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Author Topic: Who is the Greatest and most Authoritative Church Father of All Time?!  (Read 4199 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 24, 2011, 11:29:35 AM »

This may be blasphemous (Lord have mercy on me if it is!), but who do you think is the greatest and most authoritative Church Father (or fathers) in the history of Christianity? Please give a short explanation why you think the way you do.
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2011, 11:41:12 AM »

This may be blasphemous (Lord have mercy on me if it is!), but who do you think is the greatest and most authoritative Church Father (or fathers) in the history of Christianity? Please give a short explanation why you think the way you do.

Jesus Christ?
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 11:50:52 AM »

This may be blasphemous (Lord have mercy on me if it is!), but who do you think is the greatest and most authoritative Church Father (or fathers) in the history of Christianity? Please give a short explanation why you think the way you do.

Jesus Christ?
short explanation:

Quote
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 11:55:04 AM »

This may be blasphemous (Lord have mercy on me if it is!), but who do you think is the greatest and most authoritative Church Father (or fathers) in the history of Christianity? Please give a short explanation why you think the way you do.

The Three Holy Hierarchs

During the reign of the Emperor Alexius Comnenus (1081-1118), a controversy arose in Constantinople among men learned in Faith and zealous for virtue about the three holy Hierarchs and Fathers of the Church, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. Some argued for Saint Basil above the other two because he was able, as none other, to explain the mysteries of the Faith, and rose to angelic rank by his virtues. Organizer of monastic life, leader of the entire Church in the struggle with heresy, austere and demanding shepherd as to Christian morals, in him there was nothing base or of the earth. Hence, said they, he was superior to Saint Chrysostom who was by nature more easily inclined to absolve sinners.

The partisans of Saint Chrysostom retorted that the illustrious Archbishop of Constantinople had been no less zealous than Saint Basil in combating vices, in bringing sinners to repentance and in raising up the whole people to the perfection of the Gospel. The golden-mouthed shepherd of matchless eloquence has watered the Church with a stream of homilies in which he interprets the divine word and shows its application in daily life with more accomplished mastery than the two other holy Doctors.

According to a third group, Saint Gregory the Theologian was to be preferred to the others by reason of the majesty, purity and profundity of his language. Possessing a sovereign mastery of all the wisdom and eloquence of ancient Greece, he had attained, they said to such a pitch in the contemplation of God that no one had been able to express the dogma of the Holy Trinity as perfectly as he.

With each faction setting up one of the Fathers against the other two in this way, the whole Christian people were soon caught up in the dispute, which far from promoting devotion to the Saints in the City, resulted in nothing but ill-feeling and endless argument. Then one night the three holy Hierarchs appeared in a dream to Saint John Mauropus, the Metropolitan of Euchaïta (5 Oct.), separately at first, then together and, speaking with a single voice, they said: “As you see, the three of us are with God and no discord or rivalry divides us. Each of us, according to the circumstances and according to the inspiration that he received from the Holy Spirit, wrote and taught what befits the salvation of mankind. There is not among us a first, a second or a third, and if you invoke one of us the other two are immediately present with him. Therefore, tell those who are quarrelling not to create divisions in the Church because of us, for when we were on earth we spared no effort to re-establish unity and concord in the world. You can conjoin our three commemorations in one feast and compose a service for it, inserting the hymns dedicated to each of us according to the skill and knowledge that God has given you. Then transmit it to the Christians with the command to celebrate it each year. If they honor us thus as being with and in God, we give them our word that we will intercede for their salvation in our common prayer.” At these words, the Saints were taken up into heaven in a boundless light while conversing with one another by name.

Saint John immediately assembled the people and informed them of this revelation. As he was respected by all for his virtue and admired for his powerful eloquence, the three parties made peace and every one urged him to lose no time in composing the service of the joint feast. With fine discernment, he selected 30 January as appropriate to the celebration, for it would set the seal to the month in which each of the three Hierarchs already had a separate commemoration (Saint Basil – January 1; Saint Gregory – January 25; Saint John (translation of relics) – January 27).

Go to http://www.goarch.org/special/threehierarchs/index_html










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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 12:23:06 PM »

This may be blasphemous (Lord have mercy on me if it is!), but who do you think is the greatest and most authoritative Church Father (or fathers) in the history of Christianity? Please give a short explanation why you think the way you do.

