For questions about the Church Fathers, a term applied to eminent theologians and church leaders of the immediate post-apostolic age.

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When Meister Eckhart deliniates the “ground” and “powers” of the soul, what is he differentiating?

I'd like to know where to look for scholarly articles that could help elucidate unclear points in ancient writings. For instance, Desert Fathers speak a lot about "heart", "spirit", "mind", ...
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What cautionary advice have evangelists given that address Gandhi's concern about “Rice Christians”?

Not too long ago we had a question here that raised the issues of bribery, cultural "destruction," and use of harsh language against nonbelievers during evangelization efforts in developing countries. ...
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Do any Early Church Fathers ever argue that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:9) is the Law/ Torah?

Did any early Church fathers ever reason that the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:9) either is or symbolizes the Torah/ Law?
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Any instructions given by the church fathers on how to receive the gift of tongues?

1 Corinthians 14:39 (NIV) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. In the early church, the gift of tongues was a common gift which ...
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When was it first said in Christianity by a Church Father that heretics must be put to death?

When was it first said in Christianity by a Church Father that heretics must be put to death? Who was the first one of the Church Fathers who came up with this idea and presented it?
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80 views

When was it first said in Christianity by a Church Father that heretics must be tortured physically?

This question is very similar to the one I had asked before: "When was it first said in Christianity by a Church Father that heretics must be put to death?", however, there is still a difference. In ...
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67 views

Complete online editions of the Church Fathers

Where can one find a complete version of all the Church fathers online or digital? This is probably not a regular Christianity.SE question, since it is more of an external reference query. I am more ...
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620 views

Do Rob Bell and Tullian Tchividjian represent sides of any prior Christian controversy?

Both Rob Bell and Tullian Tchividjian have each taken heat for talking too much about grace.[*] Here is, for example, an interview on John Piper's objections to Rob Bell, and here is David Murray's ...
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139 views

Why Origen is considered a Church Father but not a saint?

Why Origen is considered a father of the church but not a saint by the Roman Catholic / Eastern Orthodox Church? I've heard and read in "Worlds Made by Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern ...
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Are there any surviving (English translated) works by Athanasius about the Apollinarian heresy?

As I've looked around the internet at reactions to Athanasius' magnum opus On the Incarnation, I've seen some accusations of latent Apollinarism. The work was published before the Apollinarian heresy ...
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How do Orthodox Bishops and theologians view the Church Fathers' definition of the word “catholic?”

While perusing the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) website I came across this question. I fully understand what the word catholic by itself means. Orthodox Christians (like many liturgical ...
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What did the Early Church Fathers think about pets (animals) going to Heaven upon death?

Many people believe that a pet goes to Heaven upon its death. I was curious, what did the Early Church Fathers (e.g., Augustine, John of Damascus, Tertullian, etc.) say about this?
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Did Origen castrate himself under a literal interpretation of Matthew 19:12?

I was just reading some history on extreme forms of asceticism and monasticism. In passing the subject of Origen it said he had castrated himself. Is this generally considered true by church ...
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585 views

Did Christ know who He was as a youth?

Did Jesus Christ know as a baby that He was the Son of God? When He worked carpentry with Joseph, His earthly father, did He know then Who or What He was? Did He sense in anyway prior to being a ...
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239 views

How is the Catholic interpretation of the Woman of the Apocalypse as being Mary reconciled with the dogma of perpetual virginity?

In the Book of Revelation, 11:19—12:1-18, where the Woman of the Apocalypse is introduced, the passage describes "she wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth." Catholic tradition identifies ...
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Did the early Church Fathers have a complete agreement on how to interpret 1 Peter 3:18-20?

Did the early Church Fathers have a complete agreement on how to interpret 1 Peter 3:18-20 or did they also have some differences in the way they interpreted these words by Peter? I specifically mean ...
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377 views

Did the Church Fathers advocate celibacy?

What were the Church Fathers' views on celibacy? Did they see celibacy as a higher or more spiritual calling than marriage? Did they see marriage as incompatible with a spiritual life? Was there ...
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111 views

When the humans' freedom of choice was firstly stated in Christianity?

When and where was it firstly stated in the history of Christianity that a human being has a personal freedom of choice and that God respects it?
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Do angels still visit us on earth

I know that throughout the Bible Angels met with humans for very specific reasons. An obvious example can be found in Luke 1:26-38. Gabriel speaks to Mary and informs her she will give birth to a son ...
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137 views

Did any other philosophical systems have as much influence on the early Church as Platonism and Stoicism?

Many historians agree that the philosophical systems of Platonism and Stoicism had an important role in the efforts of the early Church to communicate the message of the Gospel to unbelievers, and ...
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Protestant rejection of the Catholic implementation of confession

(Pardon the length - my original post was more concise, but wasn't clearly conveying my question.) Background: I am currently studying the Spiritual Disciplines at a Protestant seminary. For those ...
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142 views

How have Christians who affirm traditional sin doctrines handled 'pathological' guilt in their preaching?

Contemporary "theological liberals" have often argued that traditional doctrines about guilt and sin and repentance lead to feelings of guilt that can become pathology. This claim shouldn't be too ...
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Why did the Catholic Church decide to have a Bible?

As far as I know, the Catholic Church considers God's revealed truth in Sacred Scripture to be part of, but by no means the sum total of Divine Revelation. Sacred Scripture is the written part of our ...
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What is the basis for the claim that the entire New Testament can be reconstructed apart from original and copied manuscripts?

Bit of a mouthy title, but I remember reading a few years ago that the entire New Testament (perhaps with the exception of very few verses) and most of the Old Testament could be reconstructed from ...
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How diverse or united is Christian history on the imagery of “Father” and “Son”?

The original languages of the Bible itself and, to my knowledge, most of Christian history, are replete with the filial language of God being known as a “Father” and Jesus being known as his “Son”. ...
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Is it true that Martin Luther never considered the works of the early Church Fathers?

Is it true that Martin Luther never considered the works of the early Church Fathers while he was developing and defending his teaching? Here is the list of some of those Fathers (from Wikipedia): 1 ...
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How many writings of those who were disciples of the first 12 apostles (including Paul) are available today?

How many writings of those who were disciples of the first 12 apostles (including Paul) are available today? I guess, no need to include Mark and Luke as their writings are included in the Bible.
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What makes a Council's conclusions authoritative?

I was just reflecting on an answer to a question I recently asked, and began to wonder... How do we know the conclusions of a given Council were true? Are all findings by Christian Councils ...
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What are the main points of dissent between Cyril of Alexandria and John Chrysostom?

What were the main differences or points of dissent between Cyril of Alexandria and John Chrysostom? Can anyone give a summary, please?
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Origin of “The Marks of the True Church”

In Reformed Theology, "the marks of a true church" are often delineated, to the effect of: Church discipline Teaching/preaching Administration of the sacraments (These are the marks often denoted ...
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863 views

What was Paul's “revelation” (mentioned in Galatians 2:2)?

Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which ...
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Did the church fathers or OT talk about the visible and invisible church?

In the Reformation, the doctrine of the distinction between the visible and invisible church was important in the Reformers' claim not to have started a rogue church. I am wondering... Given that it ...