To non-Catholics. Simple thread. Read The Early Church Fathers. That’s it. period.
I’d also recommend that we read the Bible, it’s useful also.
So, which Church fathers? There were a lot of them…
To assist anyone who may have an interest but does not know where to look, I have a site for a Protestant Christian book distributor who make available several selections (mostly by Hendrickson). I hope that this will be seen as a non-threatening source for your edification.
I can personally vouch for suitability of the multi-volume set edited by Philip Schaff: the Ante-Nicene, Nicene and post-Nicene fathers. I purchased it myself several years ago from this source.
I also would recommend Paulist Press for an outstanding selection of writings of the Early Church Fathers, as well as many others spiritual and theological greats.
Start with the earliest Fathers (Apostolic Fathers) and then go on from there in historical order. You also might want to read the Didache. As for the order of the early christian writings this site puts them in order of when everything was written.
As for other sites that have the Early Church fathers try new advent, and the CCEL Website
As for books, I really don’t know what protestants have available, but Mike Aquilina has a book “The Fathers of the Church” which is a nice introduction to the first christian teachers. It doesn’t go deep, but just an introduction, about their lives and a little into their writings.
If you want to see the where the Roman Catholics get their teachings on key Catholic teachings from the Fathers thy this early Church Fathers web site.
As for the Bible, I really like the blue letter bible web site.
Some Christians claim, “The bible is all I need,” but this notion is not taught in the bible itself. In fact, the Bible teaches the contrary idea (2Pet. 1:20-21, 3:15-16). The bible alone theory was not believed by anyone in the early church.
It is new, having arisen only in the 1500’s during the Protestant Reformation. The theory is a “tradition of men” that nullifies the Word of God, distorts the true role of The Bible, and undermines the authority of the church Jesus established (Mark 7:1-8).
Although popular with many “Bible Christian” churches, the “Bible alone” theory simply does not work in practice. Historical experience disproves it. Each year we see additional splintering among “Bible -believing” religions.
Today there are tens of thousands of competing denominations, each insisting its interpretation of the Bible the correct one. The resulting divisions have caused untold confusion among millions of sincere but misled Christians.
We know for sure: The Holy Spirit cannot be the author of this confusion (1Cor. 14:33). God cannot lead people to contradictory beliefs because 'His truth is one. The conclusion?? The “Bible alone” theory must be false.
Been there. Done that. Still Protestant. That’s it. Period.
I guess it didn’t penetrate. I doubt if your heart and soul was in your readings. You are here because you are curious about our faith. We give you answers one after another, scripture quotes, fact upon fact, but you still don’t get it. I pray that you will. You are a very stubborn man.
I think you’re wrong about me, but then, you really don’t know me at all. All you’ve seen of me is a discussion I had with CestusDei which got completely out of hand.
Here’s what I am not:
I am not a Fundamentalist.
I am not an anti-catholic; I hold the Catholic Church in very high regard.
I was Catholic once upon a time. In fact I was a Jesuit candidate for a number of years. I have a good to very good apprehension of Catholic doctrine, I am strongest in history which would include a survey of patristics though I don’t pretend to be an expert.
Many around here assume a lot about me just like they tend to do about most Protestants who come here. I suspect that this is because Karl Keating and others have done such an excellent job of educating them about fundamentalists that they want desperately to try out their kung fu on a real fundamentalist and when they can’t find one the temptation to assume that a mere evangelical is, in fact a fundamentalist and to behave with them as though they were is too much to resist.
SO, in a nutshell, assume less, trust more; I’m not a monster though I admit that I get tired of jingoism very quickly and that I have a bad temper.
That’s because CestusDei has had enough of you people carrying on about the priest scandal. CestusDei is a good righteous man, giving his life up for God. Can you say that??
One more thing about this scandal and I am done because it gets pretty stale…no attorney has made more money than Jeff Anderson. Three years ago it was estimated by The Associated Press that he’d won 60 million dollars in settlements from Catholic dioceses. there were many money hungry non-Catholic attorneys who waited for this moment. Many priests were innocent. Few men committed suicide, not by their molestations, but by their guilt of not telling the truth.
I don’t doubt any of that and it is truly tragic, but it doesn;t mean the CC didn;t have a real problem that it failed completely to address for nearly a generation, all it means is that people are still sinful and selfish.
I said much of the worst of what I said to CD before I even knew he was a priest and, I have to be honest, judging by the way he behaved I’d be lying if I said I had no doubts about his claim to be one, he’s certainly not like any priest I’ve ever known. I was taught that priests didn’t have the luxury of bitterness for any reason, they are called to be “men for others” in every instance, but that’s neither here not there.
In Ahimsa’s new post on the Haggard scandal I tried to articulate for Evangelicals very much the same of what I would pray for your church in her troubles.
Priests are not men to be called for “others”, but called from God. Priests are the umbilical cord to Jesus.
It’s ok Steadfast, I am sure your also a good man, stubborn, but good.
You may have read a Protestant compilation of the writings. I have one called “A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs” that leaves out all of the parts where the Early Fathers write about the eucharist being the actual body and blood of Jesus.
To get the full story you need a compilation by a Catholic publisher.
I am Lutheran.
We believe in the Real Presence.
And yes, I am aware that the early church taught this.
You believe in it, but don’t have it. Sorry.
So you never tire of telling me.
I’m just really curious, have Lutherans abandoned that silly silly idea that the Pope was or is the Antichrist? :rolleyes:
I did. I’m in RCIA now.
We haven’t entirely abandoned it but we tend now to interpreted it to refer to the office rather than to the individual.
Though I would point out not in the same way the Church Fathers believed it as (as still affirmed in the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches).
And just curious if you read St. Jerome’s words here when addressing the Luciferians (a separated group of believers who followed the Bishop Lucifer of Sardinia):
“We ought to remain in that Church which was founded by the Apostles and continues to this day. If ever you hear of any that are called Christians taking their name not from the Lord Jesus Christ, but from some other, for instance, Marcionites, Valentinians, Men of the mountain or the plain, you may be sure that you have there not the Church of Christ, but the synagogue of Antichrist. For the fact that they took their rise after the foundation of the Church is proof that they are those whose coming the Apostle foretold. And let them not flatter themselves if they think they have Scripture authority for their assertions, since the devil himself quoted Scripture, and the essence of the Scriptures is not the letter, but the meaning. Otherwise, if we follow the letter, we too can concoct a new dogma and assert that such persons as wear shoes and have two coats must not be received into the Church.”