Christian Fads

It is a fad among evangelicals, and indeed Protestants in general, to say that by the 4th C. Christianity had lost its Apostolic roots. Rubbish.

Read the biography of Saint Ambrose of Milan and ask yourself if his faith was corrupted and interested only in political power.

Not at all. He was a great man of God. "Who are you to judge another man's
servant?" And as bishop of Milan, he was God's servant for the people
of Milan, and they judged him well, as a man of God andexample of righteousness.

An excerpt:

Having been trained in rhetoric and law and having studied Greek, Ambrose became known for his knowledge of the latest Greek writings, both Christian and pagan. In addition to Philo, Origen, and Basil of Caesarea, he even quoted Neoplatonist Plotinus in his sermons. He was widely regarded as an excellent preacher.

In many of those sermons, Ambrose expounded upon the virtues of asceticism. He was so persuasive that noble families sometimes forbade their daughters to attend his sermons, fearing they'd trade their marriageable status for a life of austere virginity.

One piece of his pastoral advice is still universally known: "When you are at Rome, live in the Roman style; when you are elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere."

Ambrose also introduced congregational singing, and he was accused of "bewitching" Milan by introducing Eastern melodies into the hymns he wrote. Because of his influence, hymn singing became an important part of the Western liturgy.

At Christian History.


SocietyVs said…
That idea about the apostleship is also made strongly in Mormonism - who also believe the apostleship had died out even sooner. I am not sure about Ambrose - but that passage seems like good info for his current context (very cultural conformity).
Abu Daoud said…
Hello Society,

Good to hear from you. I think that it becomes fairly clear to Muslims, once they take a look at the heroic lives of many early Christians, that they were indeed people of faith and "among the believers." (That's a phrase from the Quran.)

I also think that a robust Christian response to Islam must deal with questions of history. That is one of the several reasons why early church history is a very important topic for me.


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