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“Oecolampadius” is a fancy Greek name, but John Oecolampadius was German-Swiss. His last name was the German name Hausshein. Like many reformers, after he learned Greek, he changed his last name to its Greek equivalent. Look at the name “Hausshein.” It sort of looks like “house-shine” and means “house lamp.” “Oeco” is from the Greek […]

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Lesser-Known Reformers: Martin Bucer (1491–1551)

Many scholars today suggest that the reformers misunderstood Roman Catholicism and overreacted against it. What silliness! Every reformer who was born before 1520 grew up in the Roman Catholic Church!  One such man was Martin Bucer, whom God would use to reject Rome’s wrong worship and help the faithful church appreciate true worship.    His […]

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Lesser-Known Reformers: Introduction

In 2023 we met men who played a significant role in ancient church history (AD 100–590). This year we will skip over the medieval era (AD 590–1517). During this era of church history, some notable men defended and positively developed truth (Ratramnus, Gottschalk, Anselm, and Thomas Bradwardine). Others were pre-reformers (John Wycliffe, John Hus, Jerome […]

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Post-Nicene Western Fathers: Augustine

Throughout this year we have surveyed how sixteen early church fathers contributed to the church’s understanding of truth during the years AD 100–420. Some defended the teachings of Scripture as the foundation of the Christian faith in a day when Christians were persecuted. Others defended Christianity against the attacks of paganism. Several men we studied […]

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Post-Nicene Western Fathers: Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome

Studying the ancient church fathers, young people learn important doctrinal and practical lessons. This has been our theme in 2023. Before concluding next month, we briefly note three men who shared two characteristics. First, they lived after the Council of Nicea (AD 325). Second, they served the church in western Europe; most men we studied […]

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Cappadocian Fathers: Basil, Gregory, and Gregory   

The Council of Nicea (AD 325) opposed Arianism, which taught that Christ was not divine. The council formulated the Nicene Creed, which emphasizes that Christ is divine. After the council finished, the Arians and semi-Arians continued to promote their views. Athanasius, we saw last time, opposed them.  The question then arose: What of the Holy […]

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Nicene Fathers: Athanasius

Young people, if you remember only two names in the history of the early church, remember Athanasius (AD 293/296–373), who stood valiantly for the truth of Christ’s divinity, and Augustine (AD 354–430), who defended the total depravity of mankind and God’s irresistible grace.    His Theology   Athanasius was probably born in Alexandria in the […]

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Church Historians: Eusebius of Caesarea

The ancient period of church history (AD 100–590) is subdivided into the pre-Nicean era, the Nicean era, and the post-Nicean era. These divisions refer to the first ecumenical council at Nicea (AD 325), which is a focal point in church history. In this article, we move from pre-Nicean church fathers to the Nicean church fathers.  […]

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From Clement of Rome, we learned to promote church unity by honoring God-appointed officebearers. Ignatius and Polycarp were also prominent church leaders after the apostles died. Both were martyred, and through this they teach us to be ready to die for Christ’s sake.  The Men  Ignatius was born around the year 30 AD, and his […]

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Ancient Church History Fathers: Introduction

Young people, how well do you know church history, especially the history of Christ’s church since the time of the apostles?  Maybe you know it better than other young people before you. In 1968, Protestant Reformed parents founded one high school (Covenant Christian High); now we have six affiliated with our denomination. Young people in […]

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