The Church Fathers

The Christ the Center panel had the distinct privilege of recently interviewing Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin, professor of church history and Biblical spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, about the importance of studying the early church fathers and reading them as the Protestant Reformers did. Dr. Haykin notes that Evangelicals are not known for their familiarity with the church fathers as they are often seen as the provenance of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox scholars and theologians. But this would be wrong and would in fact be a declension. For instance the Reformers widely read the fathers as senior conversation partners in the interpretation of Scripture and in the exposition of theology. John Calvin, for instance, quoted from such fathers as the great Augustine and learned some of his preaching method from John Chrysostom. The contemporary church owes a deep debt of gratitude to the early church fathers, who wrestled with such significant matters as the doctrine of the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, and the full deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Dr. Haykin notes that unlike Scripture, the fathers are not inerrant and so must be read and wrestled with, with discernment. Dr. Haykin is also a respected Jonathan Edwards scholar and has written or edited numerous articles and books, including: The Christian Lover, The Advent of Evangelicalism, Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival, The Revived Puritan: The Spirituality of George Whitefield, The Spirit of God: The Exegesis of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the Pneumatomachian Controversy of the Fourth Century, and the three volume British Particular Baptists. This is a must hear interview that will only deepen one’s theological understanding of the Reformed faith.

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Panel

  • Michael Haykin
  • Jim Cassidy
  • Jeff Waddington
  • Nick Batzig
  • Camden Bucey

Bibliography

Haykin, Michael A. G. The Christian lover : the sweetness of love and marriage in the letters of believers. Lake Mary FL: Reformation Trust Pub., 2009.

—. Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival. Evangelical Press, 2005.

—. The God who draws near : an introduction to biblical spirituality. Darlington, England; Webster, NY: Evangelical Press, 2007.

—. The revived Puritan: the spirituality of George Whitefield. Joshua Press, 2000.

—. The Spirit of God: The Exegesis of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the Pneumatomachian Controversy of the Fourth Century. Brill Academic Publishers, 1994.

Haykin, Michael A. G., Kenneth J. Stewart, and Timothy. George. The advent of evangelicalism : exploring historical continuities. Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic, 2008.

Kelly, J. N. D. Early Christian Doctrines. New York: Harper, 1959.

Letham, Robert. The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology And Worship. P & R Publishing, 2005.

Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, Vol. 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition. University Of Chicago Press, 1975.

Wilken, Robert Louis. The spirit of early Christian thought : seeking the face of God. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003.

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Christ the Center Interviews Michael Haykin

9 years ago

[…] Here is the link to the most recent Christ the Center Interview. This time we had the distinct privilege of interviewing Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin, professor of church history and Biblical spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, about the importance of studying the early church fathers and reading them as did the Protestant Reformers. Dr. Haykin notes that Evangelicals are not known for their familiarity with the church fathers as they are often seen as the provenance of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox scholars and theologians. This would be wrong and would in fact be a declension. For instance the Reformers widely read the fathers as senior conversation partners in the interpretation of Scripture and in the exposition of theology. John Calvin, for instance, quoted from such fathers as the great Augustine and learned some of his preaching method from John Chrysostom. The contemporary church owes a deep debt of gratitude to the early church fathers, who wrestled with such significant matters as the doctrine of the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, and the full deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Dr. Haykin notes that unlike Scripture, the fathers are not inerrant and so must be read and wrestled with, with discernment. Dr. Haykin is also a respected Jonathan Edwards scholar and has written or edited numerous articles and books, including: The Christian Lover, The Advent of Evangelicalism, Jonathan Edwards: The Holy Spirit in Revival, The Revived Puritan: The Spirituality of George Whitefield, The Spirit of God: The Exegesis of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the Pneumatomachian Controversy of the Fourth Century, and the three volume British Particular Baptists. This is a must hear interview that will only deepen one’s theological understanding of the Reformed faith. […]

Marcus

9 years ago

Michael seems abit shy when he says Calvin uses the Church Fathers in his (calvins) writings.He quotes Augustine,then John Chrysostom…hardly early church Fathers!(4th and 5th century)It is a known fact that Calvin never really used the early church Fathers to prove his point concerning totally depravity, no free will etc, because Calvins teaching,ie, Augustinism, was a complete break from early church orthodoxy.Augustinism,ie, Calvinism,was viewed as heresey by the early church fathers many years previously. The early fathers saw it for what it truely was, and still is, a form of gnosticism.The lack of quotations from Ignatius,polycarp,justin martyr,clement,irenaeus, etc etc etc, is to obvious to be ignored.Maybe Calvin forgot what else J chrysostom said on hebrews,homily 12,”all is in Gods power,but so that our free will is not lost…it depends therefore on us and on him.We must first choose the good,and then he adds what belongs to him.he does not precede our willing,that our free will does not suffer.But when we have chosen,then he affords us much help…it is ours to choose beforehand and to will,but God’s to perfect and bring to the end”.An honest study of the early church fathers, without bringing any baggage with you,will truely liberate anyone.Calvin clearly stayed away from the fathers, i wonder why???

