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Does the theology of the early church Fathers and Medieval church have any bearing or carry any weight in regards to present day Protestant theology? If so, how should a Protestant integrate those teachings into their theological framework?

Tags: Early Church, Protestant, Theology

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brother lawrence's PRACTISING THE PRESENCE OF GOD was one of the first books other than the bible that brought this methodist (me) closer to GOD.

Be careful.   I was a protestant when I signed up for a medieval history class and started reading the works of  St. Augustine,  St. Bonaventure, and St Thomas Aquinas and other medieval theologians and mystics.  

 

I am no longer a protestant.  

Augustus; Maybe you should have read the Bible, rather than the "salesmen" for the RCC.

Augustus said:

Be careful.   I was a protestant when I signed up for a medieval history class and started reading the works of  St. Augustine,  St. Bonaventure, and St Thomas Aquinas and other medieval theologians and mystics.  

 

I am no longer a protestant.  

I don't get "integrate their teachings". The things they were correct on are already integrated into the protestant framework and have been for centuries. I think you'd have to assume the answer to the first question is no to even get to to the second.

 

We're all pretty familiar with a lot of different writings from church history and many of them are good reads. That said, I'd advise against a lot of the medieaval mystics because most mystic work that isn't by Bernard of Clairvaux is pretty consistently a waste of time. Female mystics especially. As Ray would say, "ungh".

I think this is an overstatement.  Char, you are familiar and well read in this area, and I must add you have articulate some of the ECF positions very well.  But there are as many folks who post here who don't read them and don't care to.

Char said:

 

We're all pretty familiar with a lot of different writings from church history 

It's also relative, because I try to read them but it is an exhaustive library just in the east.  And there are allot of works that have never been translated to english.

True, my wife would probably never read the St. Vincent's Comminatory, but she also doesn't come here to discuss theology either.  The Catholics and Orthodox who do, do read them.  Also the "average" Orthodox believer is introduced to ECF teachings in catachism and continue to be familierized through homilies, hymns and other speaking events, like bible studies and women/men's groups, etc.  I would assume the same is true for Roman Catholics but I only venture to guess.

 


Damian said:

Ots - Most Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox laity don't spend any more time sitting around reading the Fathers than do Protestant laity.  I worked at a Catholic school for several years (and went to 13 years of Catholic school) I can tell you that none of the teachers in religion were reading Augustine, the Cappadocians, Cyril, etc.  And if they aren't reading them, they sure aren't reading the Medieval writers.  In fact, lets just be honest here... most AMERICANS don't read much at all!  You're criticism is well founded but is a criticism of our culture at large which is rapidly become image-based rather then word-based.  

 

I have read the bible, several times in fact.  And who said I was  RC?  

 

If you are going to refer to Thomas Aquinas as a mere "salesman" for the RC, its pretty clear you  have never read him.

Jack said:

Augustus; Maybe you should have read the Bible, rather than the "salesmen" for the RCC.

Augustus said:

Be careful.   I was a protestant when I signed up for a medieval history class and started reading the works of  St. Augustine,  St. Bonaventure, and St Thomas Aquinas and other medieval theologians and mystics.  

 

I am no longer a protestant.  

You are right.  The only thing my wife knows about the ECFs is what I tell her, and when I do, she almost immediately gets bored.  She really has no interest in theology, not that its a bad thing.  I am jealous of her, she can trust and have faith a lot easier then I can.  I tend to over think.  Even so, now that I am out of undergrad, I only read the ECFs when I am in the mood, I much prefer contemporary Catholic and Orthodox writers.  

Otsukafan said:

True, my wife would probably never read the St. Vincent's Comminatory, but she also doesn't come here to discuss theology either.  The Catholics and Orthodox who do, do read them.  Also the "average" Orthodox believer is introduced to ECF teachings in catachism and continue to be familierized through homilies, hymns and other speaking events, like bible studies and women/men's groups, etc.  I would assume the same is true for Roman Catholics but I only venture to guess.

 


Damian said:

Ots - Most Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox laity don't spend any more time sitting around reading the Fathers than do Protestant laity.  I worked at a Catholic school for several years (and went to 13 years of Catholic school) I can tell you that none of the teachers in religion were reading Augustine, the Cappadocians, Cyril, etc.  And if they aren't reading them, they sure aren't reading the Medieval writers.  In fact, lets just be honest here... most AMERICANS don't read much at all!  You're criticism is well founded but is a criticism of our culture at large which is rapidly become image-based rather then word-based.  

 

Otsukafan; Holy Smokes! When they ARE translated into English, we may discover that our Christianity, including the EOC, have got it all wrong!

Otsukafan said:
It's also relative, because I try to read them but it is an exhaustive library just in the east.  And there are allot of works that have never been translated to english.
LOL...Jack it's amazing to me, how little you really understand about us.

Jack said:
Otsukafan; Holy Smokes! When they ARE translated into English, we may discover that our Christianity, including the EOC, have got it all wrong!

Otsukafan said:
It's also relative, because I try to read them but it is an exhaustive library just in the east.  And there are allot of works that have never been translated to english.

Augustus: I made a wrong assumption.You have said that you are a Catholic Christian, of the Byzantine variety.

 Therefore, you are no longer a protestant. I assume that you reject the authority of the Pope. Otherwise, do the majority of your views, line up with the RCC?



Augustus said:

I have read the bible, several times in fact.  And who said I was  RC?  

 

If you are going to refer to Thomas Aquinas as a mere "salesman" for the RC, its pretty clear you  have never read him.

Jack said:

Augustus; Maybe you should have read the Bible, rather than the "salesmen" for the RCC.

Augustus said:

Be careful.   I was a protestant when I signed up for a medieval history class and started reading the works of  St. Augustine,  St. Bonaventure, and St Thomas Aquinas and other medieval theologians and mystics.  

 

I am no longer a protestant.  

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