If we cannot change the heart of the unbeliever through arguments, then why even do apologetics? Packed in this question is the correct presumption that it is the Holy Spirit alone, through the proclamation of God’s Word, that changes the heart of the unbeliever. However, as Chris Bolt tells us, it is a question based upon a faulty view of what “argument” means. Check out his helpful podcast.
Chris is a friend from my PhD days in Louisville. He is a pastor and bright philosopher. This podcast is his first of what I’m sure is going to be an excellent resource.
A new center for the study of ancient Christianity was launched yesterday – The Center of Ancient Christian Studies. Independent from the North American Patristic Society, the Center serves as an opportunity for Evangelical scholars to present current work on issues dealing with the 2nd Temple, New Testament, and Patristics. The Center’s website (www.ancientchristianstudies.com) houses the Center’s blog, book reviews of books related to the Center’s focus, interviews, and the Center’s journal – Fides et Humilitas.
In an article titled “What is Ancient Christianity?”, Coleman Ford, Shawn Wilhite, and Michael A. G. Haykin explain why the Center’s focus is on ancient Christianity as opposed to Patristic studies. The term “Patristics” was first used in the nineteenth century to reference the study of early Christian fathers. However, as times have changed institutionally and socially, the term “Patristics” has changed as well, for it does not adequately reflect scholarly work that engages “Jewish literature, female contributors, and broader heterodox literature” (Ford, Wilhite, and Haykin, “What is Ancient Christianity?”, accessed December 3, 2014, http://www.ancientchristianstudies.com/what-is-ancient-christianity). To include the wide range of scholarly work in the area of ancient Christianity, the Center focuses on Christianity from AD 80-700.
The existence of this Center illustrates the burgeoning interest among Evangelicals in the study of Christianity in its formative years. It’s exciting to see what this Center has in store. Feel free to take a look at the site, and if you have an article, book review, or other work related to the Center’s focus, then visit the “Contribute” page here.
Patristic studies is an area that is experiencing growth among evangelicals, but it’s a field where resources can be difficult to come by. Roger Pearse has an excellent website devoted to the works of Tertullian, including links to online translations of Tertullian’s writings.
Pearse’s site, however, is not limited to Tertullian. Pearse devotes an entire webpage to additional works from the early church fathers (see here). According to a brief statement in the webpage header, Pearse states that the works linked on that page are out of copyright and are not included in the 38 volume Ante-Nicene, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. The works are ordered chronologically. Included on this page are the likes of Polycarp, Aristides the Philosopher, Hermias the Philosopher, Optatus of Milevis, and more.