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April 29, 2011

Before Ravi Zacharias was… they were the APOLOGETIC DUDES

The apologetic fathers were known by their defense against the attacks on the church and their attempts to win legal recognition for Christianity:

1. Justin Martyr. Known as the first learned theologian and Christian thinker among the church fathers. During a trip to Rome, he was arrested, subjected to a mock trial and beheaded.

Even as a Christian Justin always remained a philosopher. By his conscious recognition of the Greek philosophy as a preparation for the truths of the Christian religion, he appears as the first and most distinguished in the long list of those who have endeavored to reconcile Christian with non-Christian culture. Christianity consists for him in the doctrines, guaranteed by the manifestation of the Logos in the person of Christ, of God, righteousness and immortality, truths which have been to a certain extent foreshadowed in the monotheistic religious philosophies. In this process the conviction of the reconciliation of the sinner with God, of the salvation of the world and the individual through Christ, fell into the background before the vindication of supernatural truths intellectually conceived. Thus Justin may give the impression of having rationalized Christianity, and of not having given it its full value as a religion of salvation. It must not, however, be forgotten that Justin is here speaking as the apologist of Christianity to an educated Pagan public, on whose philosophical view of life he had to base his arguments, and from whom he could not expect an intimate comprehension of the religious position of Christians.

2. Tertullian. He received a liberal Graeco-Roman education and then practiced law in Rome until his conversion around 195 AD. He was a prolific author writing apologetic articles, attacks on heresies and moral tracts.

Here are some famous Tertullian quotes:

Arguments about Scripture achieve nothing but a stomachache and a headache.

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

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