Monday, October 29, 2012

Needed: Better Title for talking about Post-Nicene Eastern ECFs

The Eastern fathers believed in grammatico-historical studying the Scriptures, the method that I support as a Presbyterian.  They avoided allegorizing, meaning they had better interpretations.

John Chrysostom: John's mother raised him to have a good education.  In 368, he became a monk, one who lived ascetically until 380.  He had to stop due to bad health.  He preached from 386 until he became patriarch of Constantinople.  He lived a pure, simple life as a rebuke to the wealthy people of Constantinople.  He did not always have tact, but he was courteous and kind.  Empress Eudoxia banished him in 404 because he denounced her extravagant dress and the statue she made of her self next to Sophia, yes the Hagia Sophia, where he preached.  He died in 407.  People still call him the "greatest pulpit orator the Eastern church ever had."  Although I don't believe in asceticism, John Calvin has been greatly influenced by Chrysostom. 

Theodore of Mopsuestia: after you say his name three times fast, you will note that he became elder of Antioch in 383, and bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia in 392.  People remember him as "the prince of ancient exegetes."  He opposed allegorical interpretation and believed in studying the historical situations of the authors and their plain meaning to interpret Scripture.  If only he had had more influence on the Church during that time.

Eusebius of Caesarea is considered the Father of Church History.  He built a library at Caesarea and worked to chronicle the Church from the apostles to 324.  The Council of Nicaea accepted his Caesarean Creed.  It is not good that he wanted a compromise between Athanasius and Arius.  He also wrote a biography for love of Constantine and his help for the Church.  Without having read his works, it seems that this guy was a more liberal theologian who mixed patriotism in with religion.

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