(PUBPaulist)Want a nontechnical, thematic overview of the teachings of the Greek and Latin fathers on Christ, Scripture, martyrdom, prayer, poverty, ministry, the human condition, monasticism, and death? Sprinkling his chapters with lively quotations, Ramsey writes with an informed zest for his subject. 280 pages, softcover.
Beginning to Read the Fathers
Excellent read for Protestants and Roman Catholics alike. Patristic studies can easily degrade into "I have more church father quotes than you do" arguments. Fr. Ramsey has done a fine job of maintaining an irenic tone. The material is presented in a thematic style that gives a good overview of patristic thought on a given subject. For Protestant readers who are starting out in this subject I would recommend "Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction" By: Bryan Litfin. That book will give a good introduction to the topic. The Ramsey book will then go beyond that a bit.
August 11, 2008
For all who seek an understanding of the fathers of the Church, this book will make them accessible. Rather than a dry historical narrative, Fr. Ramsey's work analyses the thought and writings of the fathers according to their theological concepts and religious life (e.g. "God", "Christ","Prayer"). This approach puts the reader into the lives of these pillars of the faith as they struggle with the problems of the Church in its first 600 years.Two aspects of the book are particularly useful. First, one gains a good--albeit brief--view of the Christological heresies (which tend to repeat themselves) and the apologetics that were formed to meet these challenges. Second, the patristics reading program in the appendix leads one through the texts that will enrich our understanding of the faith.On a final note, the book includes a number of "gems" that will contribute to any sermon.
July 22, 2001