Sheamus MacLean on Church Fathers, Semipelagianism

Saints killing Dragons, Sheamus MacLean, Hagiography

Last weekend we had a delightful presentation by Sheamus MacLean focusing on Dragons and Saints and how early Churchmen often make their reputations by killing Dragons which I wrote about on WonderCafe.

Sheamus is a passionate theologian as well as an calculating economic performance architect who works with senior management to consult and help close strategically important deals whereby clients achieve more significant financial gains, including increased valuation. But in his spare time Sheamus like to delve deep into the scriptures.

St. Clement is a leading Church Father

The Pope, St Clement, papacy, Vatican, logo, heraldry, emblemThe Fathers of the Christian Church were evangelical churchmen bishops, deacons and even laymen who were passionate about Christ and left writings that help define the church today. By being so literate they helped bring the religion out of its infancy and into its youth. The are the teachers and curators of the scriptures and they lived from 100 to about 750 Ad. Inside these six and a half centuries are many periods of change. First its important to remember that Christianity was illegal in the beginning and the Anti – Nicean Fathers (anti means ‘before’ in this context) who were alive when the apostles were alive, would be considered criminals if they were captured by many agents of Rome or whatever state hosted their work, as it was contrary to the official beliefs and power structures. Indeed, according to a tradition not earlier than the 4th century, Clement was imprisoned under the Emperor Trajan but nonetheless led a ministry among fellow prisoners. He was then executed by being tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea.

St. Clement stands foremost among the Apostolic Fathers who were alive during the time of the apostles; they lived from about 60 – 150 AD and their writings begin to come in the year 95 AD with St Clement’s letter from Rome to Corinth.  Think about how important these people are because they are contemporary to the apostles and knew their minds enough to best translate and proliferate their words and actions. Today St. Clement’s lends its name to many regional Grammer schools and a notable school for girls in Toronto Ontario Canada simply because he is the foremost Church Father.

The Four Marks of being a Church Father

The four marks of being a Church Father are 1) antiquity 2) orthodoxy 3) sanctity and 4) approval.

1) Antiquity , anyone has the property of antiquity if they lived between the age of the apostles and about the middle of the eighth century – the age of the
church fathers is generally considered to close around the time of St John of Damascus who died in 749 AD

2) Orthodoxy – or whether or not they had sound beliefs, in at least as far as belief was defined in their day.  Some early Church Fathers had beliefs which would later be ruled unorthodox. St John Cassian for example who authored Semipelagian discourse contrary to Saint Augustine, taught that man cannot come to God without the grace of God. In Semipelagian thought, therefore, a distinction is made between the beginning of faith and the increase of faith. Semipelagian thought teaches that the latter half – growing in faith – is the work of God, while the beginning of faith is an act of free will, with grace supervening only later. It too was labeled heresy by the Western Church in the Second Council of Orange in 529.  But St John Cassian is still a respected Church Father.

3) Sanctity–  Is the person considered a saint? Most of the church fathers are considered saints, but not all.

4) Approval – people could be considered orthodox but not get the approval of later Churchmen and so be denied the status of being a Church Father.

Next came the Apologists and they were named such because they defended the Church from those who would see it reduced in influence other religious. Hopefully Sheamus MacLean will return, a few Sundays from now, and give us more understanding of them.

 

 

Lenzr, Over 50 lbs of Toronto Chocolate and a Blackberry Curve from Baby Boomer Magazine and Web Development Company

50 Going On 15 is for more sophisticated  People Photographers

over 50, wom,en, Baby Boomers, music, chocolate in TorontoThe 50 Going On 15 photo contest on Lenzr will reward the member that uploaded the highest ranked photo with over 50 lbs of dark chocolate as a prize!

This challenge is sponsored by a magazine for people over 50 that is really breaking new ground in Toronto – because its all about this great city from an older persons more sedate and refined perspectives.  Winning this contest would be a strange dream come true that might indeed be more of a curse than a blessing esp if you are a woman over 50 and trying to loose weight. This web challenge’s strange prize is being fulfilled by this cool Toronto chocolate company. This will be a fun story to read about in July, when the prize is awarded and we all get to see the winning picture. You can read more about this over 50 magazine sponsor and prize on the Lenzr blog.

Crowded Places is for less sophisticated People Photographers
lenzr photo contest producer web development TorontoThe crowded places photo contest is sponsored by a Toronto web developer that’s generously offering a Blackberry curve phone as prize. The prize offering fits nicely into their new mobile strategies and will allow users to keep track of their own social networks, which are crowded places.

The contest is pretty straightforward. Submit shots of crowds and use the caption to tell stories. The contest will no doubt create a long index of popular tourist attractions and pedestrian bottlenecks from all across Canada.

Both of these contests will end July 1st 2010 when the highest ranked photo is elected winner.