Saturday, April 24, 2010

Early Apologists

"In conclusion, the writings of the apologists witness to the tensions in which the early Christians lived. While rejecting paganism, they had to deal with the fact that paganism produced a valuable culture. While accepting the truth to be found in the philosophers, they insisted on the superiority of Christian revelation. While refusing to worship the emperor, and even while persecuted by the authorities, they continued praying for the emperor and admiring the greatness of the Roman Empire. These tensions were admirably expressed in the address To Diognetus:

Christians are no different from the rest in their nationality, language or customs... They live in their own countries, but as sojourners. They fulfill all their duties as citizens, but they suffer as foreigners. They find their homeland wherever they are, but their homeland is not in any one place.... They are in the flesh, but they do not live according to the flesh. They live on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey all laws, but they live at a level higher than that required by law. They love all, but all persecute them.
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