Tuesday, August 11, 2009

THE FEDERALIST PAPERS OF CHRISTIANITY!

A most amazing find in a christian bookstore has me basking in the riches of His Grace! A few weeks ago, I purchased "THE APOSTOLIC FATHERS", a Moody Publishers' classic which is a compilation of the letters of the main "Apostolic Fathers", or the patriarchs of the modern Christian church.

PolycarpThis book is a veritable feast of what not only reads like Scripture but is direct revelation from God to men of God like Ignatius of Antioch; Clement of Rome and the great Polycarp of Smyrna! Polycarp (left) was the link to the actual Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. He lived from AD 69 and was a contemporary of the aging Disciple John. It is recorded that he may have been somewhat mentored by the Gospel writer and it reflects in his letters.

Polycarp was martyred by the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius for refusing to burn incense to the pagan emperor. While some books and internet sites give glancing accounts of the biggest execution since Peter was crucified upside down, the actual letter account is stunning!

What these awe-filled letters provide is the flavor and color of the churches left behind by Apostle Paul, John and others from the Jerusalem church in the well known gentile areas of Antioch (where we were first called Christians); Corinth and Ephesus. The very same struggles and problems Paul had to deal with in 1 and 2 Corinthians etc....Clement had to address!

What a treasure! Just as the Federalist papers gave the background and character to the US constitution, "The Apostolic Fathers" accompanies the Sacred Scriptures like a first cousin. Take a look at it here, research it and purchase it....it may take you a while to read, but like the Bible, you won't be able to put it down!

(photo: courtesy Google Images)
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