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Ignatius of Antioch [Paperback]

By Kenneth J. Howell (Author)
Our Price $ 9.31  
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Item Number 373549  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   30
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.8" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2008
Publisher   The Coming Home Network
ISBN  0980006600  
EAN  9780980006605  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
One cannot understand the early Church or Catholicism today without understanding St. Ignatius of Antioch. The man who succeeded St. Peter as bishop of Antioch and was the spiritual son of St. John the Apostle is the key to truly knowing the Christians of the first two centuries and what they believed. Ignatius' seven letters give us snapshots of the faith and life of the churches of Asia Minor in a way equaled only by the Acts of the Apostles and the Book of Revelation. Now renowned convert and former Presbyterian minister Dr. Kenneth Howell highlights and emphasizes for you the similarities between this Church Father's writings and the New Testament. He does the same with how later Christians used the writings of Ignatius. This great saint may seem like a man from a distant world, but Howell shows he is as real and pertinent in our own time as he was in his own. As a result, readers will find he helps them love Jesus Christ and His Church with the same all-consuming love that Ignatius had.

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More About Kenneth J. Howell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Howell is the Director of the John Henry Newman Institute of Catholic Thought and Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Kenneth J. Howell currently resides in Champaign-Urbana, in the state of Illinois.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism > General   [5549  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Catholicism   [0  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Then will I be a true disciple  Sep 18, 2009
Few stories of the early church are as moving and revealing as the epistles written by the bishop Ignatius before his execution by wild beasts in the arena in about 117AD. Ignatius writes with a passion and an understanding of an imitation of Christ in His suffering that few can understand. Ignatius' words ring down through the centuries as an example of a life of total loving submission to God. He speaks to us not only of that love and faith that few of us will attain but also gives intriguing clues on the nature of the Church.

One of the earliest heresies to confront the Church was Docetism which denied the incarnation and taught that Jesus only appeared to be present in human form but actually did not suffer and die. It was a denial of the God-man nature of Christ that made his death meaningless. Dr. Howell does a wonderful job of pointing out the key distinctives of this heresy and the many references Ignatius makes to it. In the process we see how clearly Ignatius taught the importance of the authority of the Church in her organization and in the importance of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The Docetists did not believe in the real presence in the Eucharist because they did not believe in the real presence of Christ. Ignatius reminds his readers that if Christ was not really present, then His death and our celebration of the Eucharist is indeed in vain. Themes such as this reveal the influence of the apostle Paul's theology on Ignatius and gives us the thread of that teaching back to the apostles to Ignatius and others. Understanding this yields a clearer understanding of Ignatius' letter to the Smyrneans when he remarks about the heretics that, "They abstain from the Eucharist..because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ." To reduce the Eucharist to a mere symbolic practice would remove the significance it has in Ignatius' argument against heresy.

Another theme that comes through strong is the importance of unity. And not just unity in a spiritual sense of one universal (catholic) church of all believers but in a very tangible sense of unity under the authority of the bishop, presbyters (priests), and deacons. He goes so far as to say that, "Where the bishop is...there is the Church." He reminds his readers all to be in unity in submission under the bishop. He even goes so far as to say, "Do not be deceived my brothers! If someone follows a schismatic, he will not inherit the kingdom of God." Ignatius' letters are peppered with reminders of seeking unity through the authority of the bishop, presbyters, and deacons as the rightful authorities set in place by God through apostolic succession. Anyone outside that authority has removed himself from the Church and cannot partake of the life-giving graces entrusted to that Church.

Ignatius' letters are particularly important records of the early church in light of the reformation. For to Ignatius, unity under the authority of the Church was not just preferred - it should be desired above all else. A rejection of the Church's authority, in Ignatius' mind, was a rejection of Christ's authority. At the time of the reformation, many believed a large number of these letters were not authentic records of early church teaching. Later scholarship has revealed them to be authentic. Time has proven the Church correct despite the protestations of later schismatics.

Dr. Howell's commentary is in the form of several chapters of introduction as an overview of Ignatius' theology. His commentary continues as footnotes with a clean and passionate translation of each letter. The introductory material and footnotes are invaluable in conveying the depth of theology already present in the early Church. It is clear, for instance, that the early Church was already established in its belief and teaching of the divinity of Christ long before the "historical Jesus seminar" teachers claim. Ignatius' letters are an important historical and theological standard for determining what the early Church taught through the magisterium and through their living sacrifice. They are both enlightening in the historical faith and inspiring in the faith that has been handed down to us from the apostles. An authentic, passionate, total commitment to Christ shines through.

Every Christian will find this helpful in understanding their place in the Church and in Christ. I have read many translations of these letters. None have been as clear and inspiring as Dr. Howell's. It is a call to holiness and a call back to the true faith in total submission to God.
The Faith of Ignatius Explained  Feb 22, 2009
Mr. Howell does a thorough explanation of the faith of Ignatius from the perspective of the tradition of the catholic church, particularly in regard to the sacrament of the eucharist, the authority of the bishop, presbyters and deacons, and the esteemed character of the church at Rome. The martyrdom of Ignatius, and the role of suffering in unitng the believer to discipleship in Jesus is well explained. The letters are a moving testimony to the faith and practice of the church in the first century. A must read for the catholic or orthodox believer.

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