Here is this week's poll:
- Which Apostle do you identify with the most?
- St. John
- St. Peter
- St. Thomas
- St. Philip
As for last week's poll ("Who is your favorite early Church father?"), there wasn't much of a turn out. Why didn't you vote? Leave a comment and let me know. Here are the results:
I guess it's no surprise that Augustine was the winner. There are few fathers of the Church who have made a larger impact on Christian belief than St. Augustine of Hippo. Plus, he is so incredibly prolific that his works are known by a wider audience than those of the other fathers.
BUT.....I didn't choose Augustine. He frustrates me. Because his writings are so voluminous, it's hard to pin down what he actually believes about a lot of things. His views on grace and predestination in particular are always the source of heated debate. And to make matters worse, he often contradicts himself and his beliefs develop and sometimes even change as he grows and matures as a theologian.
One of the first things that shocked me when I entered the world of apologetics was the fact that so many non-Catholic Christians claim Augustine as their father. That just seemed so ludicrous to me. I mean, he's a Catholic bishop for crying out loud! But, as I have become more and more acquainted with Augustine's writings I have also come to see how easy it is to misunderstand him.
Of course, I'm no expert on the man or his writings, so perhaps my frustration is ignorant or premature. If you would like to learn more about St. Augustine, go here.
As for the other choices, I thought that more people would vote for St. Athanasius or St. Justin Martyr, since this is an apologetics blog and these two fathers in particular are known for their unyielding defense of the Faith. Personally, I voted for St. Cyril of Jerusalem, although I realize now that I meant to make St. Cyril of Alexandra (the great anti-Nestorian) the poll option instead. My Christology class has given me a whole new appreciation for Cyril and his staunch defense of the hypostatic union in Christ.
Speaking of Christology, please pray for me as I attempt to write a most difficult paper on Roger Haight's book Jesus Symbol of God.