Christian Classics Study Group

Christian Classics: Ambrose of Milan: On the Christian Faith 

The first of two evenings of Christian Classics this autumn is on Friday October 11th. “Aurelius Ambrosius (c. 340–397), better known in English as Ambrose, was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century.” [Wikipedia] He was a staunch defender of orthodoxy (Nicene Christianity) against Arianism in the Church. He is one of the four Western “Doctors of the Church” (along with Augustine, Jerome and Gregory…

Christian Classics Study Group: St Basil on Fasting – THIS FRIDAY 14 June

Saint Basil the Great (also called Basil of Caesarea) lived from 330 to 379 AD.  He was born into a wealthy family and with four siblings, all of whom were later declared saints in the Orthodox Church.  He, his brother, Gregory of Nyssa, and his lifelong friend Gregory of Nazianzus, were declared 3 of the 4 “Doctors of the Church” by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Basil was influential in the development of the doctrine of the…

Christian Classics Study Group: Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church

8.00 pm Friday 3 May Saint Cyprian (Latin: Thaschus Cæcilius Cyprianus; c. 200 – September 14, 258 AD) was bishop of Carthage and a notable Early Christian writer. He was a pagan public speaker and teacher from Carthage in North Africa who converted to Christianity around the year 246 AD. He immediately set himself to the study of Scripture and the writings of the first great Latin theologian from North Africa, Tertullian. Saint Cyprian grew so rapidly in holiness and knowledge of the…

Christian Classics Study Group: Lectionaries in our Church – 5 April

The Anglican Church follows the practice of most denominations in choosing a series of readings to be read on Sunday services in all of their churches. That series of readings is called a lectionary. In the Church of England there are two possible lectionaries for use at Sunday services of Holy Communion.  The first is called the Traditional Western Eucharistic Lectionary, found in the Book of Common Prayer, but whose origins are in the 5th…

Christian Classics Study Group: Learning the Gospel by Heart

  On Friday 7 December Anna van Laere has been invited to speak about the tradition of learning the bible by heart – in her case the Gospel According to Mark.  She will tell something about the group she is a part of that learns to memorize the texts together and to music. And she will sing a little part of Marc’s Gospel.  The evening will be in Dutch and English.   Anna will share with…

Christian Classics Study Group: Irenaeus: On the Apostolic Preaching

Irenaeus was born in Asia (Turkey) between 115-142 AD and he died ca. 202. While young, he had seen and heard bishop Polycarp (d. 155) at Smyrna. During persecutions under Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Irenaeus was a priest (maybe already the bishop?) in Lyon (France). His bishop Photinus (already in prison?) send him to Rome in 177/178 with a letter for Pope Eleutherius regarding Montanism, an excitable charismatic movement. Upon his return to Lyon, Irenaeus succeeded…

Christian Classics Study Group – The second night on Polycarp

29th June The Martyrdom of Polycarp Friday, Dinner at 6:30pm, talk at 8:00pm After the first evening on Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians, Christian Classics, continues in June with the second evening on the great 2nd bishop Polycarp (in Smyrna, modern day Izmir, Turkey). Polycarp is among the earliest Christians whose writings survived. His name ‘Polycarp’ means ‘much fruit’ in Greek. It is recorded by Irenaeus, who heard him speak in his youth, and by Tertullian, that…

Christian Classics Study Group – The Epistle of Barnabas – Friday 13 April

Dear Friends in Christ: As mentioned at our last Christian Classics, this Friday the 13th of April we will be led, by the Rev Dr Jos Strengholt, through the very early anonymous Christian writing – The Epistle of Barnabas.  Though we don’t know for sure who wrote The Epistle of Barnabas, this work has been ascribed to Clement of Alexandria in Egypt.  It is generally thought to have been written sometime between 70 and 150 AD.  The Epistle reflects on the Old Testament practices…

Christian Classics Study Group: Gregory of Nyssa’s The Life of Moses

This Wednesday 21  of March we will be led through this classic spiritual work of Gregory of Nyssa by the Rev Jos Strengholt. The Evening begins at 8pm (no supper this time) at the Parsonage.  (There is a service of Holy Communion from 7-7:40pm beforehand at the Church.)  We will each receive a copy of the text, The Life of Moses, and a short workbook.  Fr Strengholt will give us a background on Gregory of…

Christian Classics Friday 9 February – The Heidelberg Catechism

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) is a well-known Protestant confession of faith.  It is one of the many catechisms in the form of questions and answers that were written in the 16th century and without doubt the most famous one in the Dutch Reformed Context.  Despite the caricatures that have been made of it, it is still an astonishing rich theological document.  Given its strong association with the Reformed tradition, it may be a surprise that it…