book report: The History of the Church by Eusebius300s AD
Eusebius was the Bishop of Caesarea from 314 to 340, having survived horrible wavesImage via Wikipedia of Christian persecutions, until the rise of Constantine. This 400 page translation by G. A. Williamson, was engaging not only in the words of Eusebius, but also in the footnotes of Williamson with his occasional jabs at the modern claims of Catholicism.
Eusebius references so many other works and commentaries and essays by the great early leaders of the church, which he had copies of in his possession, that he leaves me jealous for his luxury of time and resources. There is so much more that I want to read, stimulated by the extended quotes Eusebius makes of these great apologists and teachers of the young church.
Several things stuck out to me in this history.
- It doesn't take long for screwed up people to screw up theology.
- Some of the screw ups do it for money or sex or fame.
- Some things never change.
- Some bishops were great, some just were, some turned out to be screw ups.
- There were so many brilliant teachers back then. I think we are in a time of poverty compared to these guys.
- It's amazing how God preserved the church through the genocidal attacks it went through. Eusebius does not shy away from the cruelty invented by the Romans for the purpose of forcing Christians to recant, usually unsuccessfully.
- God is always glorified.
- Miracles and spiritual gifts came and went.
- The church was serious about studying.
- The church today stands on the shoulders of giants.