Friday, January 16, 2015

Don't Claim To Be Patristic While Neglecting Apologetics

In a post earlier today, Steve Hays addressed a recent example of the apologetic negligence of Roman Catholicism. While Catholics (and Orthodox) often claim to be heirs to the church fathers, the bulk of the apologetic work that the fathers took up in the ancient world is done by Evangelicals today. Responses to a modern Trypho or Porphyry are far more likely to come from an Evangelical than a Catholic or Orthodox. We see the same tendency in other contexts. If Catholics and Orthodox were as deeply rooted in history as they claim to be, they probably wouldn't be so focused on getting converts to their denomination and so unconcerned about other matters that are more important.

For some examples of the concern the earliest patristic Christians had for apologetics, see pages 36-42 and 279-84 in our e-book, The End Of Infidelity.

"we alone afford proof of what we assert" (Justin Martyr, First Apology, 20)

"I laughed in condemning him, because he called himself a teacher yet did not know how to confirm what he taught." (Rhodo, in Eusebius, Church History, 5:13)

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