Steve

7 years ago

I would have to agree with Marcus about Augustine’s strong Manichaean bias. It’s been fifty years now since I read von Laue’s book on the young Augustine. At the time, I was taking a year-long course on medieval political thought and had to read the antecedents first: Aristotle, Plato, Cicero and Augustine. We weren’t too concerned about Augustine’s theology but, rather, his views on what bound one citizen to another.

Indeed, we were all happy to move on from The City of God to more well-known household names like Aegidius Romanus et al.. I remember very little about that Augustine interlude except maybe the name for his illegitimate son: Adeodatus, Augustine’s way of saying “Who, me?”

But the one thing I did take away from the Augustine segment was the realization that Augustine’s negative Manichaean anthropology and his ignorance of the Greek Fathers had a profoundly deleterious effect on subsequent theological discussions. I think that there can be little dispute that Luther, and especially Calvin, were the unfortunate heirs of this pessimistic patrimony.

Another small point: since I started listening on-line to theological discussions on this site, WTS/Cal and Issues.etc, all interesting and thoughtful sites, I have come across frequent references to the “medieval Church” as if the so-called medieval Church is a different kettle of fish from the Church of previous times. I have yet to hear an intellligent explanation of this oft-used phrase. Also, the various solas are certainly not found in the early creeds and I think that there is a phrase in the Athanasian Creed that would be described by the the Reformed adherents as works righteousness. When I first heard “law and gospel” I thought it was some form of literary criticism. Did the Holy Spirit go on vacation from AD100 to AD 1511? Remember the Gates of Hell etc.

Speaking of the Gates of Hell, so much of this sectarian bickering is helping the true enemy, Islam. Start with the latest research, albeit controversial, in Qur’anic studies, men like Puin and Luxenberg, if you want to do something constructive with your time.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam,

Steve .

Tim H.

9 years ago

Great show fellows, thanks.

Michael Haykin Interviewed on the Early Church Fathers « Pastor Steve Weaver’s Blog

9 years ago

[…] Dr. Michael Haykin was recently interviewed by the Christ the Center panel on the Reformed Forum podcast.  The focus of the interview was upon the importance of reading and studying the early church fathers.  You can access the episode in which Dr. Haykin was interviewed here. […]

Excellent Michael Haykin Interview « Theology for Doxology

9 years ago

[…] Excellent Michael Haykin Interview Posted on March 21, 2009 by Jeremy Weaver The Reformed Forum has an excellent interview with Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin on the The Church Fathers. […]

Haykin on the early church « The Wanderer

9 years ago

[…] leave a comment » Michael Haykin is always good value, and some of his material on the early church that I have read and heard has been penetrating and profitable to the mind and soul.  He was recently interviewed by the Christ the Center panel on the Reformed Forum podcast.  The focus of the interview was upon the importance of reading and studying the early church fathers.  You can access the episode in which he was interviewed here. […]

Dr. Michael Haylon discusses importance of studying early church fathers in interview : Church Leader Links

9 years ago

[…] Dr. Michael Haylon discusses importance of studying early church fathers in interview Hear the Reformed Forum Podcast […]

Nick Mackison

9 years ago

Guys, absolutely great show. I love it. God bless you all. Nick, hope you find Glasgow a welcoming town for the Edwards conference.

Nick

9 years ago

Check out this link:
http://socrates58.blogspot.com/2007/11/st-augustine-was-catholic-not-proto.html

The Church Fathers were Catholic and any genuine Protestant would have to condemn most of them as preaching a false Gospel.

Camden Bucey

9 years ago

That’s an interesting way of thinking. Maybe the church fathers were Eastern Orthodox?

Rob

9 years ago

There was no Eastern Orthodox. Besides, Eastern Orthodox are really called Eastern Orthodox Catholic. They only disagree on the issue of how much primacy the Bishop of Rome has. Otherwise, there exactly the same.

Rob

9 years ago

Nick, couldn’t agree with you more. I’m Catholic, I feel it is awefully difficult for a non Catholic to read these guys and either become Catholic or completely reject them. I agree that any Protestant must condemn them.

The Church Fathers « Faith by Hearing

9 years ago

[…] The Church Fathers >>> […]

RaiulBaztepo

9 years ago

Hello!
Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
See you!
Your, Raiul Baztepo

Christ the Center Interview Index

9 years ago

[…] N.T. Wright’s Doctrine of Justification #2 T. David Gordon Why Johnny Can’t Preach Michael Haykin The Church Fathers James T. O’Brien Puritan Theology Danny Olinger Geerhardus Vos R. Fowler […]

The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies » Dr. Michael Haykin Interviewed on the Reformed Forum

9 years ago

[…] Dr. Michael Haykin was recently interviewed by the Christ the Center panel on the Reformed Forum podcast.  The focus of the interview was upon the importance of reading and studying the early church fathers.  You can access the episode in which Dr. Haykin was interviewed here. […]

bukinec

9 years ago

Hi.
What should I do to upload avatar in my profile?
Thanks.

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