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Early Church to the Reformation

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  1. Early Church to the Reformation Part II

  2. B. Theologians Become Activists • The 2nd half of the 4th c. witnessed the flowering of the golden age of the Church Fathers. • This was the period of the greatest writers & thinkers of Xtian antiquity. • But they were not just thinkers & writers; they were actively involved in shaping the destiny of both state and church. • They considered practically every issue, local or universal.

  3. B. Theologians Become Activists • Theological issues & scriptural expositions were brought into the midst of social, political and ecclesiastical controversies. • These great theologians were contemporaries & many had direct relations with others or exercised mutual influence wielded by this group.

  4. B. Theologians Become Activists • 1. Athanasius (c. 296-373) • A. was the outstanding obstacle to the triumph of Arianism in the East. • His career began when, as secretary to Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, he attended the Council of Nicaea in 325. • He succeeded Alexander as bishop in 328 & refused to compromise with Arianism. • He was deposed & exiled to Trier in 336. • He returned on the death of Constantine in 337, but in 339 was forced to flee to Rome.

  5. Athanasius

  6. B. Theologians Become Activists • 1. Athanasius (c. 296-373) • He was restored in 346 by Constans, but Constantius drove him out again in 356. • He remained in hiding until the accession of Julian (361), who exiled him again in 362. • He returned on Julian’s death in 363, & after another brief exile (356-66), he worked the rest of his life to build up the new Nicene party, which triumphed over Arianism at the Council of Constantinople in 381. • He died in Alexandria in May 373.

  7. B. Theologians Become Activists • 1. Athanasius (c. 296-373) • A. is remembered for his role in preserving orthodoxy in the ch’s trinitarian theology. • While in his 20s he wrote De Incarnatione, in which he showed how God the Word, by his union with manhood, restored fallen man to the image of God, & by his death & resurrection met & overcame death, the consequence of sin. • He was the greatest & most consistent opponent of Arianism, against which he wrote a series of works from 339-359.

  8. B. Theologians Become Activists • 1. Athanasius (c. 296-373) • He also upheld the deity of the HS and the full manhood of X against Macedonian & Apollinarian tendencies. • He aided the ascetic movement of monasticism, & generally strengthened the spirituality as well as the orthodoxy of the church.

  9. B. Theologians Become Activists • 2. Ambrose (c. 339-97) • A. was a practicing lawyer when he was appointed governor of Aemiloia-Liguria, with his seat at Milan. • When Auxentius, the Arian bishop of Milan, died in 374, the laity demanded that Ambrose succeed him. • As bishop, he was famous as preacher & renowned as an upholder of orthodoxy. • He is credited mainly with the conversion of Augustine (386).

  10. Ambrose (c. 339-397)

  11. B. Theologians Become Activists • 2. Ambrose (c. 339-97) • Political & ch events involved him personally with the rulers of the western empire, & he had great influence with Gratian, Maximus, Justina, & Theodosius I. • He fought paganism & Arianism, maintained the independence of the ch from civil power, & championed morality. • His most notable work was De Officiis Ministorrum, a work on Xtian ethics with special reference to the clergy.

  12. B. Theologians Become Activists • 2. Ambrose (c. 339-97) • He wrote on ascetic subjects, encouraged monasticism, wrote several well-known Latin hymns, & through his knowledge of Gk, introduced much eastern theology into the West. • Ambrose is one of the 4 traditional doctors of the Latin church, the other 3 being Jerome, Augustine and Gregory the Great.

  13. B. Theologians Become Activists • 3. Jerome (c. 342-420) • J. was one of the greatest biblical scholars of the early ch. • He originally devoted himself to an ascetic life, settled as a hermit into the Syrian desert, & learned Hebrew. • On his return to Antioch, he was ordained a priest, spent some time in Constantinople, & eventually became secretary to Pope (Bishop) Damasus.

  14. Jerome (c. 342-420)

  15. Jerome in his study French, c. 1495-1515

  16. The Penitence of St. Jerome Albrecht Altdorfer 1507

  17. B. Theologians Become Activists • 3. Jerome (c. 342-420) • After Damasus’ death, he visited Antioch, Egypt, & Palestine. • In 386 he finally settled in Bethlehem, where he ruled the men’s monastery & devoted the rest of his life to study & writing. • His greatest achievement was his translation of the Bible into Latin from the original languages. • Known as the Vulgate, it was finished around 404.

