured by the wild beasts during the terrible persecutions. These letters till exist, and give us a beautiful and simple insight into the early church. How I wish that all our Evangelical brethren who want their church to be 'just like the early church' would take the trouble to read these letters so they would learn just what the early church was really like. Here you find a clear and uncompromising insistence on the centrality of the episcopacy, an established priesthood and diaconate, a clear understanding of our Lord's divinity and the doctrine of the Real Presence.
Then we have a letter that Ignatius wrote to Polycarp of Smyrna, and Polycarp's letter to the Philippians. These letters from such holy men ooze the apostolic spirit. They are vivid accounts of the concerns of those early Christians, and as such they have been held as precious documents by all who love the church from the earliest times.
Now what about this book? It gathers all these letters together and gives us biographical goodies about both these patriarchs. Kenneth Howell is a well known convert from Presbyterianism. A great scholar, he offers these new translations of the Ignatian and Polycarpian letters along with introductory essays and a verse by verse commentary. The handsome book has been produced by Coming Home Resources and is available here .
What I liked about this book is that once more I was able to spend time with these two venerable and holy men. The beauty of letters (rather than theological tomes) is that they are written by real people to real people in real situations. An epistle is a very incarnational form of literature. It's immediate and it's amazing to me how vital and relevant and alive these letters are despite being 2000 years old. If you have a bookish sort of Evangelical friend, why not get him this book and challenge him to discover what the early church was like. Then get into a discussion about it. It's cool to think that these 2000 year old fathers might help in 2010 evangelization.
I'm not through with the book yet because I'm eating it like an apple: small bites and chewing long. I recommend you do the same.
No, that's your biased interpretation of his words.
If you want "exactly what the words are saying," quote them.
Since Scripture does not say that, your statement is false...it fails under the weight of its own circular illogic.
Graham Machen, founder of your church, never confused black and white.
He always made sure they each found their way to their own water fountains.
“Hierarchical Church” is simply the church who gave you ther gospel; yeah, if you believe the gospel you won’t believe the Protestant lies, no matter what color they seem.
Now, is there a reason why we discuss St. Ignatius of Loyola when the topic is St. Ignatius of Antioch?
Starting to get a bit ragged round the edges now, Doc.
No silly.........the one which Paul takes about in Scripture!! Remember.........Scripture. Read the Letter to the Ephesians!! The bride of Christ!
Being subject one to another, in the fear of Christ. 22 Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: 23 Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh. 32 This is a great sacrament; but I speak in Christ and in the church. Eph; 5, 21-25., 31-33.
First of all, why are you putting "easy" in quotes? I didn't say the word "easy." I said "children understand the Gospel." Do you deny this?
Are you taught that Scripture is difficult to understand? Is that why the Roman Catholic apologist doesn't enjoy reading the Bible and prefers instead the "black is white" rigmarole of the papacy?
The Bible tells us that faith is able to be perceived and received by children. But you would prefer I don't believe that and instead believe you that what is important is alarmingly difficult to comprehend.
Christ says otherwise. Follow Christ, Marshmallow. His "yoke is easy, and his burden is light."
"Be not afraid; only believe." -- Mark 5:36
I deny that description fits the Roman Catholic church.
It's also Lent and I must do penance......LOL!
Wow. That is great! I may have to steal that one sometime. If I don't give you attribution, nudge me, will ya? 8~)
If you wish to write an article to discuss the claim, then go ahead - but do not carry the same issue from thread to thread. That accomplishes nothing but trouble.
Sounds vaguely segregationist, or anti-miscegenationist.
Did you read Peter's words about Paul's letters?
Did you see the following four words....difficult.......to.....be ....understood??
Would you like me to post them again??
Why not?? You can never have too much of a good thing!!
And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.
I am not carrying anything from thread to thread.
Redeeming the reputation of Pope Benedict’s father (no matter how impersonally it is phrased) somehow is trouble now?
That’s a sickening kind of Stasi attitude.