The Gospel To Diognetus (c. 150 AD)

[God] himself took on him the burden of our iniquities, he gave his own Son as a ransom for us, the Holy One for transgressors, the blameless one for the wicked, the righteous one for the unrighteous, the incorruptible one for the . . . Continue reading →

Polycarp Versus The Progressives

In 1973, Charles Merritt Nielsen imagined what might have happened had Polycarp (69–155 AD), the senior pastor of the Christian congregation in Smyrna (today Izmir, Turkey), adopted the rhetoric of the theological progressives, who look for approval from the broader, unbelieving world: . . . Continue reading →

Polycarp: A Model For Ministry In The Post-Christian West

Polycarp (Πολύκαρπος), whose name might be translated as fruitful was the leading pastor (ἐπίσκοπος) of Smyrna (today, Izmir, Turkey) on the Agean coast of Asia Minor. We do not know a great deal about his life. He was friends with Ignatius, the pastor of Antioch, who was (presumably) martyred about AD 115. Continue reading →

What I Learned From Polycarp About Pearls, Swine, And Modern Evangelicals

In the fall semester I teach two courses on the ancient church. One is a seminar in which we read the Apostolic Fathers (a somewhat arbitrary collection of texts from the second century) as well as other important writers from the period. . . . Continue reading →

Polycarp Vs. The Christian Nationalists

The Christian Nationalists are proposing an American Revolution. Some of them want, in place of free churches, voluntarily attended by free Americans, to institute a federal church, directly contrary to the First Amendment of the Constitution—”Congress shall make no law respecting an . . . Continue reading →