Why You Should Get To Know The Church Fathers.
Let’s imagine, for a moment, that you are a detective who is trying to solve a mystery, a “Who Done It?” if you will. Now you need evidence and as you start to gather it, the pieces of what happened and, ultimately why it happened, start to come together. A clear picture starts to form and the events that happened are no longer unknown and better understood. This is a good reason to get to know the Church Fathers and their writings. Writings of the Church Fathers are not exact matches to one another, but hearing (Or in our case reading) what they wrote from their different perspectives can prove to be extremely helpful.
Some might say, “The Church Fathers weren’t even alive during Jesus’ life, so what do they know?” Ever speak to a soldier who has been in combat? Ever hear the stories of a family member of someone who lived through a major world event? Yes, you can read a history book, but to really know and feel the nuances, the sounds and smells and what is was like to live through something you can only read about, takes a witness or someone who knew them and can tell you how they described it. Again, the Church Fathers.
A quick Google search will warrant the following from Wikipedia: “The Apostolic Fathers were Christian Theologians who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, who are believed to have personally known some of the Twelve Apostles, or to have been significantly influenced by them. Their writings, though popular in Early Christianity, were ultimately not included in the canon of the New Testament once it reached its final form. Many of the writings derive from the same time period and geographical location as other works of early Christian literature that did come to be part of the New Testament, and some of the writings found among the Apostolic Fathers’ seem to have been just as highly regarded as some of the writings that became the New Testament.”
Here is a quick example:
No one makes us afraid or leads us into captivity as we have set our faith on Jesus. For though we are beheaded, and crucified, and exposed to beasts and chains and fire and all other forms of torture, it is plain that we do not forsake the confession of our faith, but the more things of this kind which happen to us the more are there others who become believers…through the name of Jesus.-Justin Martyr
Don’t shy away from learning more about or reading the writings of the Church Fathers. Their teachings are still very relevant to the kingdom and we stand upon their truths. In order to grow closer to Jesus, dive in to their witness to the faith and the early Church. What you will find is a wealth of knowledge and a closer walk with He who created us all.
God bless you,