The Porch of the Fathers:
A one-week online course introducing the early church fathers from
Clement of Rome through John of Damascus

July 7-11, 2014 

8:00-10:00am Pacific time
(11:00am-1:00pm Eastern)

It's summer. Slow down. Make a cup of coffee - dark roast, please. And join me, won't you? in the comfort of your own air-conditioned home as we wallow glory in the early fathers of the Christian faith. Who were they? What did they write? How have they influenced Christianity down to the present, such that George Grant can say cool stuff like this?

They helped us talk biblically about the Trinity. They blew raspberries at gnosticism. They formulated a Christian philosophy of history that has dominated Western thought. They explained the meaning of the Lord's Supper and baptism. They eviscerated heresies and explained why sometimes snorting milk through your nose with laughter is the appropriate response to the absurdity - and cruelty- of heresy. And they did it all over fifteen hundred years ago. Why are we so slow? Let us learn from them, grasshopper.

No homework, no tests, no written assignments, just encouragement to delight in the riches of the writings of our forefathers in the faith. No required text - we'll use online resources. We'll peer closely at cool old maps, goggle at the power of the Roman Empire, feel our hair stand on end at the martyrs whose blood was the seed of the church, marvel at the origin of the books we call the Bible, giggle at the humor of the apologists, and feel profoundly stupid in the presence of the great teachers; but mostly we'll just soak up what we can of the great voices of the church's past, the past that made us what we are as Christians. Maybe it's time for a glass of iced tea now. There's more information below.

C'mon. What better way to relax after the insanity of the Fourth. And you didn't have anything planned that week, anyway.

Dates: July 7-11

Time: 8-10am Pacific (11-1pm Eastern)

Lecturer: Wes Callihan, teacher at Schola Classical Tutorials and the abbot of Hill Abbey. See more about him here.

Age requirement: 14 and up.

Fee: $100

Text: Online resources used; nothing to purchase.

Homework outside of class time: none. It's summer. Go to the pool after class. Think about the church fathers as you bob in your St. Ambrose floaty.

To register: click here and let me know of your interest. I'll tell you everything else you need to know about paying the fee (we like Square Cash), logging in to the classroom, etc. There is a minimum number of participants required for the class to be a go. If that minimum number is not met, I'll cancel the class and refund all fees. I'm sure the church fathers would approve.

...the writings of the Patristics are eminently readable and widely available. The earliest Christians were both literate and literary. They were people of the Book and of books. As a result, their refined letters, sermons, tracts, commentaries, manifestos, credos, dialogs, proverbs, epigrams, and sagas were carefully, preserved, anthologized, and preserved through the centuries. The harried and persecuted believers during the imperial epoch took solace in their pastoral wisdom. The pioneering Medievals grounded their worldview on Patristic foundations throughout the era of Christendom. The reforming Protestants carefully considered their precepts during the tumultuous days of the Reformation. Indeed, nearly every generation of Christians through the end of the nineteenth century made a study of their ideas an elementary aspect of classical education...  all the great controversies of our day were controversies in their day--and the Fathers of the faith addressed them substantively. Questions of soteriology and Christology, questions of liturgy and epistemology, questions of hermeneutics and ecclesiology were all dealt with in some detail. And the answers they often gave were anything but simplistic, primitive, and primal...  reading these Fathers is not merely an exercise in antiquarian curiosity--it may well be, apart from the study of the Scriptures themselves, the most relevant of all our educative pursuits.

  --George Grant (Blogger post, March 2, 2004)

If you've registered, click HERE for syllabus and login