  18. B. Theologians Become Activists • 3. Jerome (c. 342-420) • The Vulgate was established by the Council of Trent in the mid 1500s as the official Roman Catholic version of the Bible—remains so today. • J. also wrote 3 revisions of the psalter, many biblical commentaries, a bibliography of ecclesiastical writers, translated the works of Origen & Didymus into Latin, developed the relationship of the Apocrypha to the Hebrew canon, & translated & continued Eusebius’ Chronicle of Church History.

  19. B. Theologians Become Activists • 3. Jerome (c. 342-420) • Although he advocated extreme asceticism, he was personally involved in many passionate attacks against Arianism, Pelagianism and Origenism. • Jerome’s scholarship & dedication were unsurpassed in the early church & set models for all succeeding theological writers.

  20. B. Theologians Become Activists • 4. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) • C. was bishop of Constantinople & a renowned preacher. • His powers of oratory earned him the name of Chrysostom, “the golden-mouth.” • He combined his preaching ability with dedicated scholarship & his series of “homilies” on various books of the Bible established him as the greatest Xtian expositor of his day.

  21. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407)

  22. B. Theologians Become Activists • 4. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) • He saw the meaning of scripture & at the same time was able to make practical application. • He was made patriarch of Constantinople in 398, & set about reforming the city from its corruption of court, clergy and society. • His honesty, asceticism, & tactlessness won him many enemies; chief among them were Theophilus, the unworthy patriarch of Alexandria & the Empress Eudoxia, who took all attempts at moral reform as a censure of herself.

  23. B. Theologians Become Activists • 4. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) • They succeeded in having him removed from his post and banished. • Although he was supported by the people of Constantinople, Pope Innocent I, & the entire Western ch, he was exiled to Antioch, moved to Pontus, & finally deliberately killed by enforced travel on foot in severe weather. • He has been remembered for his personal holiness, his matchless preaching, his scholarly exegesis, & his liturgical reforms.

  24. B. Theologians Become Activists • 4. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) • His work On the Priesthood is a good description of the responsibilities of the Christian minister.

  25. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • The theological development of this period reached its zenith in the person of Aurelius Augustine, bishop of Hippo, whom many rank as second only to the Apostle Paul in the development of western Christian theology. • Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and Pascal drew heavily on him.

  26. Augustine of Hippo

  27. Augustine (from Andre Thevet)

  28. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • a. The Conversion of Augustine. • He was born in North Africa of a pagan father & a Xtian mother, Monica. • He received a Xtian education, studied to become a lawyer, but decided instead on literary pursuits. • He left Xtianity and took a mistress, to whom he was faithful for 15 yrs, having a son by her.

  29. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • a. The Conversion of Augustine. • Writings of Cicero awakened an intense interest in philosophy & he soon became a Manichaean, which he remained for 9 yrs. • Disillusioned by the all-too-simple Manichaean explanation of evil in terms of matter, he left them & Africa. • He went to Rome & opened a school of rhetoric, where he became disgusted by the behavior of his pupils, & left for a professorship at Milan.

  30. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • a. The Conversion of Augustine. • By the time he arrived in Milan, he was embracing the philosophy of the “Academics,” which denied the possibility of attaining absolute truths. • A little later he became a Neo-Platonist & drew nearer to Xtianity. • He was attracted to the preaching of Ambrose, bishop of Milan, for the literary quality of his sermons & for the biblical answers given to many of his objections.

  31. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • a. The Conversion of Augustine. • When he heard of the conversion of the Neo-Platonist philosopher Victorinus to Xtianity, A. turned in earnest to search the NT. • A major obstacle to becoming a Xtian was his moral incontinence. • Although he had dismissed his concubine at his mother’s insistence, he had entered another illicit affair. • Another obstacle was his concern about “inconsistencies” in the Bible.

  32. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • a. The Conversion of Augustine. • With great heaviness of heart (a “sickness unto death”) A. went alone one day to a garden, where he tore his hair & beat his breast. • He had been deeply moved and shamed by the story of Anthony & the Egyptians hermits, & how they withstood temptation. • From next door he heard a child crooning, Tolle, lege” (“take up and read”).

  33. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • a. The Conversion of Augustine. • He then saw a copy of the NT on a bench, & opening it to Romans 13:13, he read: “Not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires.” • The verse enabled him to surrender himself completely to X.

