Thursday, Sept. 1
The sports world is often caught up in evaluating star players. They take delight in picking out MVPs and comparing all time greats from different eras. Who will win the Cy Young award? Who was the greatest quarterback of all time? Was Muhammad Ali greater than Joe Louis? Was Magic Johnson better than Larry Bird—or Michael Jordan better than Kobe Bryant? I enjoy these debates, even though they’re quite irrelevant. But how about theologians? The coming few blogs will focus on the Bible scholars in the early Church, the theologians that “rightly divided” Biblical truth, and defended it at the risk of their lives. These men faced enormous problems. The newly founded Church was an affront to traditional Jewish faith. How were Christian scholars to reconcile N.T. truth with O.T. truth? The domineering Romans with their pantheon of gods, and the Greek culture with their gods and philosophers posed a host of other problems. Cults, sects and false religions permeated the Empire. Yet, Christianity became the state religion by the fourth century. How did this come about? It’s an amazing story, but a bitter and bloody one. It’s God, but it’s men God raised up, inspired, and empowered. They forged a theological standard for all succeeding generations. The next few blogs will be dedicated to these godly men. We might call them MVTs, Most Valuable Theologians. Some of my readers are not theologians and know little about historical theology. I assure you, it didn’t “just happen.” I want to enrich your lives with a brief account of those early centuries and the faithful men who made it happen. I’ll try to keep it interesting.