Early Church History 18

Other Voices of the Fourth Generation

A look at others who countered the rumor-mongers of the mobs, the imperial position regarding Christianity, and high-brow critics like Lucian of Samosata, Fronto of Cirta and Celsus.

Did the apologists hellenize Christianity? or was Hellenism Chritianized? Pope Benedict XVI Regensburg Address

 Quandratus and Emperor Hadrian

 "even after he had gone they were alive for a long time, so that some of them survived even to our own day."

Aristides of Athens

1878, a publication of fragments of an Armenian copy (of around 900). In 1889, Rendel Harris.

Monastery of Saint Catherine on Mount Sinai

Monastery of Saint Saba in Palestine

Shows a progression of understanding:

1. barbarians worship nature; 2. Greeks worship gods; 3. Jews worship the True God, 4. Christians worship the True God and are instructed by God's Son himself

177 Athenagoras' letter to Marcus Aurelius and Commodus: counters charges of atheism, cannibalism and incest.

Minucius Felix around 220. Octavius

Letter to Diognetus, tutor of Marcus Aurelius

Quasten: The epistle deservse to rank among the most brilliant and beautiful works of Christian Greek literature."

Titus Flavius Clemens ... southern Italy, Syria, Palestine, Egypt in search of "blessed and truly remarkable men."

"When I came upon the last teacher - he was the first in power, having tracked him out concealed in Egypt, I found rest. He, the true, the Sicilian bee gathering the spoils of the flowers of the prophetic and apostolic meadow, engendered in the souls of his hearers a deathless element of knowledge."

The Sicilian bee was Pantaenus.

Quasten: Clement "proved that the faith and philosophy, Gospel and secular learning are not enemies but belong together. All secular learning serves theology. Christianity is the crown and glory of all the truths that are found in the various philosophical doctrines.

Exhortation to the Greeks, The Tutor, the Stromata (or Carpets)

The Logos is "the savior of the human race and founder of a new life which begins with faith, proceeds to knowledge and contemplation and leads through love and charity to immortality and diefication."

The Church: "the virgin mother who feeds her children with the milk of the divine Word."

Baptism for rebirth and regeneration. Eucharist "new food by which we receive Christ and enshrine Him in our souls. Penance and frequency: "for frequent repentance and readiness to change easily from want of training, is the practice of sin again.  The frequent asking of forgiveness then for those things in which we often transgress is the semblance of repentance, not repentance itself."

Matrimony: "thus man becomes an image of God in so far as man cooperates in the creation of man."  "Also to the salvation of the spouses.  and those whose life is common, have common graces and a common salvation; common t them are love and training.

Marriage is "an equal yoke."

Celibacy: does not marry out of love for the Lord. The virgin in service to Christ is assured a heavenly glory. the married, due to their trials and temptations arising through children and wife and domestics and possessions has even the greater glory.

NOTE: an excellent website on apologists and apologetics can be found at

Dr. John Gresham of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.