Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ANF VI: Arnobius Against the Heathen

Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume VI

Arnobius: The Seven Books of Arnobius Against the Heathen

While, as the introduction points out, we don't find much positive Christian doctrine in the work that makes up 130 pages of this 500 page volume, Arnobius' broadsides against pagan theology are as devastating as those launched by Augustine a century later. In fact, in some ways this book may be seen as a thoughtful precursor to the first books of the City of God.
Really, I probably should have blogged slowly through this instead of simply glossing it months after I finished the book, but the best I can say is that you should read it (slowly) yourself and enjoy the great wisdom therein:
Explain to us and say what is the cause, what the reason that you pursue Christ with so bitter hostility? or what offenses you remember which He did, that at the mention of His name you are roused to bursts of mad and savage fury? Did He ever, in claiming for Himself power as king, fill the whole world with bands of the fiercest soldiers; and of nations at peace from the beginning, did He destroy and put an end to some, and compel others to submit to His yoke and serve Him? Did He ever, excited by grasping avarice, claim as His own by right all that wealth to have abundance of which men strive eagerly? Did He ever, transported with lustful passions, break down by force the barriers of purity, or stealthily lie in wait for other men's wives? Did He ever, puffed up with haughty arrogance, inflict at random injuries and insults without any distinction of persons? And if He was not worthy that you should listen to and believe Him, yet He should not have been despised by you even on this account, that He showed to you things concerning your salvation, that He prepared for you path to heaven, and the immortality for which you long...
Highly recommended.

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