Jesus Christ?
Our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ the All-Merciful master and creator of the cosmos, the second hypostasis of the Most-Holy and All-Glorified Trinity *takes a deep breath* wasn't exactly an option, but thanks anyway! Wink Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 12:40:42 PM »

Pope St. Athanasius the Great.  He summed up all that went before, and provides the basis of all that has followed.
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 12:46:28 PM »

Pope St. Athanasius the Great.  He summed up all that went before, and provides the basis of all that has followed.
Agreed.
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2011, 12:54:07 PM »

Pope St. Athanasius the Great.  He summed up all that went before, and provides the basis of all that has followed.
Agreed.

Yup, Athanasius Contra Mundum!
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2011, 01:53:21 PM »

Pope St. Athanasius the Great.  He summed up all that went before, and provides the basis of all that has followed.
He has my vote!
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 02:58:17 PM »

"If, then, the Savior is neither a mere man nor a magician, nor one of the demons, but has by His Godhead confounded and overshadowed the opinions of the poets, and the delusion of the demons, and the wisdom of the Greeks, it must be manifest and will be owned by all that He is in truth Son of God, Existent Word and Wisdom and Power of the Father." -St. Athanasius
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2011, 04:01:10 PM »

Pope St. Athanasius the Great.  He summed up all that went before, and provides the basis of all that has followed.

Seems about right.
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2011, 04:39:07 PM »

Do Apostles count?
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 05:21:11 PM »

Do Apostles count?
No, otherwise the Apostles would definitely be at the top of the list.
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2011, 05:31:00 PM »

Wow, I think we just found our basis for unity. Wink
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2011, 05:33:44 PM »

Wow, I think we just found our basis for unity. Wink
Yep...
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« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2011, 05:38:47 PM »

I'm tempted to answer Saint Augustine...  angel
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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2011, 05:40:56 PM »

I'm tempted to answer Saint Augustine...  angel
Evacuate the website!! This is not a drill! This is not a drill! Tongue

OK, bad joke, but still...
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2011, 05:41:38 PM »

I'm tempted to answer Saint Augustine...  angel
don't.
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2011, 05:43:16 PM »

I'm tempted to answer Saint Augustine...  angel

He is a divisive figure, even amongst only EO. Tongue
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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2011, 05:56:41 PM »

I would agree with those who have said St. Athanasius the Great.
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« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2011, 06:06:07 PM »

St John of Damascus - Father, hymnographer, defender of icons, the man with an answer for everything.  laugh
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2011, 06:15:41 PM »

St John of Damascus - Father, hymnographer, defender of icons, the man with an answer for everything.  laugh
LOL. I agree with all of the above, but St. John's answer for the OP would be Pope St. Athanasius.   laugh
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2011, 06:17:15 PM »

St John Chrysostom.

*Double thumbs up*
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2011, 06:29:48 PM »

I'm tempted to answer Saint Augustine...  angel

He is a divisive figure, even amongst only EO. Tongue

I feel sorry for him. It must be awfully boring to spend eternity in Heaven knowing that your best friends are heretics while your own kinsfolk refuse to play with you. He must play all by himself. Sad
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2011, 06:33:14 PM »

I'm tempted to answer Saint Augustine...  angel

He is a divisive figure, even amongst only EO. Tongue

Poor old Augustine. It must be awfully boring to spend eternity in Heaven knowing that your best friends are heretics and your own kinsfolk refuse to play with you. He must play all by himself. Sad

I was tempted in the same manner. Sorry, but his writing on reading and understanding are beautiful and elegant elaborations of a true reader and hermeneutics of the heart.

ST. Augustine will always be close to me for that alone.
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2011, 06:34:42 PM »

St. Paul

The more I read. The older I get. The more I love this man.
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2011, 06:35:21 PM »

Quote from: Alpo
I feel sorry for him. It must be awfully boring to spend eternity in Heaven knowing that your best friends are heretics and your own kinsfolk refuse to play with you. He must play all by himself. Sad

Yeah!  Sad Although his Trinity-ology could use some tweaks, his confession was very moving. I always liked him.
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2011, 06:37:12 PM »

ehm.. Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2011, 06:38:51 PM »

I'm tempted to answer Saint Augustine...  angel

He is a divisive figure, even amongst only EO. Tongue

I feel sorry for him. It must be awfully boring to spend eternity in Heaven knowing that your best friends are heretics while your own kinsfolk refuse to play with you. He must play all by himself. Sad
No, I think he plays well with others.  Despite a little razzing from Pope St. Athanasius, St. John Damascene, St. John Chrysostom and the rest of the gang, I'm quite sure he is at home among the saints.
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« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2011, 06:40:55 PM »

ehm.. Smiley
St.Athnasios the Great!
St.Athnasios the Confessor!
St.Athnasios the Champion  and Pillar of Orthodoxy!
St.Athnasios defender of Orthodoxy Against the world!

ehm..If I were allowed to name all orthodox children, I would name them All Athnasios and Athnasia! Grin

But then, would they all have to have nicknames or different middle names to tell them apart?  Huh How would they be on a bowling team?
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« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2011, 06:41:54 PM »

ehm.. Smiley
St.Athnasios the Great!
St.Athnasios the Confessor!
St.Athnasios the Champion  and Pillar of Orthodoxy!
St.Athnasios defender of Orthodoxy Against the world!

ehm..If I were allowed to name all orthodox children, I would name them All Athnasios and Athnasia! Grin

But then, would they all have to have nicknames or different middle names to tell them apart?  Huh How would they be on a bowling team?

