Friday, August 08, 2008

Early Church Father's Quiz

Here are some of the doctrines of the Christian Faith that were practiced by the Early Church Fathers who were personally instructed by the Apostles. Which of these doctrines do you practice?

* Baptism was seen as the moment when a believer is fully and truly born again

* Infants were admitted to baptism

* Worship was seen as liturgical and directly connected to Jewish ritual worship; spontaneous worship was nowhere to be seen

* Obedience to one’s bishop and/or priest was seen as a direct measure of whether one was an obedient Christian

* Salvation was seen as something that was a process and which the believer could, after having started it, forfeit through later unbelief

* Fasting was outlined specifically before the end of the first century, and the way it was to be done was expected churchwide, not individually

* The departed saints, as well as the angels, were seen as and sought as intercessors in prayer for those still in the flesh

* The Church was seen as a single, visible body of believers that was guided by the Holy Spirit and protected from error; one of its chief characteristics was that its bishops (and, by extension, priests) could trace their ordination through the laying on of hands back to one of the apostles themselves

* Salvation was never discussed in terms of Christ paying a debt to God the Father, but rather in terms of His defeating death by His Incarnation, transfiguration, death, and resurrection

* The Eucharist was, time and again, referred to as the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ Himself
[Thanks to David Bryan for compiling these]

If you don't have much in common with the Early Church Fathers, from whom did you receive your faith and practice? Were the Early Church Fathers wrong or are you?

"There is One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism and one God and Father of all, over all, and through all and in all." (Eph 4:6)

"Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be ONE like us." (John 17:11)

The words of Paul the Apostle states affirmatively that there is only ONE way not many. The prayer of Christ to the Father asks that when He is no longer in the world, God would preserve His sheep as ONE. Was Paul's teaching true and was Christ's prayer answered?

The Orthodox Church contains the original unadulterated truth, that which was given by Christ, handed down by the Apostles and preserved by the Fathers for over 2000 years. To believe anything else is to suggest that the Church fell away into sinful oblivion just a few short years after Christ's prayer and after the last Apostle died.

Again- Do you believe as the Church has always believed? Next time you sing a hymn such as "Faith of our Fathers" ask yourself "to which fathers am I referring", and "whose spiritual offspring am I" ?

We are all called to be part of the "One, Holy catholic and Apostolic Church" , The Orthodox Church.
(Nicene Creed)

(Note: "Orthodox" means "right teaching" or "right glory"- in other words, where the truth and the presence of God dwells in their fullness.)


  1. Debbie Espen2:53 AM

    What book title would you recommend as the best overview of what the Church Fathers taught? One that is basic and reader-friendly, yet thorough?

  2. Deb,
    One of the initial books that I read was "Four Witnesses" The Early Church In Her Own Words. Written by Rod Bennett and published by Ignatius Press (Roman Catholic) it reads like a novel and leaves you with an amazing and organic understanding of how the early Church evolved and what was believed. The four witnesses are Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus of Lyons.


Welcome to JTO. The ability to comment is currently open to all. All comments are filtered prior to posting. Anonymous posters are asked to sign their comment with an identifying name (first name is okay) to prevent confusion in the discussion.