109 minutes | Oct 9, 2018

Sophistication of Early Church Fathers with Dr. Nathan Jacobs

Dr. Nathan Jacobs holds advanced degrees in philosophy, historical and systematic theology, church history, and fine art. He joined Hank in Charlotte for an intimate conversation in his study, and given the breadth of Dr. Jacobs’s academic achievements, it came as no surprise that it was wide ranging. The early church fathers went to great lengths to ensure that the followers of Christ did not innovate but rather perpetuate “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3), and this conversation seeks to understand what they meant, where we may have gotten off track, and what it means to become truly human through Christ

Topics discussed include: balancing academic research and writing with artistic innovation and creation (5:00); a search for authenticity and authority led Jacobs to study the early church fathers, such as Athanasius of Alexandria, where he came to realize the difference of thought between Eastern and Western Christianity (6:45); Ephesians, examining the use of the term “energeia” by Paul, and understanding that faith and works are not in opposition (18:25); ecumenical councils where early church fathers defended the faith by answering the question “What is the faith that we received handed down by the apostles?” (30:20); biblical illiteracy, historical ignorance, and troubling Trinitarian analogies (37:35); the importance of a Trinitarian God as opposed to Unitarian (46:10); the sophistication of the early church fathers and our anachronistic belief that we are more intelligent than our ancestors, theologically speaking or otherwise (53:00); distinguishing between creation and types of causation (55:00); biblical terminology getting lost in translation and the linguistic advantage the early church fathers had over the scholars that proceeded them (1:00:35); understanding the balance between rationality and mystery (1:06:45); addressing the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist (1:15:15); objectivity in academics, distinctions between different systems of thought, and the systems of thought creating the biggest divide between Eastern and Western Christianity (1:21:30); the difficulty of communicating complex issues in a soundbite culture (1:32:30); the importance of Christians being part of a church community (1:20:20); and should Christians confess their sins? (1:42:45).
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