Ask George Foreman.
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« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2011, 06:45:36 PM »

LOL, there will be a lot of numbering next to their names Senior , junior etc or I,II III IV lol
Thank goodness I aint the one naming anybody huh lol
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« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2011, 06:47:11 PM »

ehm.. Smiley
St.Athnasios the Great!
St.Athnasios the Confessor!
St.Athnasios the Champion  and Pillar of Orthodoxy!
St.Athnasios defender of Orthodoxy Against the world!

ehm..If I were allowed to name all orthodox children, I would name them All Athnasios and Athnasia! Grin

But then, would they all have to have nicknames or different middle names to tell them apart?  Huh How would they be on a bowling team?

Ask George Foreman.


LOL
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« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2011, 07:35:34 PM »

Just found this wierd image I think the Anglicans made:



 Grin
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« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2011, 07:47:42 PM »

Just found this wierd image I think the Anglicans made:



 Grin

Thanks for this. Yet one more "icon" I'll put in my depressingly growing schlock file. At least Origen isn't sporting a halo. Small mercies ...  Tongue Roll Eyes
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« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2011, 07:50:36 PM »

ehm.. Smiley
St.Athnasios the Great!
St.Athnasios the Confessor!
St.Athnasios the Champion  and Pillar of Orthodoxy!
St.Athnasios defender of Orthodoxy Against the world!

ehm..If I were allowed to name all orthodox children, I would name them All Athnasios and Athnasia! Grin

But then, would they all have to have nicknames or different middle names to tell them apart?  Huh How would they be on a bowling team?

Ask George Foreman.

Which one?
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« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2011, 08:49:03 PM »

Matthew 23:9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

YHWH is the only & greatest Father of the church.
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« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2011, 09:00:18 PM »

Matthew 23:9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

YHWH is the only & greatest Father of the church.

DON'T FEED THE TROLL!!!!!
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« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2011, 09:01:20 PM »

Matthew 23:9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

YHWH is the only & greatest Father of the church.
Actually, you've stated an Eastern Orthodox truth! God is our only Father, Master, teacher, and bishop. Any man who has these qualities has them only in virtue of his partaking and being gifted of God's one Fatherhood. All that any of us have, we borrow from Him.
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« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2011, 09:03:18 PM »

Matthew 23:9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
What do you call the man who (hopefully) was married to your mother?  Or are you claiming she was a virgin too?

"I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.  For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel" St. Paul, Early, 1st Century, Christian.

Since you cannot call the Church your Mother, you cannot call God your Father.

YHWH is the only & greatest Father of the church.
The God of our Fathers (Acts 3:13).
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« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2011, 09:04:38 PM »

Just found this wierd image I think the Anglicans made:



 Grin
A bit of irony there.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2011, 09:06:39 PM »

Great-martyr James the Persian of course: http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=103402
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« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2011, 09:07:24 PM »

Matthew 23:9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
What do you call the man who (hopefully) was married to your mother?  Or are you claiming she was a virgin too?

"I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.  For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel" St. Paul, Early, 1st Century, Christian.

Since you cannot call the Church your Mother, you cannot call God your Father.

YHWH is the only & greatest Father of the church.
The God of our Fathers (Acts 3:13).
We've already been through this on another thread, he thinks the Apostles rampantly disobeyed Jesus on this point.
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« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2011, 09:10:27 PM »

I wish we had writings of Saint Nicholas of Myra. He must have had a fascinating mind.
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« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2011, 09:11:48 PM »

Matthew 23:9
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
What do you call the man who (hopefully) was married to your mother?  Or are you claiming she was a virgin too?

"I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.  For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel" St. Paul, Early, 1st Century, Christian.

Since you cannot call the Church your Mother, you cannot call God your Father.

YHWH is the only & greatest Father of the church.
The God of our Fathers (Acts 3:13).
We've already been through this on another thread, he thinks the Apostles rampantly disobeyed Jesus on this point.
What do you want from a Judaizing heretic, cut off from Christ and His Church?
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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