Who Is Your Favorite Church Father?

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by thistle93, Jun 14, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. thistle93

    thistle93 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi! Just curious who would you say is your favorite church father to read? Who would you say is closest in a reformed view of soteriology?

    I am looking to dig into Tertullian here in the near future.

    For His Glory-
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Gregory of Nazianzus or Maximus the Confessor

    Augustine is the closet to the Reformed. The Eastern Fathers more or less champion free will to a man.
  3. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    I would honestly have to say those plus Cyril of Alexandria would constitute my favorite Church Fathers.
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    The biggest danger in interpreting the church fathers is the word = concept fallacy. That's when you see a word like "grace" or a phrase like "God chose" and think they meant exactly what John Owen meant. That's to ignore the entire context and philosophical background in which they said those things.

    You will find phrases like "faith alone" in some of the post-apostolic fathers. Don't read too much into it. Their writings are so scanty that it really doesn't prove anything, and faith alone only works if we can prove that they are using it in an instrumental causal sense, but that's hard to prove because, as already mentioned, their writings are so scanty.
  5. TheInquirer

    TheInquirer Puritan Board Freshman

    I have only really read Augustine and his concept of eudaimonia in several works but I appreciate what I have read a great deal.

    Calvin quotes Augustine extensively and held him in high regard but was not afraid to disagree with him either. Bavinck's citations of Augustine take up a full page and then some in the Combined Name Index at the end of Vol.4 of Reformed Dogmatics.

    You could use a version of Calvin's Institutes (or your favorite Reformed theologian) that has a list of quoted church fathers in the back and do some research that way - see where Calvin/Reformed theologian of choice agrees or disagrees and on what topics.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  6. Shanny01

    Shanny01 Puritan Board Freshman

    Such is why I've found Cunningham's assessment of the Fathers and their use to be most instructive.
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Also depends on what you are going to them for. In terms of Christology, the Cappadocians and Maximus are masters. Sit at their feet. On other points I am a bit more critical.
  8. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    I would urge anyone interested in dipping into the Church Fathers to begin with the Ancient Christian Doctrine series. It is structured around the Nicene Creed. Each section has really helpful introductions to give you historical context. The set is pricey but I think the cost is justified. As a bonus, the books are aesthetically beautiful. There is some amazing Christology in these books.
  9. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    The top five are as follows:

    1. Augustine

    2. Augustine

    3. Augustine

    4. Augustine

    5. Augustine
  10. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    Father Abraham. He had many sons.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  11. bookish_Basset

    bookish_Basset Puritan Board Freshman

    Reading Gregory of Nazianzus' Five Theological Orations was one of the things that first got me excited about the study of the church fathers.
  12. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Sophomore

  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    That's a book I reread every year. That and Maximus's On the Cosmic Mystery of Christ.
  14. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Salvian the Presbyter, 5th century.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  15. ArminianOnceWas

    ArminianOnceWas Puritan Board Freshman

    Irenaeus of Lyon
  16. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    What he said.
  17. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    Augustine. Hands down.

    Confessions, On the Trinity, City of God, his letters. What's not to like?
  18. AlexanderPetzinger

    AlexanderPetzinger Puritan Board Freshman

    >>> Tertullian is certainly one of the most prolific writers in the early Church. He is rightly called the "father of Latin Christianity" because of his copious writings. Scholars believe he was trained as a lawyer. He coined the latin term "trinitas" when thinking of the Trinity. And when describing the persecution of his day, he famously wrote in one of his apologias, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church". http://www.tertullian.org
  19. AlexanderPetzinger

    AlexanderPetzinger Puritan Board Freshman

    "What has Athens have to do with Jerusalem?" So wrote Tertullian in his writings against the heresies of his day. He was undoubtedly one of the most powerful apologists. A simple search of the above quote will bring up examples of his fine and precise mind.
  20. Connor Longaphie

    Connor Longaphie Puritan Board Freshman

    My favourite by far is St Ambrose of Milan. Im not an augustine fan in the slightest, though i have read nearly all of his books save the ethical works and the lesser known polemical ones. Chrysostom is a close second
  21. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

  22. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

  23. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Senior

    I have not read a great deal of the patristics. One recent work I read and found very profitable was Irenaeus of Lyons', Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching. One contemporary of Irenaeus was Justin Martyr; who, I believe, provides the clearest description of the simplicity of patristic worship as it was practiced then. This can be found in his First Apology, Chapters 65-67.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  24. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Best place to start is Basil's On the Holy Spirit. It's short and Basil was a classically trained writer. He knew how to communicate power in a simple way. It also teaches you key Patristic concepts (like the monarchia of the Father) and trains you to think in a proper Trinitarian grammar.
  25. J.L. Allen

    J.L. Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    Yeah I heard Moses did a really great write up on this. It’s the first of a five volume set (of a larger set with a total of 66 volumes). It’s really inspired stuff.
  26. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    Good to know. Is this series done? I get really annoyed when I catch up to the author.
  27. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    This a great suggestion. It is one of the first I read when I purchased my ECF set.
  28. J.L. Allen

    J.L. Allen Puritan Board Freshman

    The best has yet to come. I heard it’s going to be glorious.
  29. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I like Leo the Great; his sermons are quite short, and often full of glory.
  30. StephenMartyr

    StephenMartyr Puritan Board Freshman

    I went through a little of John Chrysostom's commentaries on Romans. It was pretty good reading.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page