I don't know how many people out there in Never Never Land have grown up, been churched, and yet never have known about the Fathers of the Church. In my Bible days, as a strong Christian and strong Bible teacher, I used to toss around a name like Augustine - did not call him Saint nor did not even pronounce his name correctly. I never would have called him a Father of the Church. Why? Our churches never talked about the Fathers of the Church and, more recently, I have even read comments by well-known Christian Bible teachers saying they had not studied the Fathers in seminary. Tell me how that happened?
Mike Aquilina is well known for the best teaching on the Fathers of the Church. Although I have never met Mike Aquilina personally, it is clear to see that Aquilina does his homework and then brings it to you in a style you can understand and even teach! Sadly, most of my Protestant friends, where I came from, don't even want to "go there" - the Father's of the Church that is - as it is too Catholic. Yet, without these men who literally gave their lives to keep the Apostolic teaching alive for us, there might not be the Church today, as we know it, and it is safe to say, there might not be the New Testament, as we know it. That Bible did not fall out of the sky. However, these are the men Jesus planned to use when he said, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it." Matthew 16:18.
They were THE guys! Just guys like guys we have today, guys like me, guys like you, guys who had made the great discovery of the message of GOD, to and for all men, and guys who were called, and by the way, guys who answered the call, to keep the early Church alive for all of us today and tomorrow. They have earned the name Fathers of the Church. I am so glad to get to know them.
Go to amazon.com and see the page for THE FATHERS OF THE CHURCH, Expanded Edition, click the LOOK INSIDE and see what you would own for under $12.00. You would have your own seminary shelf of Early Church Fathers! So simple and yet so filled with Truth.
In the last few years I have purchased most all of Mike Aquilina's books because they are written so I can understand them and enjoy them. I come away a bit smug sometimes because I am NOW ready for a conversation about the Church and her beginning, or at least I know where to find the material I need for a conversation.
Mike Aquilina is executive vice-president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He is author of more than thirty books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. Mike is past editor of New Covenant magazine (1996-2002) and The Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper (1993-1996). He and his wife Terri have been married for twenty-five years; they have six children.