Church father help


#1

I am in a running discussion with a Protestant evangelical who says the reality of the early Church being Catholic is “tenuous at best”. I am not familiar with the writings of the early church. Does anyone know of writings or books or web sites that show beyond a doubt that the Fathers were practicing Catholics? If I can show him this it will support my position. He is even doubting the Council of Carthage 397 AD was a Catholic meeting…
Thanks,


#2

Try Catholic Answers under Fathers Know Best. Also this site www.newadvent.org/fathers/ . Look at the Didache, some of the earliest Christian writings.

A great series of books is The Faith of the Early Fathers by William A. Jurgens. It’s a three volume series.


#3

The best site I know of for this is the Corunum Catholic Apologetic Web Page.


#4

[quote=moira]Try Catholic Answers under Fathers Know Best. Also this site www.newadvent.org/fathers/ . Look at the Didache, some of the earliest Christian writings.

A great series of books is The Faith of the Early Fathers by William A. Jurgens. It’s a three volume series.
[/quote]

You might also point out to him that the doxology that they use on the end of the Lord’s prayer “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.” is taken form the Didache and is not in the greek texts. Cute that it found it’s way into the Lord’s prayer among Protestants, who love their KJV which added this to the text.
Just one more Hmmmmmm… :hmmm:


#5

*The Mass of the Early Christians * by Mike Aquilina should do the trick. Quotes the Early Church Fathers (and a few heretics to boot!) to show how the Christians of the first two centuries AD celebrated the mass and their strong emphasis on the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Paul


#6

Thank you all of you for your assistance and guidance I dropped by a Catholic book store on the way home a picked up a few books $$$$$ but I am reviewing the webs you guys shared to.
Thanks again.


#7

[quote=eleusis]I am in a running discussion with a Protestant evangelical who says the reality of the early Church being Catholic is “tenuous at best”. I am not familiar with the writings of the early church. Does anyone know of writings or books or web sites that show beyond a doubt that the Fathers were practicing Catholics? If I can show him this it will support my position. He is even doubting the Council of Carthage 397 AD was a Catholic meeting…
Thanks,
[/quote]

You can read any of Ignatius’ writings if you want to see a good Catholic. He talks about following the bishops in everything. Plus he was a diciple of the apostle John. He talks about unity and heretics alot. He is also good to look at to see the Eucharist.

You can read Irenaeus. He traced all the first thirteen bishops of Rome in his third book against heresies and he said that all bishops should follow the church of Rome because of its preeminent authority. In the next chapter he talks about the Catholic church being the only church and about how everyone should be part of it. He defendss the Eucharist.

Justin Martyr is good at defending the Eucharist. I don’t know his views as well so I can’t give much.

You can see many quotes from all the church fathers on the Catholic.com apologetics articles.

You can search on google and find the views of the church fathers on the different doctrines. This site here gives some church fathers quotes for some of the doctrines.

cin.org/users/jgallegos/contents.htm


#8

Does anyone know which of the “church fathers” will be respected by a protestant? It would seem to me if I quote St. Soandso then I am using a Catholic to bolster a Catholic view but if I know that St. Convert is respected in evangelical circles then he is who I should focus on.

Any input?
With great respect for your collective assistance,


#9

I have no idea what respect or weight Protestants of different denominations give to the writings of the Church Fathers, but to disregard them in studying early Church history, sounds like trying to write American history without regard to the writings of the founding fathers.


#10

Rich:

Protestants in general look with suspicion on pretty much anybody before Martin Luther. We used to live in Eastern Pennsylvania, and there was an enormous Christian (Protestant) book store in town, the size of some WalMarts. I remember going in there once and asking if they had a section on Patristics. The employee had no idea what Patristics were. So I asked for “classic writings, you know, of great early thinkers.” So he directed me to their classic writings section - Luther, Calvin, Wesley, … you get the idea. In my experience, if you cite anybody after Nicea, they will say the source was already corrupted by the paganizing influence of Constantine; if you cite a pre-Nicene source, they’ll say the records of the opposing views were destroyed by the church after Nicea, or that the pre-Nicene documents you are citing were altered by the corrupted church later, such that it is no longer possible to know what these folks actually believed and taught. Of course, our Muslim and Mormon friends take that logic to the next step and say the bibles we have were also altered beyond recognition by the corrupt early church, hence necessitating the sending of a new “prophet” to set things straight. But most Protestants, for no internally consistent logical reason I’ve ever been able to detect, will not go quite so far - they may insist that none of the other early writings that have come down to us are reliable, but they’ll hold to the bible that has come down through the same people as being the utterly reliable word of God Himself.


#11

[quote=eleusis]Does anyone know which of the “church fathers” will be respected by a protestant? It would seem to me if I quote St. Soandso then I am using a Catholic to bolster a Catholic view but if I know that St. Convert is respected in evangelical circles then he is who I should focus on.

Any input?
With great respect for your collective assistance,
[/quote]

Very few protestants have any respect for any of the church fathers. However, some would look upon Augustine as being good. They are very selective of what they take from Augustine though. Calvinists use Augustine to prove there idea of predestination, but they reject his truely Catholic beliefs like the true presence and the reject the deuterocanonicals which Augustine was a firm suporter of. They also reject the authority of the church, which Augustine was a firm supporter of. He said something like, “if the church did not tell me to I would not believe in scripture”(Paraphrase) Maybe someone can give the exact quote.


#12

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