10 Reasons Christians Shouldn’t Read the Patristic Fathers

10. They’re boring. They don’t talk about anything interesting. Ever. And they are polite and never ever disagree with each other.

9. People were baptized naked. Yup. Naked. Oh my victorian/evangelical sensibilities!

8. What do you mean there were women in leadership in the early church? Church Mothers? Desert Mothers? Everyone knows that the only biblical model for women is to be at home in high heels and have supper in the oven.

7. We may have our view of communion challenged. What do you mean they celebrated communion weekly? Everybody knows you should only celebrate it monthly otherwise it becomes stale and rote.

6. The Reformers read the Church Fathers and look at how bad that turned out for Christianity.

5. They wrote in Greek (which is too hard to learn) and Latin (which is a dead language).

4. If we read the Patristics we may come to find that the heroes weren’t always noble and honourable and the villains (heretics) weren’t always the bad guys.

3. Everyone knows that “communion of saints” only refers to this current generation.

2. Their issues are in no way our issues today. All of our issues theological and ecclesiological are brand new and have never been experienced by any other generation of Christians.

1. Karl Barth was heavily influenced by the Church Fathers and everyone knows that if Barth liked it it must be wrong!

13 thoughts on “10 Reasons Christians Shouldn’t Read the Patristic Fathers

  1. Thanks for this. When I saw the link title (via James MacGrath’s blog) I had an “oh no…” kind of moment. I’ve just started reading through the Ante-Nicean fathers, and I was half afraid that you were about to tell me 10 very compelling reasons why I would have been wasting my time….

    1. Huffin’ sulfur is a right, not a privilege!

      Have you tasted of the peaceful sulfur of Montanus? (Or better yet, his oracles. Amirite?)

  2. haha! Good one! Dell wrote his own course for Patristic Fathers and had Rev, Cal supervise it a bit and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and what he learned. He will get a real kick out of this post.

  3. I have a problem with your list the Patristic Fathers are a continuation with the Holy Spirit speaking within the Church and are our greatest link with the continuation in the One, True Apostolic and Holy Church. If you do not have the Patristics as your Father you do not have the Church as your Mother paraphrasing a Patristic phrase. The Patristic Fathers and Mothers have a continuing relevance to bring the Church into full union but it would seem that the Church Catholica is a concern that seems alien whereas for most Catholic Christians they are an essential.

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