Too much of the Early Church Fathers is dangerous…

…for those who wish to remain Protestant. Might I suggest to Christianity Today that they reconsider running pieces like this one? If you really want to worship as the early Christians did, then just go to Mass. St. Justin’s description, while quite short, is immediately familiar to a Catholic, and is about as far away from a postmodern “praise and worship service” as the east is from the west.

Back when I was a Baptist, I taught a series of Sunday School lessons to my class of “young adults” on the early Church; one of the texts I used was this one. I was doing it to try to convince myself that I could remain Protestant; if the smart folks in my class could find a way to assimilate that the early Church was much more Catholic than it was Protestant and remain happy Baptists, maybe I could as well.  Unfortunately, the reaction to my lessons was more, “That’s nice, now where are we going for lunch after the service,” than anything else.  I failed to impress upon them the seriousness with which I was studying how we got to where we are today.  They’re all, to my knowledge, still happy Baptists.  I, on the other hand, am not.

But, if CT were to make a habit of taking the early Church seriously, who knows what might happen?

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