  34. This version of Augustine’s garden conversion comes from Gozzoli (1424- 1497). He is reading from Romans 13:14.

  35. In the Garden in Milan (Augustine’s Conversion) In the artist’s mystical interpretation, Augustine, seated in the garden in Milan, sees childlike angelic beings calling him to “Tolle lege, tolle lege” (Take up and read, take up an read) the Scriptures. The Bible is open to Romans 13:13-14, “Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, in concupiscence.” “No further would I read; nor needed I: for instantly at the end of this sentence, by a light as it were of serenity infused into my heart, all the darkness of doubt vanished away.”

  36. This picture, taken from a fresco on a wall of the Lateran Palace, is thought to be the oldest known portrait of Augustine—perhaps based on an image taken from his own signet ring. A. is dressed in a tunic, mantle and sandals, thus being depicted as a scholar rather than as a bishop. In his left hand he holds a scroll; with his right hand he makes an orator- ical gesture toward the great book open on the lectern. The scroll alludes to his own works; the great book to the greatest of books, the Bible. The Latin inscription at the bottom reads: “The different fathers said different things, but with Roman eloquence this man said all things, thundering forth the sense of the mysteries.” The painter did not think it necessary to use Augustine’s name in the painting. The lauda- tory inscription was thought sufficient to identify Augustine.

  37. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • a. The Conversion of Augustine. • He viewed the conversion experience as comparable to that of Paul on the road to Damascus. • Several months later he & his son Adeodatus were baptized by Ambrose. • With his mother & son he set out for Africa, but his mother died in route & his son died shortly after arriving in Africa. • A. entered the monastery at Tagaste.

  38. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • a. The Conversion of Augustine. • He became a priest in 391, but continued to live the monastic life until he was consecrated coadjutor bishop to Valerius, bishop of Hippo, & after 396 served as the sole bishop of Hippo. • At Hippo he commenced his outstanding career as administrator, pastor, and theologian.

  39. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • b. Augustine’s Controversies. • A. was confronted with 4 major controversial issues & it was mainly through his struggles with these issues that his own theology was formed. • Manichaeism was the 1st & least dangerous. • A. embraced M. for 9 yrs before his conversion & later strongly opposed its simplistic concepts of light & dark & good & evil.

  40. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • b. Augustine’s Controversies. • Now he opposed the Manichaean attempt to solve the problem of evil by positing an evil agency eternally opposed to the good God. • A. maintained that God was the sole creator & sustainer of all things, that evil is the privation of some good which ought to be had, & that moral evil springs from free will.

  41. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • b. Augustine’s Controversies. • The Donatist controversy was more urgent because of the deep divisions it had caused in the African church. • The D. issue was almost a century old, dating from the traditore controversy of the persecution era. • The issue was whether or not the sacraments were valid if administered by unholy men.

  42. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • b. Augustine’s Controversies. • The D. insisted that sacraments administered by traditores (those who had given up the Scriptures in the Diocletian persecution), unholy men, or heretics, were invalid. • And since theirs was the only ch which maintained its purity on this issue, the D. claimed to be the one true ch. • A. refuted this claim & taught that the sacraments are X’s, & the validity of the sacraments rests in the sacrament itself & not the administrator.

  43. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • b. Augustine’s Controversies. • He acknowledged that unholy persons were in the ch, as the parable of the wheat & tares indicated, but the D. were wrong in trying to claim final blessedness now. • This led A. to define a sacrament as a sign of the invisible grace of God in which God forgives sin. • He finally urged the state to force the D. back into the fold of orthodoxy, quoting Lk 14:23, “Compel them to come in.”

  44. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • b. Augustine’s Controversies. • Since he believed the ch is superior to the state, he believed that the state should execute the commandments of God, as instructed by the church. • A’s later yrs were taken up with the Pelagian controversy. • Pelagius was a very moral & learned lay monk who came to Rome from the British Isles about 385.

  45. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • b. Augustine’s Controversies. • Shocked by the low morality of Rome, Pelagius devoted his preaching & writing to the issues of morality and sin. • He denied the idea of inherited sin, stating that Adam’s sin was a bad example which men have chosen to follow, that sin is really self-generated. • Actually, man could be sinless if he so desired, thus placing salvation in the hands of man himself.

  46. B. Theologians Become Activists • 5. Augustine (354-430) • b. Augustine’s Controversies. • P. was condemned for his teaching by two African councils & then excommunicated by Pope Innocent in 417. • The chief heresies with which P. was charged was: • 1) that Adam would have died even if he had not sinned. • 2) that the sin of Adam injured himself alone & not the whole human racel. • 3) that newborn children are in the same condition as Adam was before he fell.