POSTED 10 JULY, 2006
What is your opinion of the writings of the “Church Fathers”?
The writings of early Christianity from the late First to Fourth Centuries C.E., commonly termed the writings of the “Church Fathers,” is a body of religious literature not unlike the Jewish writings of the same period. These writings demonstrate the various theological opinions and controversies that existed in early Christianity, the persecution that the Believers experienced at the hands of the Roman Empire, and the overall challenges that they faced.
There are some in the Messianic community who readily criticize the writings of the “Church Fathers,” as it was during this period that the ekklēsia largely divorced itself from its Hebraic Roots. But in total fairness, it is necessary to consult these writings to understand the development of the early Church, and to understand that not all of the Church Fathers were “bad.” Many of the “Church Fathers” had good, Spirit-inspired things to say and were sincere Believers. Many of them have spiritual insight on Biblical matters just as do many of the Rabbis of Judaism. With all things, we are called to use wisdom and discernment and remember the circumstances in which these people lived. We cannot afford to over-simplify things.