Month: January 2014

23-Who Do You Say He Is? file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled “Who Do You Say He Is?” We begin by reading from the Chalcedonian Creed of AD 451, the portion devoted to the orthodox view of Christ. We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ; as the prophets from the beginning declared concerning Him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us,...

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22-Leo file | Play in new windowThis Episode is Simply titled “Leo” In a sermon preached on the Sunday before Resurrection Sunday, Bishop0 Leo of Rome said, Among all the works of God’s mercy, dearly-beloved, which from the beginning have been bestowed upon men’s salvation, none is more wondrous, and none more sublime, than that Christ was crucified for the world. For to this mystery all the mysteries of the ages preceding led up, and every variation which the will of God ordained in sacrifices, in prophetic signs, and in the observances of the Law, foretold that this was fixed, and promised its fulfilment: so that now types and figures are at an end, and we find our profit in believing that accomplished which before we found our profit in looking forward to.[1] While there’d been several bishops of the church at Rome who’d been capable leaders and under their guidance had established Rome as the premier church, if not the whole Christian world, at least in the western portion of the now declining Roman Empire, it can be fairly said that for most of the earlier bishops the person was eclipsed by the office. Bishops Callistus, Stephen, Damasus, & Innocent I all added significant authority to the Roman See. But it was the term of Leo the Great that saw the Bishop of Rome become what we might...

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21-The New Center file | Play in new windowThis episode it titled – “The New Center.” We begin with a quote from the 2nd C. church father Irenaeus à [There is a ] tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its pre-eminent authority; that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the apostolic tradition has been preserved continuously by [faithful men] who exist everywhere.[1] That’s from ch. 3 of Vol. 3 of Irenaeus’ classic work, Against Heresies. Spread over 3 pages in Vol. 3 of his monumental work History of the Christian Church, author Philip Schaff makes a compelling argument for why it was inevitable Christianity would eventually emerge from the Roman catacombs to join the State in governing the hearts & lives of the people of the Empire. And while it was inevitable, Schaff describes how the merger resulted in the corruption of the Church. He wrote, “The Christianizing of the state amounted in great measure to the paganizing and secularizing of the Church.” We’ve already seen how the...

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20-Golden Tongue file | Play in new windowThe title of this episode it “Golden Tongue” As usual, we begin w/a quote from the subject of our inquiry today; the 4th C. Church Father John of Antioch, known as Chrysostom, meaning “golden-mouthed.” Preaching improves me. When I begin to speak, weariness disappears; when I begin to teach, fatigue too disappears. At another time he chastised his congregation – It is foolishness and a public madness to fill your closet with clothing and allow men who are created in God’s image and likeness to stand naked and trembling with the cold so that they can hardly hold themselves upright. While John of Antioch’s preaching was and is considered the most eloquent in the early church, it was that preaching that got him into trouble & resulted in an early death. John was raised by a widowed mother in the city of Antioch. During the mid-4th C, Antioch was a major city of the Eastern Roman Empire & a major center of Christian thought & life. Coming from a wealthy family, John’s young mother decided to remain a widow & devoted herself to her son’s education. She hired a tutor named Libanius who’d been a close friend of the Emperor Julian, known as “The Apostate” for his attempt to resurrect Paganism. Libanius instilled in John a love of the Greek classics & a...

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19-Jerome file | Play in new windowThis episode is titled, “Jerome.” We begin with a few pithy quotes from the 4th C Church Father Jerome. “Being over seventy is like being engaged in a war. All our friends are going or gone and we survive amongst the dead and the dying as on a battlefield. Be ever engaged, so that whenever the devil calls he may find you occupied. The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart. “Make knowledge of the Scripture your love.… Live with them, meditate on them, make them the sole object of your knowledge and inquiries.” We’ll spend this entire episode of CS looking at the life of Jerome, one of the most fascinating stories of this time in Church History, as I hope you’ll see. By his mid-30’s, Jerome was probably the greatest Christian scholar of his time. He’s one of the greatest figures in the history of Bible translation, spending 3 decades producing a Latin version that would be the standard for a thousand years. But Jerome was no bookish egghead. He longed for the hermetic life we considered in the previous episode & often exhibited a really sour disposition that showered his opponents with biting sarcasm and brutal invective. His real name was Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius and was born in 345 to...

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