Stylos is the blog of Jeff Riddle, a Reformed Baptist Pastor in North Garden, Virginia. The title "Stylos" is the Greek word for pillar. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul urges his readers to consider "how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar (stylos) and ground of the truth."
Image (left side): Decorative urn with title for the book of Acts in Codex Alexandrinus.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
David Bentley Hart's Survey of the Patristic Age
I’m enjoying reading through David Bentley Hart’s popular
level work The Story of the Christianity
(Quercus, 2009). It has short chapters, clear overviews, and is filled with
In the chapter titled “Age of the Fathers” (95-101), Hart
provides a succinct overview of the key leaders in the immediate post-apostolic
Hart calls this “the golden age of Christian thought” which was
“frequently marked by a kind of speculative audacity, that the theologians of
later years, under the restrictions of more precisely defined dogmas, found all
but impossible” (95).
Here is my summary of
the earliest successors of the apostles
Clement of Rome
Ignatius of Antioch
Polycarp of Smyrna
of Christianity in the pagan world
Quadratus, during the time of the emperor Hadrian
Aristides, during the time of the emperor Antonius Pius
Melito of Sardis, during the time of the emperor Marcus
Justin Martyr (c. 100-c. 165)
Irenaeus of Lyon (c. 130-c. 200)
Tertullian (c. 155-c. 230)
“High Patristic Age”
Clement of Alexandria
Athanasius, the scourge of Arianism
The Cappadocian Fathers: Basil, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory
Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Note: Hart says, “Western Christianity is Augustinian
Christianity.” As an Orthodox theologian, however, Hart unsurprisingly believes
that Augustine misunderstood Paul.
Cyril of Alexandria (c. 375-444)
Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-662) “Pseudo-Dionysius” (c. 500)
The End of the
The last father in the West is usually said to be Isidore of
Seville (c. 560-636);
The last father in the East, John of Damascus (c. 675-749).