Who is your favorite Early Church Father?

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Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
Besides the Apostles, who is your favorite, or a list of your favorite Early Church Fathers. Please explain why they are your favorite. My favorites are Augustine for his clarity in regard to original sin, despite his excessive allegory at times; and John Chrysostom for his expository preaching.
 

Bald_Brother

Puritan Board Freshman
Jerome, because no man that I have read in the history of the church had such amazingly beautiful rhetoric. His insults were beautiful!

Very few days have elapsed since the holy brethren of Rome sent to me the treatises of a certain Jovinian with the request that I would reply to the follies contained in them, and would crush with evangelical and apostolic vigour the Epicurus of Christianity. I read but could not in the least comprehend them. I began therefore to give them closer attention, and to thoroughly sift not only words and sentences, but almost every single syllable; for I wished first to ascertain his meaning, and then to approve, or refute what he had said. But the style is so barbarous, and the language so vile and such a heap of blunders, that I could neither understand what he was talking about, nor by what arguments he was trying to prove his points. At one moment he is all bombast, at another he grovels: from time to time he lifts himself up, and then like a wounded snake finds his own effort too much for him. Not satisfied with the language of men, he attempts something loftier. (Against Jovinianus)
Wherefore cease to worry me and to overwhelm me with your scrolls. Spare at least your money with which you hire secretaries and copyists, employing the same persons to write for you and to applaud you. Possibly their praise is due to the fact that they make a profit out of writing for you. If you wish to exercise your mind, hand yourself over to the teachers of grammar and rhetoric, learn logic, have yourself instructed in the schools of the philosophers; and when you have learned all these things you will perhaps begin to hold your tongue. And yet I am acting foolishly in seeking teachers for one who is competent to teach everyone, and in trying to limit the utterance of one who does not know how to speak yet cannot remain silent. The old Greek proverb is quite true A lyre is of no use to an ass. For my part I imagine that even your name was given you out of contrariety. For your whole mind slumbers and you actually snore, so profound is the sleep— or rather the lethargy— in which you are plunged. (to Vigilantius)
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
Augustine, probably because I work at an institute studying him.

However, I adore the Cappadocians and Maximus the Confessor.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I have loved reading the martyrdom of Polycarp. But I think Jerome is probably someone I have appreciated the most because of his confirmation that there are 66 books.
 

Reepicheep

Puritan Board Freshman
It's hard to top Augustine, however, I have recently gained an appreciation for Ambrose of Milan. Augustine credits him with being used of God in his conversion. I just taught on him for a Church History survey I'm doing at church. How he became Bishop of Milan is quite entertaining.

Ambrose of Milan on Gold
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
Augustine and/or Bede are usually considered the last.
Actually, there is no cut off date for the "fathers," although I usually hear Gregory the Great (540-604), one of the 4 Latin "Doctors of the Church") as the last of the Western Fathers and the beginning of the medieval church. The honorary title "last of the fathers" goes to Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). Patrologia Graeca goes up to the 16th century, and Patrologia Latina goes... pretty far. I think Innocent III is about the last.
 

tommyb

Puritan Board Freshman
If we are going to include Augustine as an "early" church father then certainly Augustine. Second would be Tertullian just because I think he was the best writer of the bunch.
 

baron

Puritan Board Graduate
Athanasius, I read a book about him once. It truly seemed it was Athananius against the world. Even though the Athanasius creed confuses me at times.
 

baron

Puritan Board Graduate
The Athanasian Creed was most likely not written by Athanasius but several centuries later (though it reflects his teaching).
Did not know that. In fact this is the first time I ever heard anyone say that he did not write it. Can you tell me is it true, that he was black and a dwarf?
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
The Athanasian Creed was most likely not written by Athanasius but several centuries later (though it reflects his teaching).
Did not know that. In fact this is the first time I ever heard anyone say that he did not write it. Can you tell me is it true, that he was black and a dwarf?
This was discovered in the 17th Century. There are no extant copies in Greek (the language in which Athanasius wrote). The creed is unmentioned before the 6th century, and its theology contains filioque, which was only becoming an issue around the 6th century. Also, it uses Augustine's wording.
 

Rufus

Puritan Board Junior
The Athanasian Creed was most likely not written by Athanasius but several centuries later (though it reflects his teaching).
Did not know that. In fact this is the first time I ever heard anyone say that he did not write it. Can you tell me is it true, that he was black and a dwarf?
He was black, and he was short, although I'm not sure if he was a dwarf.
 
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