This essay is the second in a series entitled “Catholicism: What You’d Expect.” The previous essay can be found here. In the first post, I lay out an argument that Christian distinctives find their fulfillment uniquely within the Catholic paradigm. I also argue that the first Christian distinctive, its incarnational theology and practice, is an ultimately Catholic attribute. This essay concerns the second distinctive which I listed: the authoritative nature of Christian theology. In all
In the first article of this series, I emphasized the importance for the Christian life of imitating moral exemplars, following the Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Cor. 11:1) Top of the list for Christian moral exemplars, aside from Jesus himself, are those who were closest to him, hence my devotional exploration of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. Up next in this survey
Of Ignatius of Antioch’s seven authentic letters, the most personal is his Epistle to Polycarp. Polycarp was bishop of Smyrna, a town to which Ignatius also wrote a more general epistle. In the letter to his fellow bishop, Ignatius (second or third bishop of Antioch in Syria) emphasized the importance of a unified and loving Christian community, reminding Polycarp to especially remember the care of the widows in Smyrna and to fulfill his episcopal duties.
Martyred by the Roman Emperor Trajan between 107 and 117 AD, the letters of Ignatius of Antioch offers important insights into the character and quality of early Christianity. The second or third bishop of Antioch in Syria, Ignatius wrote seven letters to churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey), including an Epistle to the Smyrneans. In this letter Ignatius underscored correct belief about Christ, repeating early creedal statements about the life of the Lord and
Ignatius of Antioch remains one of the most important characters of early Christianity, as the letters he wrote on the road to his martyrdom in Rome contain important insights into the faith and practice of the early Church. Ignatius, the second or third bishop of Antioch in Syria, wrote seven letters to churches in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) before being martyred under the Emperor Trajan sometime between 107 and 117 AD. In his Epistle
Ignatius, the second or third bishop of Antioch in Syria, wrote seven letters on the road to Rome before being martyred under the Emperor Trajan in the early second century. In his Epistle to the Magnesians, Ignatius especially emphasizes obedience to the bishop. He also stand opposed to the “fables” of Judaism, calling it “outlandish to proclaim Jesus Christ and practice Judaism.” For Ignatius, Christianity was devoid of the complexities of Gnostic logic or Jewish-Christian